Teen boy grew breasts from ‘experimental’ estrogen prescribed in jail, lawsuit says
A California teen who says he developed enlarged breasts from taking prescribed estrogen while locked up in a juvenile facility is reportedly suing the doctor who gave him the pills.
The teen was given the hormones, which help develop the female reproductive system, after being diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD, two days into his June 2019 stint at Eastlake Juvenile Hall, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Thirteen days after taking one pill a day as prescribed, the teen’s breasts began to enlarge and swell. He developed gynecomastia, a condition suffered by men with high estrogen levels, according to medical records.
The county health department doctor who diagnosed the teen and prescribed him estrogen, Danny Wang, did so without the consent or knowledge of his parents, the suit says.
The treatment is described in the suit as “experimental” and health professionals told The Times that the hormone is not meant to help with ODD.
ODD is described as a disorder suffered by children and teenagers who are routinely averse to discipline and flout demands of parents and authority figures.
“Estrogen is not a treatment for ODD,” James McGough, a professor of clinical psychiatry at UCLA, told the newspaper.
“I can’t be more emphatic about that. You won’t find a reference anywhere that supports the use of estrogen for ODD.”
The teen stopped taking the pills in July 2019 when he complained about the side effects.
He was released from the lockup in April and will need surgery to reverse the pill’s effects, his lawyer, Wesley Ouchi, told The Times.
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