Meyerson & O'Neill Attorneys at Law

Risperdal and Adverse Side Effects

After paying $2.2 billion to settle criminal charges regarding the illegal marketing of the drug Risperdal, Johnson & Johnson is now facing substantial civil liability from patients who took the drug and suffered serious side effects such as the development of breasts in young males (gynecomastia). The civil claims that have achieved the best verdicts and settlements are brought on behalf of young men who took Risperdal when they were a minor.

Risperdal is an anti-psychotic medication that is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism. However, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, aggressively marketed the drug for unapproved uses such as the treatment of anxiety, aggression, depression, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Additionally, Johnson & Johnson engaged its sales force to encourage child psychiatrists to prescribe the drug to children, even though it lacked data demonstrating that the drug was safe for pediatric use, and paid pharmacies to substitute patients’ drugs with Risperdal.

This illegal marketing campaign was particularly dangerous given that Johnson & Johnson simultaneously concealed important safety information about the side effects of Risperdal. Data from several studies indicated that Risperdal presented an increased risk of a condition called gynecomastia, in which young males develop breast tissue as a result of production of the hormone prolactin. Johnson & Johnson concealed these test results from the FDA, doctors and patients. Individuals experiencing gynecomastia suffer profound psychological trauma and sometimes require surgical intervention to remove excessive breast tissue.

In the first filed lawsuit alleging that Risperdal caused the plaintiff’s gynecomastia, Johnson & Johnson settled with the plaintiff on the first day of trial for an undisclosed amount. Since then, several cases have gone to trial and juries have awarded millions of dollars to young men who developed gynecomastia as a result of taking Risperdal.

If you or a loved one are a male who was prescribed Risperdal and subsequently developed gynecomastia, please contact one of our experienced Risperdal litigation attorneys for a free and confidential consultation at 215-972-1376, ext. 107.
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