A jury ordered Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals to pay $1 million to a 24-year-old New York man who grew disfiguring breasts after taking the companies’ antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
Shaquil Byrd was prescribed Risperdal at the age of 9 to treat a mood disorder. Within months, he developed breast tissue and by the time he was 10, his breasts were lactating. He was diagnosed with gynecomastia, a condition in which adolescent boys grow female-like breasts.
Gynecomastia can be emotionally and physically painful, causing ridicule by peers. Byrd was bullied and teased constantly about his unsightly breasts. “They constantly asked me if I had milk. They did a think called ‘scoop slam dunk’ and that was when they basically cuffed my chest and slapped it down. They actually grabbed my chest,” Byrd told the Times Union.
Gynecomastia is often treated with surgeries like liposuction and mastectomy. Byrd had surgery three years ago to remove the breast tissue.
Byrd is one of thousands of young men suing Risperdal’s makers claiming they developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal but were never warned of the risk. Risperdal is an antipsychotic that is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. It is often prescribed off label for behavioral conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Tourette’s syndrome.
One boy who sued over Risperdal side effects was awarded $70 million by a jury that found the drug caused his injury.
Source: NY up