What’s the Problem?
Cymbalta is an antidepressant medication that is designed not only to treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety, but also to manage the effects of disorders like arthritis and fibromyalgia. While the drug can be helpful in combatting these disorders, quitting Cymbalta can be extremely difficult for certain users.
Cymbalta Side Effects May Include Suicide, Suicidal Thoughts: FDA Warning
In 2004, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) required manufacturers of antidepressant medications to include a black box warning on the labeling of their products regarding suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In 2007, the warning was broadened to emphasize increased rates of suicide in young adults (ages 18-24) during the first 1-2 months of treatment.
Lilly Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit
In April 2013, it was announced that Eli Lilly would pay an undisclosed amount to the parents of a South Dakota boy who committed suicide by hanging on Christmas Eve 2004, a month after beginning a regimen of Cymbalta while participating in a trial of the drug for urinary incontinence. The parents of 16-year-old Peter Schilf argued that Lilly failed to adequately warn that Cymbalta had been linked to suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
The settlement was announced a month before a jury trial was set to begin in a South Dakota federal court. The case is Schilf v. Eli Lilly Company (Case No. 11-2082).
Suicide Warning Signs
According to the Suicide Awareness and Voices of Education (SAVE), warning signs of a suicide may include:
- Talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
- Looking for a way to kill oneself (i.e. searching the Internet or buying a gun)
- Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
- Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
- Talking about being a burden on others
- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
- Acting anxious or agitated; reckless behavior
- Sleeping too little or too much
- Withdrawn or isolating oneself
- Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
- Displaying extreme mood swings
Cymbalta Class Action Lawsuit
Patients across the U.S. are in the preliminary stages of forming a class action lawsuit against Eli Lily & Co. The drugmaker has been accused of downplaying or minimizing the possible side effects of Cymbalta, including suicidal behaviors and actions.