The number of Australian men suffering from gynecomastia, or male breast tissue growth, increased more than 20% in 2014. Additionally, the number of men undergoing medical procedures to remove the tissue has increased 41% over the past 10 years, and include patients as young as 15.
Gynecomastia is a condition in which increased levels of a hormone known as prolactin lead to unwanted breast tissue growth in males. As many as 40% of gynecomastia cases can be traced to medications, including the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
Hundreds of young boys and male adolescents have suffered from gynecomastia after being prescribed the drug Risperdal to treat symptoms of bipolar disorder and ADHD, among other conditions. Patients have begun filing Risperdal lawsuits against manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals alleging that the company failed to warn doctors and patients of the risk of Risperdal gynecomastia.