Pharmaceutical manufacturer Johnson & Johnson began selling the atypical antipsychotic Risperdal in 2003 to treat mental illness. Specifically, the drug was marketed toward children with mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not yet approved the drug for use in children. As it turned out, Risperdal had dangerous side effects in many children.
Specifically, Risperdal increases the risks of the following conditions:
- Gynecomastia – This condition causes young boys to develop enlarged breast tissue, especially in adolescent males. This breast development can lead to emotional issues, medical complications, and the need for breast removal surgery in many Risperdal users.
- Movement disorders – Using Risperdal can cause involuntary and often painful movements in the muscles and can also lead to a user making uncontrollable sounds.
- Diabetes – Risperdal has been linked to increased blood sugar levels and the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Heart problems – Risperdal—like all antipsychotic medications—increase the risk of heart attack and death in users.
Legal cases stemming from use of Risperdal
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and many state consumer protection agencies have filed claims against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson in regard to the unlawful marketing of Risperdal to children, claiming the following and more:
- Johnson & Johnson specifically marketed the drug for unapproved uses.
- The company purposefully concealed dangerous side effects including gynecomastia.
- The company gave money and other incentives to physicians in return for prescribing Risperdal to adolescents and children.
Johnson & Johnson had already paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement claims to individuals who suffered unnecessary injury due to Risperdal. More claims are expected to be pursued by injured parties and their families.
If you or your child suffered injury due to gynecomastia or other Risperdal-related side effects, you should discuss your rights with a Michigan Risperdal lawyer as soon as possible. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at (888) 454-0801 for a free consultation today.