More and more pregnant women have been prescribed antipsychotics over the past few years, a recent study suggests, which raises the question of whether powerful medications similar to one named in Risperdal lawsuits may have adverse effects on the unborn.

The findings of research published last year by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health indicates that use of psychotropic drugs in expectant mothers is on the rise. Among other things, the 2013 research found a 2.5-fold increase in the amount of antipsychotic prescriptions written to pregnant women for the treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and possibly depression.

The question is though, is this practice safe for the fetus? A study published in an August 2013 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology found that women exposed to antipsychotics like Risperdal may be two times as likely to have a child with cardiac malformations and other birth defects as those not taking the drugs. Postnatal disorders were also more prevalent in babies of mothers who took the medications, according to researchers, who said heart defects are among the most common problems associated with antipsychotic drug effects on the children of antipsychotic drug users.

2010 Study Finds Risperdal Birth Defects in Children Born to Drug Users

Three years earlier, a study that specifically looked at Risperdal’s effect on children born to antipsychotic drug users also revealed negative side effects. Data was collected by scientists at the University of Copenhagen between 1998 and 2007, and revealed 429 instances of adverse events in children under 17, more than half of those involving deformities and severe withdrawal symptoms.  Results of the study were released in 2010.

This is not the first time the safety of Risperdal in children has been called into question. Use of the medication, which is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and marketed by its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, has been suggested in hundreds of lawsuits to cause breast development in men and young boys. Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits now pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas similarly allege that this condition may result in a patient having to undergo liposuction or a mastectomy to remove the excess breast tissue that may have developed because of the medication.

According to recent reports, the National Pregnancy Registry is in the process of investigating the link between heart defects and the use of various antipsychotic drug scripts in expectant mothers.

Pursue a Risperdal Lawsuit Alleging Gynecomastia

Contact a Risperdal lawyer at our Firm today to learn more about the medication’s alleged potential to cause gynecomastia, a condition categorized by male breast growth. Our attorneys can be reached directly at (877) 779-1414.

Published June 17, 2014 by