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J&J settles Pennsylvania lawsuit claiming Risperdal caused male breast growth

Filed September 13th, 2012 Joshua Sophy

Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a settlement with a Pennsylvania man claiming that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused him to grow breasts.

According to a report, the man was about to take the stand to testify on the record that after he began taking Risperdal, he grew breasts. Instead of hearing the testimony, the pharmaceutical giant agreed to settle the lawsuit without it going any further in court.

Aaron Banks, 21, said he took Risperdal between 1999 and 2004 – when he was a child – for undisclosed reasons. As he developed and got older, Banks realized that he was growing breasts, causing him to suffer psychological trauma. An attorney representing Banks told Forbes that he has about 120 more cases in which men and boys claim they grew breasts while taking Risperdal. He told reporters that some clients had developed large breasts, “some as large as D cups,” according to his statement following the announcement of the settlement.

J&J is facing numerous legal matters over its marketing of Risperdal, a top-selling antipsychotic drug which had sales boosted through the company’s illegal promotion of the drug. For instance, Risperdal is not approved for treatment of children but Banks and others have been prescribed the drug, likely because their physician was swayed into doing so by a representative of the drug company.

The lawsuits claim J&J has failed to warn about the dangers of gynocomastia, the condition in which men grow breasts due to abnormal production of prolacting, a hormone which prompts the growth of mammary glands. The lawsuits allege the pharmaceutical company has known of this risk but failed to warn the public of it.

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