As of the year 2011, there were approximately 50 million children ages 5-17 living in the United States. Estimates show that around 11% of those children have been diagnosed with ADHD. This means there are around 5.5 million children that are suffering from this mental illness. While not all are being medicated for their ailment, many are. And some are at risk of severe side effects.
Risperdal is Not Safe for Children
Male teens who take the popular antipsychotic drug Risperdal are at a severe risk of developing irreversible side effects. Due to the way the male body is changing during puberty, and the way the drug acts, they are at an increased risk of developing breasts and eventually starting to lactate.
Risperdal is approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. It has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of children suffering from ADD or ADHD. However, since the drug does work, many physicians will go off label and prescribe it to children with this ailment.
Gynecomastia and Galactorrhea
Young men are going through a multitude of hormonal changes while in their early teen years. One of these changes can result in gynecomastia, the development of breasts. However, since the changes are so rapid, the gynecomastia rarely has a chance to develop an outward presence.
When a child is taking Risperdal, his body will react by producing an abundance of prolactin. This hormone is found in nursing mothers, and causes the breasts to grow and milk production to begin. If a young man is taking Risperdal, his body may start to produce prolactin, with the result being gynecomastia. If left untreated, the gynecomastia can progress and lactation (galactorrhea) can occur.
To make matters worse, the only way to reverse gynecomastia is through surgical methods. This surgery will leave lasting scars on the young man. Those scars are painful physical reminders to the teasing, taunting, shunning, and shaming that he experienced as a boy with breasts.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you, or a loved one, have used Risperdal and suffered from gynecomastia or galactorrhea, you may be able to file a Risperdal lawsuit. There is no reason that you should have to undergo the financial burden alone because the manufacturer of this drug failed to warn about these potential side effects. Contact a dangerous drug attorney today to schedule your free case review.