Prozac Lawsuit Information
Prozac (fluoxetine) is a well-known antidepressant drug produced by Eli Lilly and Company. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in 1987. Prozac was the first in a wave of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that reached the marketplace in the 1990s. Today, Prozac remains one of the most frequently prescribed SSRI antidepressants in the U.S.
Prozac quickly became the third most prescribed medication in the U.S. One in 10 Americans takes antidepressant medication. Pharmaceutical companies earned billions of dollars a year in antidepressants before generic versions of the drugs became available.
The commercial success of Prozac has revealed some medical problems associated with the medication. Many patients have reported side effects that have led to significant injuries. Some patients have responded by filing product liability lawsuits against Eli Lilly.
This article provides an overview of Prozac litigation. It describes the problems plaintiffs experienced while taking the drug. It also discusses what to do if you suffer an injury after taking the medication.
Severe Side Effects of Prozac
Patients taking Prozac have reported several side effects. Most are minor and don't require additional medical treatment. Others are more severe. But some people have experienced adverse side effects that impacted their health.
The most common side effects of Prozac include:
- Loss of appetite
- Sinus infections
- Dry mouth
- Excessive sweating
Some patients have also reported experiencing sleep problems and sexual problems while on the medication.
A patient would rarely sue the drug manufacturer for these side effects. Most antidepressants carry a risk of minor side effects. This is true for drugs like Prozac, such as Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, and other similar medications.
But for some people, the drug carries serious side effects. Some of these require medical treatment, while others can be life-threatening.
Serious Side Effects of Prozac
Whenever you take a prescription medication, you run the risk of having an adverse reaction to the drug. This doesn't mean you should continue taking the medicine. For example, pregnant women often steer clear of these drugs until their baby is born. This is especially true during the first trimester.
Some of the serious problems with taking Prozac include the following:
- Increased risk of birth defects and abnormalities
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
- Heart defects
- Increased risk of suicide and suicidal thoughts in young adults
- Serotonin syndrome
When filling your prescription, you must consider any disclaimers the pharmaceutical company includes. If you're not comfortable taking the drug after reading about the potential side effects, talk to your healthcare provider. There may be an alternative medication that you can take.
Some patients who experienced these adverse side effects sued the drug manufacturer. This is the case with all defective drugs. If you believe you became sick while taking Prozac, contact a personal injury lawyer right away. They'll review your case and let you know how best to proceed.
Claims Made in Prozac Lawsuits
Many patients injured after taking Prozac sued the manufacturer, Eli Lilly. This included women who took Prozac during pregnancy and subsequently gave birth to children with congenital disabilities. Other cases involved the families of patients who took Prozac and later committed suicide or developed suicidal behavior. Some patients who developed serotonin syndrome after taking Prozac also sued.
These product liability lawsuits accused Eli Lilly of failing to warn healthcare professionals and patients about the risks associated with Prozac. The plaintiffs claimed that better warnings could've prevented patient injuries.
Many lawsuits also claimed that Eli Lilly failed to properly test Prozac before the drug became available in the marketplace.
Thousands of plaintiffs have sued Prozac over the last thirty years. Many of these cases involve patients who took Prozac and later killed themselves. Some plaintiffs sued both the drug manufacturer and the government for injuries caused by people who were on the antidepressant.
Some of the important cases involving Prozac include:
- Romona Floyd vs. United States: In 2006, the plaintiff's daughter, Jessica Floyd, was prescribed Prozac by a doctor at a federally funded clinic. After taking the drug for a while, Jessica tried to kill herself. She survived the attempt but suffered severe brain damage. She passed away more than three years later. Her mother, Romona Floyd, sued the government since they funded the clinic. The court found in favor of the plaintiff. The judge ordered the defendant to pay more than $3.45 million in damages.
- Canadian Murder Trial: This 2009 case involved a teenager, who was taking Prozac, that started behaving strangely and ended up killing his friend.
- Fentress vs. Shea Communications - A man named Joseph Wesbecker was taking Prozac when he took an AK-47 and opened fire at work. He killed eight of his coworkers and injured a dozen others. He then shot himself. This was the first Prozac case that went to trial. The government settled the case for a secret amount.
- Bridges vs. United States - This was a recent case involving the parents of a young woman who committed suicide. Emylee Darnielle was a cadet at West Point. Her doctor changed her antidepressant prescription to Prozac. Shortly after that, she killed herself. The parties settled the case in July 2022 for an undisclosed amount.
Get a Prozac Claim Evaluation
Product liability lawsuits become complicated rather quickly. The defendant typically has an extensive legal team working on their behalf. For the best chances of recovering compensation, you should consult a Prozac lawyer.
Visit Findlaw.com's product liability attorney and schedule your free case evaluation.
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