Risperdal, also known as Risperidone, a powerful anti-psychotic drug used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism, has come under fire lately due to allegations that the medications causes gynecomastia, a condition that causes breast growth in males. The condition is said to be caused by Risperdal’s stimulation of prolactin, a hormone found in nursing or pregnant women, which causes the enlargement or development of breast tissue. A series of lawsuits have forced the manufacturing company, Johnson & Johnson to pay billions of dollars in fines for misconduct and off-label promotion, as well as millions of dollars in reparations to victims. The federal government ordered the company to pay $2.2 billion in fines, because it advertised the drug for uses not approved by the FDA, deliberately marketing it towards children and adolescents, a very lucrative target group, despite the FDA’s rejection that the drug be deemed safe for use in this age group. Although the fine does not include reparations for those affected, several lawsuits have awarded victims in the amounts of $2.5 million, $1.75 million, and $500,000. Johnson & Johnson is reportedly facing up to 2,000 lawsuits that claim the pharmaceutical company intentionally hid information concerning the potential side effects from patients and medical professionals. Other than gynecomastia, victims claim that the drug can potentially pose a serious risk of stroke, cardiac arrest, diabetes, and sudden death, especially among elderly patients. One lawsuit alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew about potential side effects as early as 1997, stating, “Despite this clinical information, it was several years before Janssen updated the Risperdal label to accurately reflect the frequency and severity of the risk of hyperprolactinemia, weight gain and diabetes, or stroke, cardiac arrest, and sudden death in the elderly.” Risperdal has also been linked to other symptoms including restlessness, inability to move, abnormal movement (face, shoulders, arms, legs), stiffening of the tongue, and Parkinson’s-like tremors. Risperdal is estimated to have made Johnson & Johnson about $40 billion in revenues. In combination with its sister-drug, Invega, the company draws in about $3 billion per year from the two medications.
If you or a loved one have experienced severe injury or wrongful death due to powerful drugs like Risperdal, the lawyers at Hodes Milman Liebeck are there for you in your time of need. Contact us today online at hmlm.com or call 866-730-1976 for a complimentary case evaluation.