Among the most-filed Risperdal lawsuits in state courts are of gynecomastia or the condition where male’s breasts develop resembling to those of a female’s. In some cases, the growth is uneven and has milky discharge. Such condition cause great psychological and emotional damages to the patient.
Gynecomastia is among the many serious side effects of Risperdal and Invega. Gynecomastia leaves men with breast identical to those of women, sometimes, even the size of “D” cups. The condition does not only cause physical damage but also has big negative impacts to one’s emotional and psychological health.
A male who is taking atypical drugs like Risperdal is more likely to accumulate fats on his chest and worse, develop extra glandular tissues. When these tissues grow overtime, they are then to resemble like those of women’s breasts. School-age boys who were stricken by Risperdal side effects and developed breast from the drug’s intake are likely to become the target of bullying. Signs of Risperdal gynecomastia include breast tenderness, swollen chest, nipple discharge and pain.
Risperdal and its sister drug, Invega are both Second-Generation Antipsychotics. These two are made to treat schizophrenia and a limited-number of autism disorders. Despite of the danger that comes along with the intake of Risperdal, Johnson and Johnson is still making billions of dollars from Risperdal’s annual sales. Matter of fact, Risperdal once dominated the antipsychotics’ market in the United States.
How these Second-Generation Antipsychotics (SGAs) Cause Gynecomastia
According to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, breast growth problem could happen to more than 90% of Risperdal users during medications’ courses. Risperdal-induced hyperprolactinemia, as it is clinically called, could persist even after discontinuation of the drug intake.
Most Second-Generation Antipsychotics are classified as prolactin-raising drugs. Prolactin are hormones that stimulate breast’s growth and milk production. With the high level of prolactin induced by Risperdal that is when gynecomastia develops.
Effects of Gynecomastia
Breast growth in males, though, not a threat to physical health may bring psychological and emotional damages. Boys, specifically, those who are still in school years are often the center of bullying. Various negative effects associated with breast enlargement could affect self-esteem, mental health and eating behavior.
Gynecomastia that last for more than a year may need surgery. Furthermore, the surgery could have complications such as prominent scarring, infection, anesthesia reaction, blood clots, nerve damage and breast shape irregularities.
As Risperdal and Invega are widely-prescribed Second-Generation Antipsychotics and even among the market’s bestsellers, it is to be expected that countless of boys out there are suffering from Risperdal-induced gynecomastia. The risks of this condition and the associated permanent damage are the reasons why there are hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits in state courts now.
Invega or Risperdal Gynecomastia Diagnosis and Treatment
A prospective gynecomastia patient will be asked by his doctor about his previous medical history including any hereditary condition. Physical examination to evaluate a patient’s genitals, abdomens and breast tissue will also be conducted. Procedures and diagnosis may include tissue biopsies, testicular ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, chest X-Rays, mammograms and blood tests.
Switching to a milder version of antipsychotic medication can be an option to treat gynecomastia; however, drug-induced breast enlargement may persist and at such case, surgery is the answer. For Risperdal gynecomastia that lasted for already more than a year, laser-assisted liposuction or mastectomy may be needed.