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Risperdal Subject of Numerous Lawsuits Alleging the Drug Caused Patients Gynecomastia

Filed July 11th, 2013 Laurie

Risperdal, a popular antipsychotic drug made by the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., is known to cause a number of health problems in patients, including gynecomastia — male breast development.

One attorney is fighting to make J&J allow patients who file a complaint alleging that Risperdal harmed them to release information provided by the drug maker during the discovery phase of their lawsuits. The company convinced a federal judge to seal some of J&J’s data, however, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) appears to be in no hurry to address the matter. Arkansas’ attorney general recently filed a brief backed by peers in 35 other states to make the Arkansas Supreme Court uphold a $1.2 billion fine it had imposed on Janssen over its marketing of the drug, Philly.com reported.

Several studies have linked gynecomastia to the use of Risperdal, and J&J recently settled the first of over 100 Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits. The drug, which is used to treat psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, has been found to cause abnormally high levels of prolactin. Increased levels of prolactin can lead to gynecomastia in men.

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