Invega, Risperdal Increase Gynecomastia Risk In Boys, Young Men: Study

The findings of a new study appear to confirm the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia, a condition that has been found to cause the development of breasts among boys and young men who use the atypical antipsychotic medication.

Dr. Mahyar Etminan, lead author and a pharmacoepidemiologist at the University of British Columbia, presented the findings of a new study on March 15 at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) meeting. The findings indicate that males using Risperdal have a significantly higher risk of developing unnatural breast growth, known as gynecomastia, when compared to those who did not use the drug.

The study looked at a large health claims database, which gave them access to data to tens of thousands of subjects. The findings have not yet been published.

Researchers found an increased risk of gynecomastia among users of the antipsychotics Risperdal and Invega. Those who took the drugs had a 69% increased risk of developing breasts, compared to non-users. When compared to individuals who used other atypical antipsychotics that are part of the same class, researchers found that the risk was still 41% higher than seen among users of Seroquel, and 40% higher than users of Zyprexa.

“The strength of this study was its large sample size that allowed us to quantify this rare adverse event,” Dr. Etminan said, concluding that doctors may want to prescribe Seroquel or Zyprexa to male patients instead of Risperdal or Invega.

Risperdal (risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic medication originally introduced for adults with schizophrenia. However, the medication has been widely used by children for bi-polar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression and behavior disorders.

In recent years, Johnson & Johnson has been facing an increasing number of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits, which allege that the drug maker failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community about the risk that boys and young men taking the medication could face an increased risk of gynecomastia diagnosis following Risperdal use.

Some complaints allege that boys developed breasts measuring as large as a 38D cup size, with many plaintiffs requiring breast removal surgery.

In addition to the physical damages, plaintiffs allege that the psychological effects of Risperdal breast growth can have a devastating impact on the boys, greatly impacting their overall quality of life.

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