In an old post, I told you that we are seeing more and more legal claims alleging Risperdal and Invega are causing young men to grow breasts. The findings of a recent study appear to confirm just that. Findings were presented at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) meeting this month that indicate that males using Risperdal have a significantly higher risk of developing unnatural breast growth, known as gynecomastia, as compared to those who have not taken the drug.
Dr. Mahyar, a pharmacoepidemiologist at the University of British Columbia presented the recent findings, and stated that, “The strength of this study was its large sample size that allowed us to quantify this rare adverse event.” He concluded that doctors may want to prescribe Seroquel or Zyprexa to male patients instead of Risperdal or Invega.
Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic medication that was originally introduced for adults with schizophrenia. But, Risperdal has been widely used by children for bi-polar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression, and behavior disorders. Risperdal increases the level of prolactin in young men who use the drug. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates breast growth. Researchers found a 69% increased risk of gynecomastia among users of Risperdal and Invega. When compared to individuals who used other atypical antipsychotics that are part of the same class, the risk was still 41% higher than Seroquel users, and 40% higher than Zyprexa users.
In addition to the obvious physical damages, plaintiffs have alleged the psychological effects of Risperdal breast growth can have a devastating impact on the boys’ overall quality of life. Many plaintiffs have required breast removal surgery, with some that have developed breasts measuring as large as a 38D cup size.
This is not the first time that these medications have been under fire, and linked to potential lawsuits. A number of studies have found that children who take antipsychotic and/or second-generation antipsychotic drugs (Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Abilify) have an increased risk of developing type II diabetes. Continue reading