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Risperdal gynecomastia can be costly

The number of mass tort Risperdal lawsuits filed at a Philadelphia-based trial court has exceeded 1,200. There is still time for a Risperdal victim to contact one of the Risperdal attorneys at Reich & Binstock for a free consultation and possibly for the filing of a Risperdal lawsuit in order to recover damages.

Plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits allege, among numerous claims, that they or their minor sons developed gynecomastia, which is the abnormal enlargement of male breast tissue, as a result of using the Janssen Pharmaceuticals antipsychotic medication.

The victims, according to the long-form complaint filed in 2010, seek "to recover, among other things, medical and other expenses related to treatment ... and special damages."

The medical costs are bad enough; nevertheless there is a psychological toll that must be taken into account in calculating compensation. And these emotional costs are scientifically verified, not invented for the purposes of litigation.

The following sources address gynecomastia generally, but there is other medical science suggesting that there is specifically a Risperdal gynecomastia link.

On the medical side, for some men and boys who are diagnosed with gynecomastia, drug approaches, such as strictly ceasing to take Risperdal, are not a solution. "Surgery to remove the enlarged breast tissue might be necessary when gynaecomastia does not resolve spontaneously or with medical therapy," according to an article that the November 2014 edition of the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology published.

A British oncologist also covered this peculiarity of gynecomastia treatment in his 1999 article that the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases published.

"Although there is a paucity of published literature evaluating medical treatment of gynaecomastia, a number of options have been investigated," Dr. C.J. Tyrrell wrote. "Prophylactic radiotherapy appears to be effective in the prevention of gynaecomastia induced by hormonal therapy in patients with prostate cancer; however, it is not as effective when used as a treatment for established gynaecomastia. Surgery is an option for severe or prolonged gynaecomastia, and the adoption of liposuction and other techniques may confer improved cosmetic results."

The average cost of gynecomastia surgery in 2013 was nearly $3,200, according to figures that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons provided. Health insurance usually does not cover the procedure because it is considered cosmetic in nature.

As we established at the outset, gynecomastia has a proven psychological impact as well as a monetary cost and a physical toll.

The April 2013 edition of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, was one publication that addressed this fact.

Member Surgeon Dr. Brian I. Labow and his colleagues at Boston Children's Hospital reported the results of their study in that edition.

"The researchers administered a series of psychological tests to 47 healthy boys, average age 16.5 years, being evaluated for gynecomastia," an April 2013 statement from the publication's editors explained. "The results were compared to those of a group of boys without breast enlargement."

How did it turn out? "Patients with gynecomastia had lower scores on a standard quality of life assessment, indicating problems in several areas. Even after adjustment for weight and body mass index, the patients had lower scores for general health, social functioning and mental health."

Hence, "Merely having gynecomastia was sufficient to cause significant deficits in general health, social functioning, mental health, self-esteem, and eating behaviors and attitudes compared with controls," Labow and coauthors wrote, adding that "early intervention and treatment for gynecomastia may be necessary to improve the negative physical and emotional symptoms."

Here is additional expert insight. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Merle Yost, a specialist in gynecomastia treatment and the creator of the online resource Gynecomastia.org, explained how the condition is so demeaning that its youngest sufferers tend to conceal their pain.

"Unfortunately for most, gynecomastia is an unknown condition and parents may be alarmed or dismissing or even humiliating," Yost wrote for the comprehensive website. "Fathers and sometimes mothers can reject a son that somehow does not match their internalized picture of what a boy/man should be or look like. Because of this feared rejection many boys will suffer in silence. They will retreat from family, friends, social and athletic activities out of a fear of being discovered they are somehow less of a man. At the very time it would be useful to reach out for support from trusted people, it does not happen and this can begin a life long pattern of social isolation and distrust."

Gynecomastia victims endure considerable suffering. Sufferers who used Risperdal may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses. The law firm of Reich & Binstock, which has been taking on pharmaceutical companies for more than 30 years, fights hard for these victims and welcomes those not represented by counsel to come forward to receive a free consultation. Contact Reich & Binstock either by calling the toll-free number below or by submitting an electronic message through its website.

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