For young boys and men prescribed Risperdal for mood disorders, the reality of dishonest advertising and shading corporate practices has led to dramatic physical and emotional damage. As a result, there have been over 5,000 lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturer of this harmful medication, demanding justice for victims.
If you or someone you know has taken Risperdal and suffered adverse side effects, you could be eligible for compensation. Keep reading to learn more about the history of Risperdal and the legal claims surrounding this medication.
History of Risperdal Use for Mood Disorders
Risperdal, which goes by the generic name of risperidone, was introduced to the market in 1993 as an atypical antipsychotic used to treat mood and mental disorders. The initial release was intended to treat schizophrenia in adolescents and adults, and it worked well for that purpose.
In 2007, the FDA approved using Risperdal to treat bipolar disorder and mood challenges related to autism. However, Risperdal was also extremely effective at calming otherwise untreatable conditions that made it hard for people to work or go to school. As such, it was common practice among physicians to prescribe Risperdal for “off label” conditions like ADHD and mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Johnson and Johnson practiced aggressive marketing techniques with Risperdal by targeting young men and boys without mention of any side effects after it was approved to treat bipolar disorder. They also provided financial kickbacks as incentives to doctors who prescribed Risperdal to patients.
Misleading Risperdal Marketing
Despite being marketed as extremely effective at treating these conditions, Risperdal was not approved to treat “off label” conditions in children. Its black box warning — the strongest warning the FDA can assign a prescription drug — failed to list all the symptoms associated with long-term Risperdal use.
The most disturbing symptoms were intentionally covered up and not made known to the doctors or patients to which they were prescribing the medication. The most striking side effects included tardive dyskinesia, which is characterized by stiff, jerky, uncontrollable movements and gynecomastia — the breast tissue growth in males.
Dangerous Risperdal Side Effects
The striking effectiveness of Risperdal led to thousands of boys and young men receiving prescriptions for Risperdal before the FDA had approved its use among children. This widespread use often led to breast growth in male children as young as five years old. In addition to breast growth, some men experienced lactation due to a spike in prolactin (a hormone present in nursing mothers) caused by Risperdal.
Once breast tissue developed, the condition was irreversible. The only way to correct the growth was by surgery. Unfortunately, surgery does not resolve the lasting emotional trauma, and many young men and boys are still dealing with the effects of the drug years later.
A History of Risperdal Lawsuits
In November of 2013, Johnson and Johnson resolved investigations into their marketing practices by issuing payouts totaling $2.2 million. Many of these payments were made to young men and boys who developed gynecomastia after being prescribed Risperdal for both on– and off–label conditions. While $2.2 million seems like a lot, this amount pales in comparison to the roughly $30 million in profits Johnson and Johnson made during the years of immoral and illegal Risperdal sales and marketing.
If You Suffered Because of Risperdal, You Have Options
If you or someone you love was prescribed Risperdal, you could be eligible for compensation if you:
- Were misled or not fully aware of the side-effects, including gynecomastia
- Were prescribed Risperdal for an off-label condition
- Suffered side-effects that outweighed the benefits of the medication, such as breast development
- Are currently taking Risperdal and are suspicious about the side-effects you’re experiencing
If you’re unsure about your experience taking Risperdal as a child or adolescent, consulting a lawyer is the best way to make sure you are getting the recompence you deserve. It’s clear from the outcome of the Johnson and Johnson trials that profits are their priority, not the consumer. So, even if you’re unsure about what happened to you or you were a minor when you took Risperdal, don’t let that stop you from contacting a lawyer today to learn more.
Atkins & Markoff: Getting Justice for Risperdal Victims in Oklahoma
Atkins & Markoff has a proven track record of representing those harmed by doctors’ negligence and big pharma’s greed. If you are suspicious about your Risperdal use and any side-effects you’ve experienced, please contact us immediately. We’ll evaluate your case for free and discuss your potential legal options with you.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.