Risperdal is a popular drug used primarily to treat schizophrenia. However, many doctors have gone off-label and prescribe it for other mental illnesses like ADD/ADHD. The problem with this drug is that it is not safe to be used by young men who are going through puberty. While many will see no ill effects, there are quite a few that suffer from severe side effects, like gynecomastia.
What is Risperdal?
Risperdal is considered an atypical antipsychotic. This drug works wonders to help balance the dopamine and serotonin levels found in the brain. For those who do not know, these two chemicals basically control how we feel about the world around us. When they get out of whack we feel depressed and in worst cases hear voices and slip into alternate realities.
The drug was first approved by the FDA in 1993; however, it was not approved for use in children until 2007. At this time it was approved to treat schizophrenia in youth ages 10 17. This is precisely the age when the body is undergoing huge hormonal changes. The results for young men taking the drug can be devastating.
What is Gynecomastia?
Basically speaking, gynecomastia is when young men develop breasts. This rare condition is seldom found naturally, but is a devastating side effect of taking Risperdal.
The drug works with the body to level out the thinking processes. However, at the same time it makes the body produce more prolactin. Prolactin is a hormone found in nursing mothers that stimulate breast growth and ultimately lactation. A young man taking this drug can experience breast growth, and if left untreated may start to produce milk.
The only way to reverse the effects of gynecomastia is with surgery. But long before the surgery is complete the young man with breasts will be subjected to taunting, shaming, shunning and teasing. On top of already being stigmatized for having schizophrenia, he will be stigmatized by bullies. After surgery there will be lasting physical scars as a reminder to this painful time in his life.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you, or a loved one, have used Risperdal, and you have suffered from gynecomastia, you may be able to file a lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Contact a personal injury attorney today to schedule your free case review to determine if you can collect compensation for medical expenses and other damages.