Manufacturer: Eli Lilly
Date approved: 1996
Status: Prescription only
Approved uses: Anticonvulsant antipsychotic approved for use in bipolar mania and schizophrenia
Off-Label uses: Treatment of anorexia, autism, pain associated with cancer treatment, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
• Increased Mortality in Elderly Patients with Dementia-Related Psychosis
• Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome
Related topics: Unsafe drugs
Zyprexa Lawsuit Information
Zyprexa is an antipsychotic medication, most often used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Patients who use Zyprexa are more likely to develop diabetes or hyperglycemia. The drug can also cause neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which is classified by muscle stiffness, fever, confusion and an elevated heart rate. NMS can be fatal. Other Zyprexa side effects may include involuntary muscle movements. In 2005, Eli Lilly announced it would settle about 75 percent of claims filed against them by users of Zyprexa.
Drugs Like Zyprexa Are Overprescribed In Children
With more and more children taking antipsychotic and other psychiatric drugs (a nearly 75 percent increase between 2001 and 2005), doctors are beginning to report that so-called “atypical” drugs, such as Eli Lilly’s best-selling Zyprexa (Olanzapine) are overprescribed in children. This would be disturbing in and of itself, but combined with the reports of Zyprexa’s harmful side effects, the information is even more chilling for the parents of children who struggle with depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
What Are Atypical Drugs?
There are two types of anti-psychotic medications: typical and atypical. These drugs modulate the dopamine neurotransmitter system in the brain and are associated with fewer side effects than “first-generation” antipsychotic drugs such as Haldol (Haloperidol) and Prolixin (Fluphenazine). Though Zyprexa and other atypical drugs were touted as “wonder drugs” and described as more effective and far safer than previous antipsychotics on the flooded drug market, the drugs have been proven to cause severe side effects, such as pancreatitis, diabetes, and blood sugar disorders.
Zyprexa and other atypicals (such as Risperdal, Seroquel, Abilify, Geodon, and Clozaril) were originally intended to treat only schizophrenia. However, under the burden of costly international ad campaigns and flashy marketing, and bolstered by encouraging clinical trials that seemed to point to the drugs’ success, doctors quickly began to prescribe them for other mental health ailments. These included non-psychotic depression, childhood aggression, personality disorders, Alzheimer’s, and manic depression. Unfortunately, children were not left out of the prescription frenzy, especially with the rising incidence of schizophrenia diagnoses and other physchological disorders among kids.
Zyprexa No “Wonder Drug”
Though they were originally lauded as sensible alternatives to first-generation antipsychotic medications, Zyprexa and other atypical antipsychotic drugs have been proven to be unsafe. Some of their harmful side effects include necrotic pancreatitis (a condition in which pancreatic cells die), blood sugar dysfunctions, and diabetes mellitus. In fact, over 25 cases of death from Zyprexa-caused diabetes mellitus have been reported to date. Eli Lilly recently settled over 8,000 Zyprexa cases and has been facing legal action from families who want to know why their loved ones are suffering and even dying from the antipsychotic drug’s adverse side effects.
If Your Child Has Taken Zyprexa
If your child has been treated or is being treated with Zyprexa and has experienced adverse side effects, contact a medical professional immediately. A doctor will help you get your child off Zyprexa and stabilize his or her health. Then contact an experienced Zyprexa attorney, who can help you initiate a Zyprexa law suit and claim the compensation your child deserves for pain and suffering, past medical bills, and future medical care. Your Zyprexa lawyer can help you decide whether you have a viable claim and walk you through the litigation process as you seek compensation for your child’s devastating Zyprexa side effects.
Eli Lilly Settles 75% of Zyprexa Claims…But Will It Stop The Legal Onslaught?
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly announced in June 2005 that it will settle 75 percent of the 8,000-plus claims against it for adverse side effects suffered by patients using the popular antipsychotic drug Zyprexa (generic: Olanzapine). The drug, which was warned against as early as 2003 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via label warning and was implicated in several earlier studies, has been linked to hyperglycemia, blood sugar imbalances, diabetes mellitus and even inflammation of the pancreas. But even though Eli Lilly settled the cases in an extraordinary early settlement (only five depositions had been taken in the case), its legal woes appear to have just begun: in December 2005 and February 2006, plaintiffs in several states sued Eli Lilly, claiming that the company defectively designed the drug and refused to properly test it or warn patients of its potential side effects.
Was Eli Lilly Negligent in Trials and Marketing?
The suits allege that Eli Lilly failed to warn doctors and patients of the health risks of Zyprexa, even though they knew of the drug’s ability to cause diabetes and other disorders. They also claim that the “Dear Doctor” letter sent by Eli Lilly to doctors (a common practice subsequent to FDA label warnings) came too late – even though the FDA warned against Zyprexa’s dangerous side effects in September 2003, the company failed to send out a “Dear Doctor” letter until March of the next year and the warning did not appear in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) until the publication of that book’s 2005 edition.
In order to prevail, the patients will have to prove that Eli Lilly was in fact negligent (in violation of its obligations for reasonable care) in its testing and marketing of Zyprexa. Given the recent settlement of over 8,000 Zyprexa lawsuits in June 2005, juries in the more recent cases may already be expected to feel that Eli Lilly has incriminated itself. But in our litigious climate, settlement seems more likely than a lengthy and costly jury trial.
Nearly 25 Cases of Fatal Diabetes
To date, there have been nearly 300 reported claims of Zyprexa-related diabetes, with nearly 25 of those resulting in death. This is a large number, considering the drug’s wide prescription – it is the third best-selling pharmaceutical on the market and is marketed worldwide to a variety of consumers across a broad base of age ranges and diagnoses. But diabetes is not the only risk of the popular antipsychotic – the FDA announced in 2001 that the drug makes elderly patients who have dementia more likely to face premature death. In addition, there have been cases of necrotizing pancreatitis, a disease that kills cells within the vital pancreas.
If you or someone you love have experienced negative effects related to Zyprexa use, contact a medical professional immediately. They will help you get off the drug (a sometimes risky procedure in bipolar and schizophrenic patients) and get you the medical care you need. Next, contact an experienced unsafe drugs attorney to discuss whether you qualify for compensation for your Zyprexa-related injuries and illness. An experienced Zyprexa lawyer can walk you through the litigation process, help you file your claim, and get you monetary compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other conditions