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The atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal has been known to cause gynecomastia. If you, or someone you love, has taken this drug and subsequently developed breasts, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an attorney from Phillips Dayes by filling out the contact form on this page, or by calling for your free initial consultation.

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic drug that found FDA approval in 1993. The drug was developed to help those who suffer from schizophrenia by blocking the receptors for both dopamine and serotonin (as opposed to the alternative, chlorpromazine, which would just block the dopamine receptors). While Janssen Pharmaceuticals seemed to have hit on the most important discovery since the 1950’s, within a few years studies started to show up that the drug was not as safe as it was once believed. While all drugs come with side effects, some that come with the prolonged use of Risperdal are very serious. One of those serious side effects is gynecomastia.

What is Gynecomastia?

Simply put, gynecomastia is the development of breasts in males. However, there is much more to this disorder than simply the enlargement of breast tissue.

As young men go through adolescence, their bodies will change, and many of them go through a period of gynecomastia naturally. However, it generally does not last long, and the changes are minute if even noticeable at all. However, when a patient is taking Risperdal, and his body is going through this change at the same time, the results are much different.

The drug Risperdal blocks dopamine and serotonin receptors; subsequently the body will release an abundance of the hormone prolactin. Prolactin works with the body to stimulate breast development and milk production, and is naturally found in abundance in adolescent females who are developing their breasts, and in young mothers who are nursing. When it is found in a teenage boy, however, the result is often weight gain and gynecomastia.

The disorder starts relatively benign. Slight swelling accompanied by weight gain is normal in many teens. However, those who are suffering from gynecomastia will notice an enlargement and some pain in the breasts. Left untreated the breasts can become large, and be accompanied by a milky discharge. The physical effects must be treated with surgery to remove the breasts; the psychological effects from shaming, shunning, and teasing could last the rest of the young man’s life.

The first study showing that there was a link between Risperdal and gynecomastia was published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The study looked at the effects of taking Risperdal and Prozac, and determined that an elevated level of prolactin was common. In 2005, the New England Journal of Medicine came to the same conclusion: taking Risperdal may lead to gynecomastia. Other studies have proven the same point, some indicating that the breast growth may continue long after use of the drug has stopped.

Contact Phillips Dayes

While treating the symptoms of schizophrenia is important, taking the drug Risperdal may lead to even more negative consequences. If you, or a loved one, have suffered from gynecomastia due to using this drug, contact an attorney from the right away for your free initial consultation. You may be eligible for compensation.

Lawyers from Phillips Dayes are able to represent clients from all 50 states.

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