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Eli Lilly Misled Consumers about Cymbalta Withdrawal


We are no longer accepting new Cymbalta withdrawal cases.

Update: Federal Judge Denies Summary Judgment in Cymbalta Withdrawal Cases, Sets Cases for Trial in August

Los Angeles, California, August 14, 2014 – – Dozens of personal injury lawsuits have been filed across the country by consumers who claim Cymbalta manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company, misled them about Cymbalta’s propensity to induce withdrawal side effects and that, when stopping the medication, they suffered withdrawal symptoms including electric-shock like sensations in their body and brain (also known as “brain zaps”), dizziness, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, excessive sweating, insomnia, nightmares, and diarrhea.

Cymbalta is a selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant, commonly called an “SNRI,” which entered the U.S. market in 2004. The drug is also used to treat anxiety, fibromyalgia, pain associated with diabetes and chronic muscle, and bone pain.

Nearly two dozen lawsuits were filed over the last week in federal courts across the country, including California, Maryland, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, and Pennsylvania. An additional seven cases were previously filed in 2013. These cases represent but a small handful of the thousands of Cymbalta users who claim they have suffered from withdrawal reactions.

Some of the firms representing the plaintiffs have also been litigating a consumer protection class action lawsuit against Lilly since 2012 which alleges the company omitted material information about the true risk of withdrawal in the product label and in marketing materials. In fact, in the label, Lilly states that the chance of suffering from withdrawal when stopping Cymbalta is “greater than or equal to 1%” when the true rate according to Lilly’s own studies is at least 44% in one and 50% in another. According to Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard, because of the studies’ methodological shortcomings, the risk is likely higher, in a range between 66% and 78%. See: The Antidepressant Solution – A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and “Addiction.”

The consumer protection class action argues that Lilly’s misleading label caused consumers economic harm, because they purchased a product represented as having low withdrawal risk, when in fact the risk of withdrawal, which can be severe and long-lasting, is high. The omitted information about Cymbalta’s withdrawal risk is not only important to consumers but also has an economic value: a drug with lower withdrawal risk is worth more to both consumers and the manufacturer.

In total, 28 personal injury lawsuits have been filed so far, and one consumer protection class action related to Cymbalta withdrawal.

Lawsuit Allegations:

  • Cymbalta Label Misleadingly Suggests 1% Withdrawal Risk
  • Cymbalta Studies Show at Least 44% to 50% Withdrawal Risk
  • Actual Risk is More Likely in the Range Between 66% and 78%
  • Lilly Exaggerates Benefits of Cymbalta
  • Manipulation of Medical Literature
  • Lilly’s Cymbalta Profits
  • Institute for Safe Medication Practices Finds “Serious Breakdown” in Cymbalta Warning

The law firms representing the plaintiffs in these cases are:

  • Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman: California
  • Keller Rohrback L.L.P.: Washington
  • Pogust, Braslow & Millrood: Pennsylvania

R. Brent Wisner, one of the Baum Hedlund lawyers handling the Cymbalta litigation stated, “We believe that Lilly’s warning that Cymbalta withdrawal occurs at a rate greater than or equal to 1% is deceptive. It is just a sleight of hand. One of Lilly’s own studies shows that over 50% of patients experience withdrawal when they stop Cymbalta. 1% is not 50%, not even close. A drug label is not the place to play games with words. It is a place to honestly inform doctors and patients about the benefits and risks of medicines so they can make informed choices. Our clients feel strongly that they were betrayed by Lilly and we will do all we can to ensure their voices are heard by the courts.”

About Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman

Over the past 25 years, Baum Hedlund has litigated over 4,500 antidepressant personal injury and wrongful death cases against the makers of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Lexapro, and Cymbalta.

The firm is listed in the 2014 Top Ranked Law Firms™, U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyers® 2014 Best Law Firms, The Best Lawyers in America®, and Martindale Hubbell’s Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

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