Risperidal causing man boobs

By Potter · May 27, 2009 · ·
  1. Potter
    A drug used to treat ADHD children is causing concern in the United States.

    It is called Risperdal and it is supposed to be used primarily for adults with sever psychological problems.

    But last year it was prescribed more than 6.5 million times.

    The side effects include young males developing female sex organs.

    Nineteen-year-old John was just seven when he began taking Risperdal for ADD.

    Even though the FDA approved the drug only for adult patients who were psychotic, John's doctor and others widely prescribed it to kids for less severe behaviour problems.

    Once taking Risperdal, John's mum says he became aggressive, sleepy, and developed bowel problems. But the biggest shock came when he was 14 and started developing women's breasts.

    “He asked me if he was a girl,” she says.

    It turns out Risperdal can increase production of a hormone called prolactin, which stimulates breast growth. It is called gynecomastia – and it is irreversible.

    Risperdal and other so-called "atypical anti-psychotics" have exploded in use.

    Hundreds of thousands of kids have been prescribed Risperdal in the 14 years it has been on sale - long before the FDA approved it for very limited pediatric use in 2006.

    John and most of the other children were not psychotic at all, but were given Risperdal for behaviour disorders including autism and ADD.

    Attorney Stephen Sheller is suing Janssen, which makes Risperdal. He claims Janssen marketed Risperdal for unapproved uses in children, downplayed serious risks like diabetes and seizures.

    Janssen would not agree to an interview but told us the breast growth risk is "clearly stated in the FDA-approved" labelling, and "we only promote our products for their FDA-approved indications."

    Nobody knows how often it happens. But in Janssen's own clinical trials with fewer than 2,000 children (1,885), 43 developed the abnormal breasts.

    Mr Sheller represents John and nine other boys – one of whom was only four when he developed a breast on one side and began producing milk.

    The treatment for the unbridled breast growth is as unthinkable as the disorder: painful removal of the breasts.
    Eventually, the boys can appear normal again.

    The family's lawsuit is still in court.

    But John’s mother says surgery did not fix all of the problems from the medicine.

    When asked if John still thinks he’s a girl his mother wells up and cries before answering, “yes.”

    As for Risperdal - it's still on the market. And families say putting even more children at risk.

    CBS News

    Share This Article


  1. Sam Spade
    Ha! These drugs are readily prescribed yet all the other "damaging drugs" are still illegal. I't's insanity in it's purest form. What is wrong with Doctors? How could they even think of prescribing this sorta thing? There are a ton of other medications you can get for ADD and Autism. Why risk putting this ridiculousness on the market? And even with it being so dangerous it's still there. I die a little inside every time I think about this.
  2. Potter
    Not to mention the time tested "Slap upside the head and quit fucking around" style of therapy.

    They hand this shit out like candy to any person who has any sort of complaint. Worried about your failing bank accounts: Atypical antipsychotics! Depressed because your wife died: Atypical antipsychotics! Can't sleep: atypical antipsychotics! Sleep too much: Atypical antipsychotics! Have 15 minutes to tell your psychiatrist about all your emotions in the past month: You're bipolar: Atypical antipsychotics!
  3. Sam Spade
    It's funny because many of these problems can be dealt with if you actually take the time to learn who you are and how to deal with your thought processes. This coming from somebody who has a bit of personal experience.

    And this stuff really is given out like candy. Somebody who has nothing to do with me was able to get a prescription for Adderall simply by saying he wanted one and by reading up on just a few of the symptoms and faking a bit. Ridiculous.
  4. chibi curmudgeon
    And if this wasn't depressing enough, these boys should consider themselves lucky that this was the worst side effect they experienced.

    Anyone who prescribes antipsychotics for anything other than psychosis needs a swift kick in the kidneys.
  5. Princess
    When I was 14 I was prescribed Risperdal off label for anxiety from ADD and NLD or Nonverbal Learning Disorder, However, my anxiety was actually not really much of a problem then, things were actually going really great. I know lots of people who were prescribed Risperdal as a teenager off label for anxiety, depression, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disorder, NLD, ADD, behavior problems and all sorts of stuff. When I had just turned 14 I was put on Risperdal. I did not need Risperdal, I was doing better then at that time than I had at any other time, but the evil psychiatrist was trying out antipsychotics on all their adolescent clients it seems and they kept pushing me to try Risperdal. While on Risperdal, my breasts grew. I have a very skinny waist, my skinny waist made my increased breasts look noticable. Now I am very skinny and my waist is skinny and I'm skinny and my chest is back to normal. Then, many, many, many years later a different psychiatrist I saw suggested going back on Risperdal. I am very skinny and have gone through anorexia as well. I am anorexic now.

    Atypical antipsychotics are given out off label to kids and adolescents for just about everything. Risperdal is given out a lot for anxiety to a lot of adolescents. It's ridiculous. I wish I could go back to that psychiatrist from when I was in middle school and ask them why they prescribed me Risperdal. I did not have major issues then, things were going better then that at any time, my anxiety wasn't like it was now. I just don't get it. Did the makers of Risperdal pay my old psychiatrist for every adoelscent they prescribed Risperdal to?

    I have anorexia now and am very skinny.
  6. Alicia In Wonderland
    I must say, the title of this article is extremely amusing.
    But, I feel extremely sorry for these boys. Especially since they're producing milk. That's must just be horrifying for these boys. Women don't even do that until they become pregnant.
  7. chibi curmudgeon
    Sorry to hear about your bad (and common) experience, but I saw this and wanted to point out that it's the dopamine blockade stimulating prolactin release; Risperdal doesn't actually contain hormones, it just promotes secretion.

    I often wonder just how little thought went into the design of 2nd gen antipsychotics. It's like curing a fungal infection on someone's toe by cutting the toe off. Good one, Janssen. :applause: Sometimes I think I'd prefer hallucinations.
  8. H Bomber
    I knew that risperidal cause lactation, but this is just ridiculous. I can't believe that a drug with such a socially devastating side effect could remain on the market. Bastards. I suppose it's better than NMS or tardive dyskinesia though. That whole class of drugs is all sorts of fucked up.
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!