Gynecomastia is the development of breasts in males. In short, Gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance or hormones. It can be caused by a natural decrease in testosterone or increase in estrogen. Gynecomastia can also be caused by medications that alter hormone production.
A quarter of all cases of Gynecomastia are caused by medications.
According to the Official Publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, (CFP) Common drugs known to cause Gynecomastia include, but are not limited to:
• Calcium Channel Blocks (dilitiazem, verapmil, nifedipine)
• Central nervous system agents (amphetamines, diazepam, methyldopa, phenytoin, reserpine, tricylic antidepressants)
• Cytotoxic agents (alkylating agens, vincristine, nitrosoureas, methotrexate)
• Hormones: androgens, estrogens and human chorionic gonadotropin
Although not mentioned in the CFP’s list, research has also found a link between Risperdal and Gynecomastia. Risperdal was originally approved as an antipsychotic, but was later approved to treat children with behavioral and mental health disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Risperdal manufacturers, Johnson and Johnson marketed Risperdal to children knowing that the drug could increase prolactin levels in adolescents and cause Gynecomastia. Johnson and Johnson knew of these dangers Risperdal side effects in boys, but promoted the drug for pediatric use anyway.
Because Johnson and Johnson willfully concealed the risk of Gynecomastia from Risperdal, the company is now facing hundreds of Risperdal Gynecomastia lawsuits, brought on by the families of boys who took Risperdal and developed Gynecomastia.
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