Man with Gynecomastia Wins First Risperdal Trial
There’s good news for men who developed gynecomastia after taking the drug Risperdal. Just a few days ago in Philadelphia, a jury ordered the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, to pay a 20-year old man $2.5 million dollars in damages after he developed size 46 DD breasts while taking the anti-psychotic drug as a teen.
Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal woes have been building for several years. In 2013, the pharmaceutical giant settled with the federal government and several states to the tune of more than $2 billion. The amount included criminal fines and awards to insider “whistleblowers” who helped build the case against the company. You can read more about how the Risperdal saga has unfolded on our website dedicated to man boobs.
During this recently concluded trial, the first individual trial to go to a jury, a former FDA official testified that J&J knew about the gynecomastia risk and failed to adequately warn doctors and patients. Even more damning is the assertion by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 that the company’s sales reps were directed to market Risperdal aggressively to treat children for symptoms of ADHD, autism and other disorders before such uses were approved by the FDA. As noted in an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, doctors may prescribe medications for “off-label” uses, but drug companies are not allowed to promote their products this way.
A leading cause of gynecomastia is out of balance hormones. Risperdal can influence the pituitary gland to secrete levels of prolactin in humans, a hormone that stimulates the growth of breast tissue. Men and boys who have taken Risperdal to combat psychological issues can develop man boobs as a side effect.
The excess breast tissue does not disappear even if a guy stops taking the drug. Male breast reduction surgery is the only way to restore natural looking male chest contours – and excellent results require a great deal of experience in the procedure. We have worked with thousands of male patients during our three decades performing gynecomastia surgery in New York, and many of our recent patients report a history of taking Risperdal. We don’t advise patients about their legal options when they come in for consultations, but we do assure them that we can banish their man boobs for good.
An article in The Wall Street Journal covering the trial quoted a J&J spokeswoman who said the company was “disappointed” in the results of the case. It’s no wonder. While the $2.5 million awarded to the 20-year old is a relatively modest sum, according to the WSJ, there are 1,200 more individual cases pending across the country.
The story of Risperdal began more than two decades ago and continues to evolve. Read more about this first trial in The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Wall Street Journal.