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Eli Lilly & Co. Wins 1st Cymbalta Withdrawal Trial

No Longer Accepting Cases

August 7, 2015 — Law360 reports that the first “bellwether” trial involving withdrawal side effects of Cymbalta has ended in a win for the drug-maker, Eli Lilly & Co.

Lawyers for plaintiff Claudia Herrera failed to convince a jury in Los Angeles that Eli Lilly downplayed the risk of severe withdrawal. Hererra is one of about 250 people who have filed lawsuits claiming the label on Cymbalta is inadequate.

The label states that “greater than or equal to 1%” of patients experienced withdrawal. However, Eli Lilly’s own studies showed that 44% of patients experienced withdrawal, and 10% of those cases were “severe.”

Attorneys for Eli Lilly convinced the jury that Herrera’s case failed for three reasons:

  1. She did not prove that Eli Lilly intentionally concealed risk information
  2. Because several other antidepressants she tried were ineffective, she probably would have used Cymbalta regardless of the risk of withdrawal.
  3. Her doctor wanted to gradually taper her off Cymbalta, but she quit cold-turkey and missed an appointment that would have reduced her dosage.

Hererra and many other plaintiffs experienced debilitating “brain zaps,” or electric-shock sensations. In addition to sensory disturbances, withdrawal from Cymbalta has been linked to suicidal ideation, seizures, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, nausea, and more. Many victims say they felt like they were “hooked” because withdrawal was so severe they could not quit.


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