While Johnson & Johnson is facing nearly 200 lawsuits alleging that use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal causes gynecomastia and other complications in male users, researchers from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver Canada have released the details of a new study that links the antipsychotic drug with an increased risk of gynecomastia in older men.
According to lead researcher and UBC epidemiologist, Dr. Mahyar Etiminan, the study was the “first and largest epidemiologic study on this question using data from 1 million men in the United States.” He told Medscape Medical News, that the researchers wanted “to see if there was actually a risk with Risperdal that is over and beyond the other antipsychotics. We do know that these drugs in general can cause gynecomastia because of the way they change the hormones in the body. But we weren’t really sure whether Risperdal does it more than the others.”
The results of the study, which were first made public at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) conference in Orlando, Florida on March 15, were that the rate ratio for gynecomastia was 1.69 for former and current users of Risperdal, which, according to Medscape equates to a 69 percent increased risk for developing gynecomastia. The study also found that Risperdal users have a higher risk of developing the condition than users of similar medications such as quetiapine or olanzapine.
While Dr. Etiminan warns that more studies need to be conducted, he said, “If everything is the same in terms of efficacy in these antipsychotics, especially for younger men who may have more problems with this psychologically, then I think it may be better to choose something other than risperidone.” He continued, “If you want to put it in perspective, there are millions of prescriptions of Risperdal prescribed. But everything else being equal, then why not prescribe something else if there is a risk for gynecomastia?”
Risperdal Makers Facing Hundreds of Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals is currently facing hundreds of lawsuits filed in the U.S. and Canada alleging that Risperdal side effects can include not only gynecomastia, but also other issues like diabetes, weight gain, and sexual function disorders, and that the drug maker concealed side effects like these from the public and medical health arena.
In 2013, J&J settled criminal and civil probes into improper promotions of Risperdal, Invega, and Natrecor for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The settlement included $485 million in criminal fines and forfeiture, and $1.72 billion to be paid to the U.S. Department of Justice and states. This settlement is one of the largest global resolutions of health care fraud in the history of the United States.
Considering a Risperdal Lawsuit? File a Claim Today
Men and boys who have developed male breast tissue because of the use of Risperdal may be eligible to file a Risperdal lawsuit. Bernstein Liebhard LLP offers free case reviews. Call us now at (855) 511-1001.