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Countless Lyrica and Cymbalta lawsuits have reached state and federal courts across the country after patients who took these drugs had their lives forever changed by their grievous side effects. Pfizer and Eli Lilly, the manufacturers of these anticonvulsant medications, in fact, illegally promoted them for many uses beyond those for which they were originally approved. Both medicines were prescribed for people suffering from fibromyalgia. However, they did not warn the patients about the potential dangers associated with the use of these substances, including suicidal thoughts, birth defects, withdrawal syndrome and angioedema.
If you suffered any serious side effect such after being prescribed Lyrica (pregabalin) or Cymbalta (duloxetine), you should file a litigation now. We can assist you with your legal battle until you obtain fair and just compensation.
Cymbalta (duloxetine) is an antidepressant medication manufactured by Eli Lilly. It is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that acts by increasing the effectiveness of these two neurotransmitters (plus dopamine) inside the brain. It is a powerful medication used to treat anxiety disorders, major depression, fibromyalgia and neuropathic pain (a severe form of nerve pain usually associated with diabetes).
Lyrica (pregabalin) is a relatively new drug that was approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005. It is an anticonvulsant and painkiller medication indicated for the treatment of diabetic neuropathic pain, post-herpetic neuralgia and epilepsy. In 2007, it was also approved to treat fibromyalgia. Pregabalin is a more potent evolution of its predecessor, gabapentin. Its true mechanism of action has never been fully understood, but it is known to be able to reduce the production of some neurotransmitters inside the human brain. It is manufactured and distributed by Pfizer.
According to the FDA, these two medications might increase the risk of suicidal thoughts in patients treated, and might also cause mood and behavior changes. This association was later confirmed by subsequent studies which showed that risk of suicidal behaviors posed a serious threat to the patients’ lives since an overdose of these drugs was fatal on its own in case of intentional ingestion.
Eli Lilly itself was also aware of the serious side effects associated with Cymbalta, as proved by their initial clinical trial which found that 44% of patients discontinued its use because they experienced “serious adverse events.” Well over 50% of patients suffered from withdrawal symptoms, and 10% of them even faced more serious consequences after stopping the treatment.
Other studies also found that Lyrica and Cymbalta are associated with several life-threatening side effects, including:
• Birth defects
• Permanent brain damage
• Memory loss
Thousands of victims of the serious effects of Lyrica and Cymbalta filed litigation to seek for compensation. So far, no Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has been centralized yet. However, if more lawsuits are filed, the federal judges might decide to consolidate all similar cases to speed up the proceedings.
In 2009, Pfizer had to pay a $2.3 billion fine to the U.S. Department of Justice after it was found guilty of illegally promoting Lyrica for off-label purposes. The company provided kickbacks and financial incentives to doctors and pharmacists who prescribed this drug for a wide range of conditions. In a few years, pregabalin was frequently prescribed for all kind of pains, including migraine and chronic pain, despite its serious risks.
Both these medications are associated with a long list of side effects such as nausea, headaches or blurred vision. However, these issues are somewhat normal given the significant activities of these substances inside the human brain.
What’s not acceptable, instead, is that the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture pregabalin and duloxetine did not sufficiently warn the public about many other serious adverse reactions. It is a precise duty of those who manufacture and distribute a medication, in fact, to market a safe product to the public and to run all the necessary tests prior to its release. To make things worse, Pfizer and Eli Lilly fraudulently tried to market Cymbalta and Lyrica for many uses for which they were never approver (off-label use), regardless of the risks that patients might face.
Now, the pharmaceutical companies must be held fully liable for all the damage that patients who took these drugs may have incurred. If you suffered any unexpected side effect after taking one of these drugs for an off-label indication, you should file a lawsuit and request compensation. The money that a jury might grant you if your claim is successful will cover any present, past and future medical expenses you have faced, plus any other damage you have incurred.