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Risperdal potentially damaging to male youth

The Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology in its December 2012 issue revealed a study that examined males ages 10-20 who were taking the Johnson & Johnson antipsychotic Risperdal (risperidone) and those of the same ages who took no antipsychotic. Researchers discovered that hyperprolactinemia, or excess prolactin, "is a common side effect in young males treated over the long term with risperidone."

Why is too much prolactin an issue in males? As the American Society for Reproductive Medicine wrote in 2007, "prolactin plays a role in the growth and development of your breasts [and] its primary function is in milk production after a child is born."

So what should happen to Johnson & Johnson for marketing Risperdal to youth prior to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's limited approval of the drug for adolescent use - especially when J&J allegedly knew the risks to young males?

Hundreds of Risperdal lawsuits suggest that sitting on the sideline and quietly accepting such hideous injury is not a viable option for a lot of damaged patients.

The product liability attorneys at Reich & Binstock have represented victims of bad drugs for 30 years and have developed a proven track record in fighting for the rights of pharmaceutical injury patients. The Risperdal attorneys at Reich & Binstock would be a tremendous collective asset to a young victim's claim for compensation.

The cat has been out of the bag about what Johnson & Johnson's Janssen Pharmaceuticals knew and when it knew it. The U.S. Attorney General's office blew the lid off of that last year when it announced Nov. 4 that under a plea agreement J&J would pay $2.2 billion in criminal and civil penalties arising from its marketing practices with respect to Risperdal and two other J&J drugs.

The government's complaint alleged that J&J marketed Risperdal to children from 1999 through 2005. The FDA, which originally approved Risperdal in 1993, had not cleared the drug for use in adolescents until 2007, according to FDA documents.

Plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits may allege that the drug was inappropriately marketed to male adolescents and that the drug lacked warnings about the risk of abnormal breast development, or gynecomastia, in young males who would use the drug. The FDA approved Risperdal for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute manic or mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I, and irritability associated with autistic disorder.

Risperdal's risks are serious. The alleged conduct of J&J is reprehensible. The whole episode is appalling. Any such victim can count on the experienced attorneys at Reich & Binstock to put up a good fight on their behalf.

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