A 16-year-old boy being held at a Los Angeles County juvenile hall developed enlarged breasts after he was prescribed estrogen to treat a behavioral disorder, a move that baffled doctors who said the treatment defied medical logic, according to a lawsuit filed last month.
The teen, whose identity is being withheld because of his age, was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD, two days after he was arrested and housed at Eastlake Juvenile Hall in June 2019, the lawsuit said. Medical records reviewed by The Times show that the teen’s testosterone levels were “slightly high” when the doctor who diagnosed him prescribed daily doses of estrogen.
Estrogen regulates the development of female sexual characteristics and reproduction. Men produce the hormone at much lower levels.
After taking approximately 13 daily doses of the hormone, the teen was diagnosed with gynecomastia, defined as the enlargement or swelling of breast tissue in males whose estrogen level is too high, medical records show.
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