Gynecomastia: An Overview

Gynecomastia is a medical condition in which adolescent boys, or men develop male breasts, due to the swelling of breast tissue on one or both sides of the chest. It can be very painful, but is not necessarily medically dangerous on its own.

Rather, the problems with gynecomastia are that the person may feel embarrassed about the physical changes they have experienced, and this can even potentially cause psychological trauma.

For example: Imagine a young adolescent boy who has recently developed male breasts as a side effect of taking Risperdal. This young man may feel uncomfortable in certain situations, say a friend’s pool party. Perhaps he is so embarassed he decides not to go after all.

Gynecomastia is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Often occurring in adolescents, it is typically due to abnormally high blood levels of estrogen rather than testosterone.

Treatment for gynecomastia includes hormone therapy, or surgery.

What is Risperdal Gynecomastia?

Risperdal gynecomastia happens when boys or men who are taking this medication develop male breasts.

In the case of Risperdal, males experience elevated levels of prolactin, a hormone that usually stimulates breast milk production in pregnant women and new mothers. This increased level of prolactin can last for up to two years after taking Risperdal.

Risperdal is a psychiatric medication manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of the large corporation Johnson and Johnson. Janssen is Johnson and Johnson’s pharmaceutical division. Risperdal is now approved to help manage schizophrenia, manic episodes in bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism spectrum disorders in children.

Part of the complaint against Janssen in the Risperdal lawsuits is that Janseen marketed the drug for off-label uses. This means that the company marketed the drug for unapproved uses, such as ADHD treatment.

For safety, the law establishes that a drug can only be marketed for purposes approved by the FDA.

Another common component of the Risperdal lawsuit claim is that the young adolescent men and adult men who took Risperdal were not warned of the possibility of developing male breasts.

If you have or had Risperdal gynecomastia, then you may have suffered from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain, tenderness or discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Nipple discharge

These symptoms may occur on only one, or both breasts and may also happen unevenly.

The Science is in:

Risperdal causes Gynecomastia

There have been several scientific studies investigating the Risperdal gynecomastia connection. These are studies that have been published independent of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, through respectable medical institutions and journals.

The first time Risperdal was linked to gynecomastia in a formal scientific setting was a case study published by Pharmacopsychiatry (a medical jouurnal) all the way back in 1999.

The prolific researcher, Benazzi, followed a case in which a patient developed gynecomastia while taking a combination of Risperdal and Prozac. This study was the first of its kind, although more would follow.

In 2006, an article studying the effects of Risperdone (the active ingredient in Risperdal) on blood levels of prolactin was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Prolactin is the hormone responsible for the growth of breasts in Risperdal gynecomastia.

The study was conducted by Holzer and Eap, and they found that prolactin levels in young male children and adolescents were significantly increased when taking Risperdal for antipsychotic medication. They followed 10 children taking Risperdone. The group was a mixture of boys and girls, yet still 3 of the boys developed gynecomastia from the medication.

“Risperidone [the active ingredient in Risperdal] administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia…” – Holzer and Eap, 2006 Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

A study published in the 2009 Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology showed that the significantly increased levels of prolactin can stay high in an adolescent for up to two years. They also found that of the children they studied, 4.8% of them showed sexual side effects because of the elevated prolactin, such as gynecomastia.

The Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit

These studies and more have established a clear relationship between Risperdal and gynecomastia, as well as the fact that Risperdal increases prolactin hormone levels.

The science backs up the claims people are making in the Risperdal lawsuit, which is good news for plaintiffs who have suffered from Risperdal gynecomastia. These, and other affirmative studies will help win the Risperdal lawsuit against Janssen.

A court cannot ignore the facts. These are facts that were not presented by Janssen Pharmaceuticals themselves, but rather independent scientific institutions.

The number of cases of gynecomastia in these studies is shocking, and leaves us wondering: Why didn’t Janssen Pharmaceuticals notice this shocking and serious side effect during their own pre-market clinical trials?

Or did they notice and chose to keep it a secret?

We may never know what really happened behind the closed doors at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, but we can certainly see the result: hundreds of Risperdal side effect injuries.

Those affected are taking a stand and filing a claim in the Risperdal lawsuit. If you have been affected by this condition and took Risperdal, we can help evaluate your situation and see if there is cause to move forward with a Risperdal lawsuit at no cost to you.

We work with some of the best personal injury claims attorneys available. Hiring an experienced Risperdal lawyer is the most important step in the Risperdal lawsuit process.

Risperdal gynecomastia often requires expensive and painful surgery to correct. The way we see it, it is Janssen’s responsibility to clean up the mess they have created with Risperdal gynecomastia. If you have been affected by this condition then you may be entitled to compensation in the form of a Risperdal settlement.

Click here to learn more about the upcoming Risperdal settlement.

Contact us today to inquire about your own Risperdal claim. We offer free case evaluations, and will represent you tenaciously to help you collect the money you deserve. Start your claim by simply filling out the brief online claims form on the side of this page, or calling the toll-free number below.

Risperdal Lawsuit Help Line


Here at Band Gates & Dramis we are here to serve. Call us if you have any questions; we are happy to help.