Prozac lawsuit attorneys note that claims are being pursued against drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. alleging severe side effects, including suicidal thoughts, serotonin syndrome, and extreme withdrawal complications, caused by the antidepressant medication. More Prozac lawsuits are expected as patients experience injuries after taking the drug, bad drug attorneys note.
If you or a loved one took Prozac and suffered serious side effects, contact Attorney Group for more information. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we connect you with an affiliated Prozac lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Prozac?
Prozac is an oral drug used for treating depression, bulimia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Prozac belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Manufactured by Eli Lilly & Co., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Prozac in 1987.
FDA Black-Box Suicide Warning
In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black-box suicide warning for Prozac. A black-box warning is the FDA’s strongest, and it requires drug manufacturers to include this warning in the labeling information for all SSRI and SNRI medications. These symptoms may include:
- Panic attacks
- Symptoms of aggression
- Thoughts of suicide
- Extreme worry
- Abnormal excitement
Prozac Birth Defect Risks
The FDA has listed Prozac as a category C medication in pregnancy, meaning that drugs in this category have been known to harm animals in large doses, but the effects on unborn humans are not proven. The FDA advises that pregnant and nursing mothers not take Prozac unless the patient benefits outweigh the risks. But researchers have found that SSRIs increase the risk of infant heart defects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN is a rare condition seen in newborns whose circulatory systems do no adapt to breathing outside the womb. This leads to abnormal blood flow between the heart and lungs.
In addition, babies born to mothers who take Prozac are known to have congenital heart defects, including atrial and ventricular septal defects, which disrupts the infant’s blood flow through the heart and forces the organ to work harder. SSRI’s have also been linked to infant neural tube defects, which can cause a malformed brain and skull, cleft palate, respiratory distress and possibly autism.
Prozac Serotonin Syndrome
Serotonin is a chemical produced by the body that enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with one another. Too little serotonin in the brain is thought to play a role in depression. Too much, however, can lead to excessive nerve cell activity, causing a potentially deadly collection of symptoms known as serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- Loss of balance
- Increased heart rate/abnormal heart beats
Serotonin syndrome can also occur if you take SSRIs, like Prozac, with other drugs or supplements that affect serotonin levels, or when you take certain combinations of medications that affect serotonin levels in your body.
Prozac Discontinuation Syndrome
When antidepressants that affect the brain chemical serotonin are suddenly stopped, the body may respond with physical and emotional symptoms caused by the sudden absence of increased serotonin levels that occur while taking the antidepressant. The FDA calls these symptoms Prozac discontinuation syndrome. Quitting an antidepressant suddenly may cause symptoms, such as:
- Insomnia or vivid dreams
- Headaches and dizziness
- Return of depression symptoms
Injured Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation
Drug makers have a duty to provide safe drugs. If there are risks of harm associated with their drugs, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Prozac may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Prozac, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Prozac, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of a Prozac lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
If you or a loved one suffered severe side effects after taking Prozac, contact Attorney Group for more information.
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.
See our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information, and contact Attorney Group today.