Gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, could develop in as few as 60 days after a patient begins taking the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology. Risperdal was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993 to treat schizophrenia and has since been used to treat symptoms of ADD in youth.
According to the research, young boys and male adolescents are at an increased risk of developing breast tissue in as few as 60 days after taking Risperdal. The drug increases levels of a body hormone called as prolactin, and prolactin levels can stay elevated in the body for an indefinite period of time after using Risperdal.
Multiple Risperdal lawsuits have been filed against manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals alleging that it knew of the risks of male breast growth associated with Risperdal, but failed to warn doctors and patients. The company’s parent corporation, Johnson & Johnson, recently paid $2.2 billion to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company illegally promoted the drug for unapproved uses.