Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug often prescribed for people suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or autism, may increase prolactin production in patients who use it. Since prolactin is the hormone which is responsible for breast development in women, young boys who have taken Risperdal may develop gynecomastia, which means a noncancerous increase in the amount of breast tissue. Gynecomastia has its own set of associated side effects including nipple discharge and pain. A 2006 study supports the allegations that Risperdal may cause gynecomastia in young males. The journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology noted that Risperdal “administered to adolescents that doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia.” In addition, there is a district lack of data on long-term Risperdal use and how it may affect pre-adolescent growth and the onset of puberty. As a result, the study concluded that the drug should “be prescribed with caution to children and adolescents.”

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