When a patient suffers from certain types of mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, doctors may prescribe the drug Risperdal. Unfortunately, studies have shown a link between the use of this drug and several types of potentially dangerous side effects. One example is the growth of pituitary gland tumors. While some of these tumors may be benign and potentially harmless, others can present serious complications that require surgery or radiation in order to treat.
An Overview of the Link Between Risperdal and Pituitary Tumor Growth
How can a schizophrenia drug like Risperdal lead to a potentially dangerous side effect like pituitary tumors? The following is an overview:
- The pituitary gland produces the hormone referred to as prolactin.
- Prolactin is the hormone that tells a woman’s breasts to enlarge and produce milk.
- When the body is functioning normally, a chemical called dopamine kicks in and halts the production of the prolactin.
- Risperdal acts to block dopamine. The positive aspect of this side effect is that the blocking of dopamine acts to reduce the patient’s psychotic symptoms.
- As a result, there is no mechanism to stop the production of prolactin by the pituitary gland.
- When prolactin is overproduced for an extended period of time, the pituitary gland can grow larger.
- Enlargement of the pituitary gland increases the risk of tumor growth.
If you or a loved one took Risperdal to treat a mental illness and suffered complications as a result, it is important to take action in order to protect your legal rights. We are here to guide you through this process. We encourage you to check out our many client testimonials to learn more about how we have successfully represented clients in the past.