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The atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal has been known to cause gynecomastia in males. If you, or a loved one, have suffered from breast growth due to the use of Risperdal, you may be entitled to compensation. Fill out the form on this page, or call 1-800-917-4000 to schedule your free initial consultation with an attorney from the .

Psychosis has long been known to be a problem, however, only in the past half century or so has it been understood. Prior to 1951, when the first antipsychotic drug was developed, many mental illnesses were thought to be the act of demons, or the patient was just said to be mad. Various methods were used to “calm the mind” such as sending the patient to church, seclusion, electro-shock therapy, or lobotomies. While some of the methods worked, many left the patient debilitated and with little brain function. The antipsychotic drug industry has changed all of that.

First Generation and Second Generation Antipsychotics

Chlorpromazine was developed in the early 1950’s and is hailed as the first typical (first generation) antipsychotic drug. While the science behind the drug was not fully understood at the time, it was found to calm patients that suffered from mental illness. Drugs that work to block the receptors of dopamine in the brain, such as chlorpromazine, are called typical, or first generation, antipsychotics. In 1971 a new drug came to the market. Clozapine worked in the brain to block both the dopamine and the serotonin receptors, helping to alleviate some of the symptoms suffered by those with schizophrenia. Clozapine only lasted 4 years on the market before it was pulled due to serious side effects, but it paved the way for other atypical antipsychotics.


For more than 20 years after Clozapine was developed, there were no atypical antipsychotics readily available. But when Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, developed Risperdal in 1993, that all changed. Their version of the drug risperidone revolutionized the way schizophrenia was treated.

When the FDA approved Risperdal, they only approved it for the treatment of Schizophrenia in adults. However, this did not stop some doctors from going off-label and prescribing it for other mental illnesses as well. For its first 10 years on the market Risperdal was extremely profitable for Johnson & Johnson even though it was only approved for treating one illness. As the FDA approved it for others, its popularity increased.

In 2003 those suffering from bipolar disorder had a new drug that they could take. 2006 brought about the approval for the drug to treat irritability in autistic children. After Risperdal had been on the market for 14 years, it finally saw the approval to treat schizophrenia in juveniles ages 10 – 17.

Risperdal Use

Risperdal took off in popularity in part because it was basically the only atypical antipsychotic on the market, but also because it was highly effective. In just the first three years on the market there were over 1 million prescriptions. Since then, millions more who suffer from mental illness have used this drug. That popularity has brought billions of dollars to Janssen Pharmaceutical and Johnson & Johnson. In fact, at its peak year, 2007, the drug had $4.5 billion in sales. The cost, unfortunately, was some serious side effects on the patient.

Risperdal Side Effects

Male youths who took Risperdal are at a high risk of gynecomastia. This condition, the growing of breasts, can lead to severe emotional and physical scars. As the youth will take the drug, the levels of prolactin builds in their system. Prolactin, a hormone found in nursing mothers, causes breasts to grow in the young man and in some cases start the lactation process. While gynecomastia is the most common of the severe side effects, there are a number of others that patients must be aware of. They include: diabetes, heart problems, weight gain, bone loss, and many more.

Contact Phillips Dayes

If you, or a loved one, have suffered from any of the severe side effects as the result of taking Risperdal, contact an attorney from the immediately; you may be entitled to compensation. Simply fill out the contact form on this page, or call 1-800-917-4000.

Attorneys with the can work with clients who reside in all 50 states.

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