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Shezad Malik MD JD
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Cymbalta Withdrawal Symptoms Lawsuits

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There are several Cymbalta lawsuits filed against Eli Lilly, the manufacturer of the drug for allegedly failing to warn about the risk of withdrawal side effects associated with the popular antidepressant.

1-Cymbalta Withdrawal Lawsuit Attorney Multidistrict Status For Cymbalta Filed

Recently a motion was filed to centralize all federal cases before one judge as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).

The motion requested that all product liability lawsuits over Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Cymbalta Lawsuit Allegations

There are about 28 lawsuits filed that allege that Eli Lilly failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the risk of harsh withdrawal symptoms that may occur when they stopped taking Cymbalta.

Cymbalta Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal side effects of Cymbalta can occur in up to 50% of patients and include suicide thoughts, hallucinations, nightmares, dizziness, vertigo, nausea and vomiting, uncontrollable crying, paresthesia(numbness and tingling), and a condition described by some patients as “brain zaps.”

Cymbalta Withdrawal Side Effects

The consumer watchdog Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), reported in 2012 that 50% of patients who suddenly stopped the Cymbalta suffered withdrawal symptoms. Some 10% of those cases involved severe problems and the side effects lasted longer than a week or two.

What is Cymbalta?

Cymbalta (duloxetine) was approved by the FDA in 2004, for the treatment of depression. It is in a class of drugs known as SNRI, or “serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor,” which blocks neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood and emotions.

Cymbalta has pain relieving properties and is prescribed to treat painful medical conditions such as diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis pain, and fibromyalgia.

The company warns:

“Never stop an antidepressant medicine without first talking to a healthcare provider. Stopping an antidepressant medicine suddenly can cause other symptoms.”

According to ISMP the warning is “materially deficient,” indicating that it does not tell patients about the side effects and how to minimize the side effects by slowly tapering off the medication as opposed to a sudden stop.

Cymbalta SNRI and Birth Defects

The class of SNRI drugs include Cymbalta, Effexor (venlafaxine) and Pristiq (desvenlafaxine). These drugs all pass to a developing baby and are associated with higher risks of birth defects.

According to the FDA Cymbalta should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits of treating depression outweigh any risks to a developing fetus.

Cymbalta and Suicide Risk

Shortly after Cymbalta was approved, the FDA required that all antidepressant medications must carry a “Black Box Warning” about the potential increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in teenagers and children. The Black Box is the most serious type of side effect warning.