Risperidone or Risperdal is a widely prescribed medication to treat schizophrenia in adults and children, bipolar disorder in adults and adolescents and irritability associated with autism in pediatric patients. On the contrary, the drug has adverse effects which are even life threatening.
Gynecomastia is a common side effect of Risperidone in adolescent males which results in swelling of the breast tissue in males that is caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. The use of Risperidone may cause the development of male breast tissue. The condition can have a negative impact on the young men, their mental state and sense of self worth that could last throughout their lives. The sufferers are eligible for Risperidone lawsuit.
What is gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia is defined as the abnormal development of breast tissue in males. While it is troublesome in adults, it is particularly disturbing in juveniles and children. In addition to the physical changes, children are also often subjected to significant emotional and psychological trauma due to gynecomastia.
How does Risperidone cause gynecomastia?
Risperidone is an antipsychotic that block the activity of dopamine in certain areas of the brain that eventually affect the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is responsible for hormone production and regulation on many body systems. The dopamine blocking activity works to stimulate the pituitary gland causing multiple metabolic disruptions including the release of prolactin hormone.
Prolactin is responsible for stimulating breast tissue development and causing lactation in pregnant and nursing women. Prolactin is high in women, but very low in men, pre-pubescent girls, and women who are not pregnant or nursing.
If the pituitary gland is stimulated, prolactin level goes up causing breast development and even lactation. In worst cases, that are often a side effect of Risperidone, it can cause gynecomastia in adolescent males and even children as young as 4 years of age.
Worst cases of gynecomastia
Gynecomastia can occur in one or both breasts in an uneven fashion, and can even result in lactation. Gynecomastia is not just simple fat deposits, but the development of actual breast tissue. And it is a permanent change. That means the breast tissue doesn’t subside even if the drug is discontinued for use.