Drugs Associated With Pituitary Tumors. In May 2006, FDA researchers reported that Risperdal and other atypical antipsychotic drugs are associated with pituitary tumors. The June 2006 issue of Pharmacotherapy informs both patients and physicians of these current findings. The investigative team analyzed the FDA’s database of approximately 40 million combinations of drugs and side effects reported by doctors and patients. They discovered 77 reports of pituitary tumors in patients using seven different antipsychotic drugs, 70% of these findings were in patients prescribed Risperdal.The tumors connected to Risperdal may not necessarily be dangerous. Many are minuscule, smaller than 1 millimeter. “These are benign tumors, more along the lines of a cyst,” the FDA team states. “They grow slowly and most are very tiny. But sometimes they grow, and when they do, they press on surrounding tissue and cause hormonal problems. Or they can press on the optic nerve and cause some loss of vision.”
Janssen a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that makes Risperdal, has already begun telling patients about animal tests and human case reports that link antipsychotic drugs to pituitary tumors.
“Last year, we updated our labeling to ensure that health care professionals are aware of reports of benign pituitary adenomas in patients using antipsychotic medications,” Janssen spokeswoman Theresa Gaines tells WebMD. “Benign pituitary adenomas are present in 10% to 25% of the general healthy population.”
Pituitary tumors are irregular growths found in the pituitary gland, a small organ the size of a dime and positioned in the center of the brain, which makes hormones that affect growth, and the functions of other glands in the body. A good number of pituitary tumors are non-cancerous, and grow slowly and do not expand to other parts of the body.
Symptoms of pituitary tumors can include headaches, vision problems, abnormal growth, nausea, vomiting, or any of the problems caused by the production of too many hormones such as infertility or loss of menstrual periods in women, high blood pressure, heat or cold intolerance, and other skin and body changes.
Pituitary tumors are best cared for when they are found and detected early. Treatments for pituitary tumors can include surgical removal of the tumor; radiation therapy, using high-doses of x-rays to kill tumor cells; and/or drug therapy. Surgery is the most common form of treatment.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Pituitary Tumors
If you or a loved one has taken Risperdal and been diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, please fill out the form at the right for a free case evaluation by a qualified defective drug attorney or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).