NC Zyprexa Lawsuit

Contact the injury attorneys at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik in Raleigh today for a free consultation.

Zyprexa®, manufactured by Eli Lilly & company, is an “atypical” anti-psychotic medication that received FDA approval for the treatment of schizophrenia in September 1996. Since that time, Zyprexa® has been approved for treatment of acute bipolar mania and is regularly prescribed for mental disorders ranging from schizophrenia, dementia, autism, aggressive behavior, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder to severe depression. Many of these conditions are common and require life-long treatment.

In the past year:

  • Zyprexa® was associated with a 37% increase in the risk of development of diabetes as compared to other atypical anti-psychotic medications.
  • An article appearing in a leading pharmaceutical publication states, “The onset of hypoglycemia may be rapid and severe, the association is not dose-dependent and the risk does not vanish with extended therapy.”
  • The FDA asked Eli Lilly to add a warning about the risk of diabetes and other hypoglycemia-related diseases associated with Zyprexa®.
  • Zyprexa’s® label now lists diabetes as a potential “adverse event.” Nations such as Japan and the U.K. have required warnings concerning Zyprexa® and diabetes for years.
  • Severe cases have been reported of patients developing diabetic coma induced by severe insulin deficiency.
  • The American Diabetes Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and the North American Association for the Study of Obesity issued a joint statement confirming the association between Zyprexa® and diabetes. Twenty three deaths have been associated with Zyprexa® use to date.
  • The U.S. Attorney General’s Office has impaneled a grand jury to look into fraudulent advertising practices of Eli Lilly in promoting Zyprexa for off label uses.

If you or a loved one has suffered damaging side effects as a result of using Zyprexa®, contact us to discuss your legal rights. 1-888-733-3572

First consult a physician before discontinuing this medication.

Frequently Asked Questions

Zyprexa

What is Zyprexa?

Zyprexa is the brand name for an anti-psychotic drug approved for the treatment of Schizophrenia, Bi-polar disorder, and other psychotic mental disorders. Zyprexa may be linked to diabetes, hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar levels), and diabetic ketoacidosis (a potentially fatal complication of diabetes).

In February of 2004, Zyprexa drug maker, Eli Lilly and Company, notified doctors and psychiatrists that elderly patients with dementia face an increased risk of stroke with Zyprexa treatment.

Why did the FDA require a change to the Zyprexa label?

In September 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Eli Lilly to revise the Zyprexa® labeling and product information to inform doctors and patients that the use of Zyprexa® (and other SGAs) has been associated with an increased risk of glucose abnormalities and diabetes. On March 1, 2004, Eli Lilly issued a “Dear Doctor” letter to individual physicians in which it informed doctors of the increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes in patients taking Zyprexa® and described the label changes.

What are the health risks associated with Zyprexa?

Zyprexa and other antipsychotic medications can cause serious problems such as:

  • A life-threatening nervous system problem called neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS). NMS can cause a high fever, stiff muscles, sweating, a fast or irregular heart beat, change in blood pressure, and confusion. NMS can affect your kidneys. NMS is a medical emergency. Call your healthcare professional right away if you experience these symptoms.
  • A movement problem called tardive dyskinesia (TD). Call your healthcare professional right away if you get muscle movements that cannot be stopped.
  • High blood sugar and diabetes. Patients with diabetes or who have a higher chance for diabetes should have their blood sugar checked often.
  • Strokes have happened in older patients treated for mental illness from dementia. Zyprexa is not approved for this use.
  • Other serious side effects include low blood pressure seen as dizziness, and possibly fainting; increased heart beat; seizures; liver problems; increased body temperature; and difficulty swallowing.
  • The most common side effects include sleepiness, dry mouth, dizziness, restlessness, constipation, upset stomach, weight gain, increased appetite, and tremor.

What are the side effects of Zyprexa?

Following are some examples of the serious Zyprexa side effects:

  • Diabetic coma
  • Kidney failure
  • Diabetes Mellitus – when the body is unable to process sugar normally or produce adequate insulin.
  • Hyperglycemia – elevated blood sugar.
  • Pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas.
  • Tardive Dyskinesia – an irreversible neurological disorder.
  • Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome – a rare, life-threatening reaction to neuroleptic medication.
  • Ketoacidosis – when the body has severe deficiency of insulin.

What are the drug interactions with Zyprexa?

You should always inform your doctor and your pharmacist about all medications you take (including over-the-counter) before being prescribed Zyprexa.

Zyprexa may increase the effects of medicines that are used to control high blood pressure. This could lead to very low blood pressure, dizziness, and fainting. Zyprexa may also increase the effects of drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, antihistamines, sedatives, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, muscle relaxants, and any other drug that makes you feel sleepy or relaxed. Zyprexa may decrease the effects of drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease; this could lead to worsening Parkinson’s symptoms.

What is the link between Zyprexa and diabetes?

Zyprexa has been linked to the early onset of diabetes, hyperglycemia, or other diabetes-related complications that can result in coma or death. Researchers identified 289 cases of diabetes in patients who had been given Zyprexa. Of these 289 cases:

  • 225 were newly diagnosed diabetic patients
  • 100 developed ketosis, a serious diabetes-related complication
  • 22 developed pancreatitis, a life-threatening inflammation of the pancreas
  • 23 died
  • 71% occurred within six months of starting treatment with Zyprexa.

What are the symptoms of glucose abnormalities and diabetes?

The symptoms that are most commonly associated with glucose abnormalities and diabetes include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, unusual irritability, increased appetite, blurred vision and listlessness. Many of these symptoms are secondary to your body’s inability to process glucose adequately. Diabetes can also compromise the body’s ability to resist infection giving rise to urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and other disorders.

What should I do if I have some of the symptoms associated with Zyprexa?

If you experience any of the symptoms related to Zyprexa or suspect you might have a glucose abnormality, you should consult with a physician promptly. Zyprexa has been approved by the FDA, and it can be dangerous to stop taking Zyprexa immediately. If you have concerns about Zyprexa, speak with your doctor or medical professional today.

Has the manufacturer taken any steps to warn the public about the dangers of Zyprexa?

The drug manufacturer, Eli Lilly & Company, has acknowledged the dangerous life-threatening side effects and the substantial management difficulties associated with Zyprexa use. The manufacturer admits that the drug is only approved for short-term treatment of schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. Eli Lilly & Company has recently been warned by the FDA to make label changes acknowledging adverse events associated with use.

Why should I contact a lawyer?

The legal system can provide compensation for people victimized by the conduct of negligent drug manufacturers and other responsible parties. When an otherwise preventable serious injury or death occurs from the use of any prescription medication, a lawsuit provides an effective vehicle to obtain compensatory and punitive damages. If you have experienced any of the adverse side effects associated with Zyprexa, contact Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A., today.

Is there a time limit on bringing a pharmaceutical malpractice or product liability claim?

Yes. Each state has its own statute of limitations establishing a deadline to pursue a claim. These limits vary greatly from state to state. Therefore, if you suspect negligence do not wait to contact an experienced Zyprexa lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, & Baznik, P.A.