Lawsuits have been filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals alleging that Invega can increase a user’s risk of developing gynecomastia and/or hyperprolactinemia. These lawsuits accuse the company of releasing a defective drug into the marketplace and failing to provide adequate warnings for the dangerous side effects associated with Invega. Allegedly, Janssen knew that the drug could cause male users to produce higher-than-normal levels of prolactin (a hormone that stimulates milk production in women after childbirth), yet failed to warn patients about this risk.
Drug companies are required to fully and accurately disclose any and all side effects associated with their products, and may be held liable in court when they fail to do so. If you or someone you know developed abnormal breast tissue after taking Invega or receiving the Invega Sustenna injection, contact us today to find out if you can file a lawsuit against Janssen.
The lawsuits against Janssen allege that Invega is defective, and that the manufacturer misled doctors and patients about the safety and efficacy of the drug, and marketed it for off-label, unapproved uses. These suits have been filed on behalf of patients who, after using Invega, allegedly developed serious side effects including hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, rapid weight gain, diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, metabolic syndrome, tardive dyskinesia (involuntary movements, usually of the face), and other adverse effects.
Specifically, the suits allege that:
It is believed that Invega promotes pituitary gland secretion, which releases different hormones including prolactin, a hormone only found naturally in breastfeeding women. In turn, those who use these antipsychotic drugs may be at risk for developing hyperprolactinemia or abnormal breast tissue.
The active ingredient in Invega, paliperidone, is believed to be responsible for elevating prolactin levels in a way similar to that of Janssen’s other antipsychotic, Risperdal (risperidone). According to the current prescribing information for Invega, Risperdal users have reported significantly higher levels of prolactin in their blood, when compared to users of different antipsychotics. Risperdal users have also reported being diagnosed with gynecomastia and have sued Janssen for compensation.
In 2012, the FDA performed a post-market adverse event review on Invega after the drug was approved for use in adolescents. According to the agency’s review, a 16-year-old boy developed breasts just three months after using Invega. Although follow-up information on treatment was unavailable in this case, many who develop gynecomastia only have one option for treatment: mastectomy.
No, the Invega lawsuits will not continue as a class action. Rather, plaintiffs need to file individual lawsuits and will retain their right to a separate attorney, trial, and award.
In most defective drug lawsuits, lawyers will work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that the attorney will not collect any money from his or her client up front, but will collect a portion of the award if the lawsuit is successful. Typically, lawyers will receive about one-third of the award.
Those who have filed lawsuits against Janssen are seeking reimbursement for past and future medical bills, as well as other expenses needed to treat their own, or their family members’, conditions. They are also seeking punitive damages, a monetary award that is designed to discourage other companies from engaging in similar conduct.
Boys who developed breasts after taking Invega may be able to participate in a defective drug lawsuit. If you have questions about your eligibility to file a lawsuit, contact us today for more information.