Understanding the Link Between Risperdal and Hyperprolactinemia

Published on July 16, 2015 by

The consequences of hyperprolactinemia and gynecomastia are clearly serious, especially for young men. But does Risperdal really cause this condition to occur?

According to recent findings, Risperdal can, in fact, raise levels of prolactin for some men. Some of the case reports, as well as research studies, that support this phenomenon are detailed below.

Case Report: Gynecomastia in Geriatric Male

This 2005 case study comes from the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences. A letter to the editor entitled "Unilateral gynecomastia induced by Risperidone in a geriatric male patient." was submitted by Dr. DN Mendhekar in order to draw attention to the experience of a 60-year-old male patient who had taken Risperidone. Within six weeks of exposure to the drug, the man developed a firm, non-tender growth on his left breast. His prolactin levels were also found to be elevated at the time of the exam.

The patient discontinued Risperidone treatment and experienced a significant drop in prolactin level within three weeks of stopping the medication. His gynecomastia also resolved after four weeks. According to the author of the letter, "The appearance of gynecomastia was associated with hyperprolactinemia, and gynecomastia disappeared with the return of circulatory prolactin to normal levels, following withdrawal of Risperidone. The adverse drug reaction probability score, based on Naranjo’s algorithm, was 9 for this case, denoting a definite adverse reaction due to Risperidone."

Research Study: Drug-Induced Gynecomastia

A key research study demonstrating the relationship between Risperdal and gynecomastia was published in Expert Opinion Drug Safety in 2012. This study, which was entitled "Drug-induced gynecomastia: an evidence-based review," estimated that drugs were responsible for between 10 and 25 percent of gynecomastia cases. After thoroughly reviewing the reports and studies currently available on this topic, the authors concluded that "Medications probably associated with gynecomastia include Risperidone." The study also identified several other medications that are likely to cause this condition.

Case Report: Mr. R.

A research paper published in 2000 in Psychiatric Services, Volume 51, No. 8 discussed the case of Mr. R, a man suffering from bipolar disorder at the age of 38. The title of this paper was "Gynecomastia with Risperidone Fluoxetine combination."

According to the authors, Mr. R. was prescribed Risperidone to treat hyper sexuality, paranoid thinking and irritability. After only 12 days of treatment, Mr. R began complaining of discharge from his breasts. Doctors performed an exam and found that both of his breasts had grown and were producing a white discharge. They also found his prolactin levels to be elevated.

Risperidone was discontinued, and Mr. R.'s prolactin levels returned to normal within 10 days. Within 23 days of discontinuing the medication, the patient's breasts had decreased in size and were no longer producing a discharge.

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.