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An anti-anxiety drug caused thousands of men to grow breasts. Now they're suing.by Mike Denison
Health

"I had bigger boobs than the girls in [high] school. I thought, 'Am I going to have to get a training bra?'"

Eddie Bible, former Risperdal user

Thousands of people take Risperdal, a drug that treats a variety of mental disorders from anxiety to schizophrenia. 

But now, 13,000 men have joined a class-action lawsuit to sue the drug's maker, Johnson & Johnson, claiming the drug made them grow breasts, CNN reports

Eddie Bible, now 26, is a former Risperdal user involved in the lawsuit. His lawyer, Jason Itkin, claims J&J withheld information about the drug "so that they could essentially increase their profits by selling it to kids." 

Gynecostima is the medical term for the condition that causes male breasts to grow. When Bible took the drug for bipolar disorder in the early 2000's, he had no idea it was a side effect of the drug -- it wasn't listed as such until 2006. 

Bible said he was bullied and shamed for his enlarged breasts.

The drug is 'essential'

Despite the side-effects, Risperdal is listed as an "essential medicine" by the World Health Organization.

But J&J has had to pay more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements after lawsuits tied to Risperdal and two other drugs. In one case, the Department of Justice said the drug was given to dementia patients when it wasn't approved to treat dementia. The DoJ also said sales reps told doctors they needed to prescribe Risperdal more to earn speaking fees. 

"Risperdal is a safe and effective medication that has helped millions of people live better lives for more than two decades."

J&J statement

J&J insists it never marketed the drug toward children, contradicting Itkin's claims.

A Philadelphia judge granted a judgment in J&J's favor in October for another Risperdal lawsuit.

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