Risperdal is a medication that helps to treat mental or mood disorders, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. The medication is said to help patients who are suffering from these disorders think more clearly and remain focused on their everyday activities.
It is referred to as an atypical antipsychotic because it can help the brain to gain balance. However, Risperdal is reportedly a far bigger problem than a problem solver. There are already more than 18,000 lawsuits related to the drug in the United States and Canada. More than 3,000 were filed in Philadelphia in the first half of 2017.
Risperdal Side Effects
The big issue with many medications, such as Risperdal, is the fact that they cause far too many side effects among patients to prove effective. And while some of the Risperdal side effects are temporary, others have more serious long term risks. For instance, Risperdal is said to cause dizziness, tiredness, drowsiness, fever, weight gain and headaches in some patients. These side effects are a problem, but they are something that can happen with almost any medication.
The major issue associated with Risperdal is the number of males who are beginning to experience gynecomastia. Although this condition is not particularly rare, there is suspiciously high number of individuals who have taken Risperdal and suffered gynecomastia.
Many of the patients who were recommended Risperdal by doctors and medical professionals were young boys. However, those young boys ended up developing gynecomastia, a condition where men can develop female breast tissue. According to the medication’s label, there is a very small chance of the condition manifesting itself among young boys and men who take Risperdal. However, the company that produces Risperdal vastly understated the risk. They initially listed the risk as being almost insignificant. Fast forward to thirteen years later in 2006, and they changed the risk on Risperdal labels to 2.3 percent, more than 20 times the initial number.
Side effects are common with medication, especially something that is treating such complex mental issues such as bipolar disorder. However, pharmaceutical companies do not have the right to deliberately or negligently mislabel their medications to indicate a lower level of risk. Had patients known there was a two or three percent chance of developing gynecomastia, there is a good chance many of them would have avoided taking the drug. Many of the young boys who took Risperdal and developed gynecomastia were confused, embarrassed and ashamed. They were mocked at school for their new appearance, and they did not know how to cope. This is not the first time that kids who take medications are bullied and victimized.
It is always dangerous to hope for a good settlement when there is a lawsuit against a major pharmaceutical company. However, patients who suffered because of Risperdal do have a good chance of gaining a substantial financial reward, if the settlements from the past few years are any indication. In 2016, a jury decided against the manufacturer and awarded a boy from Tennessee $70 million.
How to Get Help
If you or someone you know suffered gynecomastia because of Risperdal, it is not too late to act. By visiting sites like Drugwatcher, you can get all the necessary information about how to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of Risperdal. We understand that taking such a step is scary, but it appears other plaintiffs are having substantial success with their lawsuits. The website can help you determine whether you have a case related to Risperdal, along with providing introductory information about how to find the right attorney and file the mass tort lawsuit.
It is never too late to get justice. While pharmaceutical companies cannot be held accountable in criminal court, a civil lawsuit can hurt their reputation and bank balance in a substantial way – and provide welcome financial relief to sufferers.