Risperdal 101: The Gynecomastia Epidemic

Published on June 24, 2015 by

After it was released into the market, evidence of the dangers of Risperdal emerged. Even though it was an SGA, studies found that it too caused side effects that were just as serious as the effects of its predecessors: the FGAs. In fact, perhaps the most notable side effect of Risperdal usage is hyperprolactinemia, one of the same side effects experienced by patients taking FGAs.

Understanding Hyperprolactinemia

Before you can understand hyperprolactinemia, you must first understand the function of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland.

WebMD explains the function of prolactin as follows:

"Though prolactin plays a role in the growth and development of your breasts, its primary function is in milk production after a child is born. Normally, it is present in small amounts throughout your bloodstream (and in men's), kept under control by another hormone called a prolactin inhibiting factor (dopamine)." (From WebMD, sourced 4/28/15)

All people have a certain amount of prolactin in their bodies, and these levels fluctuate throughout the day. Levels are highest during times of emotional or physical stress, during sleep and immediately after waking. Prolactin levels also become elevated naturally during pregnancy and after childbirth in order to stimulate breast growth and milk production. Once the mother stops breastfeeding, or if breastfeeding continues for an extended period of time, prolactin levels gradually return to normal.

Long-Term Effects of Hyperprolactinemia

Although prolactin provides an essential function in the body, having too much of it can cause serious side effects.

Hyperprolactinemia is a condition which occurs when the body of a man or non-pregnant woman begins producing increased amounts of the hormone prolactin for an unnatural reason. This may occur because of certain medical conditions, such as a pituitary gland tumor, or it may be a side effect of a medication like Risperdal.

Over time, hyperprolactinemia can cause medical problems for both men and women. In men, hyperprolactinemia can also lead to a problem known as gynecomastia, which is the subject of many of the legal actions currently pending against Risperdal's manufacturers. We will discuss this topic in our next blog.

If you believe that you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of gynecomastia after using Risperdal and are interested in pursuing legal action as a result, contact the team here at Marc Whitehead & Associates, LLP by calling 855-423-3666. We will be happy to review your case and explain your options.

For more information regarding the harm of Risperdal, download a free copy of our e-book, Risperdal: The Shocking Truth-Marketing Fraud Adds Up to Billion$ While Boys & Young Men are Irreparably Harmed. Be sure to check back each week for more updated information on the legal battle against the manufacturers of Risperdal.