Prozac, the brand name for the drug fluoxetine, is a popular anti-depressant drug introduced in 1988. First hailed as a godsend for depressed individuals, the drug manufacturer eventually came under fire for some dangerous possible effects of Prozac.
Basic Background Info about Prozac
Prozac belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class of drugs. Doctors prescribe it to treat patients with clinical depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and certain panic disorders. It works by regulating the amount of the chemical serotonin in the brain in an attempt to create a more stable mood. It’s available in several forms: liquid, tablet, capsule and as a delayed-release capsule.
After the FDA approved the drug, it became one of the most widely used anti-depressants in the country. Even now it remains a popular drug, despite dozens of newer medications on the market and despite the fact that its manufacturer, Eli Lilly, has faced thousands of lawsuits because of the drug’s potentially dangerous effects.
Potential Prozac Side Effects
There are several potential side effects of Prozac that can be extremely damaging for patients, and the potential for side effects are not new. The New York Times reported in 1990 that within a just a few months, “the Food and Drug Administration had received about 10,000 reports from doctors, pharmacists, and others of adverse reactions to Prozac.”
Below are just some of the potential side effects and adverse reactions listed on the FDA’s Medication Guide for Prozac.
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Serotonin syndrome (possibly life-threatening; may include hallucinations, agitation, racing heart, overactive reflexes, sweating, fever, muscle rigidity, etc.)
- Severe allergic reactions
- Abnormal bleeding
- Seizures and convulsions
- Manic episodes
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Low blood sodium
- Changes in the heart’s electrical activity
Can you hold the drug manufacturer accountable for your damages?
If you or your loved one suffered injuries that you believe were related to Prozac, the question begs, “Can you sue the drug manufacturer?” The answer is: maybe. All drugs carry some risks, and experiencing a side effect doesn’t necessarily substantiate a claim.
However, drug manufacturers do, in fact, have a legal duty to keep tabs on the effects of their products and adequately warn doctors and patients of possible side effects and risks associated with taking the drugs. They also must follow certain marketing and promotional practices so as not to trick consumers or mask the drug’s effects. “Many have argued that the SSRI drugs are overused, in part due to hyped-up marketing that emphasizes positive studies while downplaying negative ones,” notes Forbes in a 2010 article.
Failure to abide by their duties could make the manufacturer liable for your injuries. In fact, Eli Lilly has paid out millions of dollars in damages for several plaintiffs who suffered serious and adverse side effects associated with Prozac. Discuss your case with a drug attorney to discuss filing a claim or lawsuit.
Also keep in mind that doctors or pharmacists might be liable for adverse reactions to Prozac or side effects associated with the drug. This may be the case if a doctor prescribes the drug to a patient who should not take it, such as a patient who is taking a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI).
Consult Our Dangerous Drug Lawyers at Cordisco & Saile LLC
If you suffered injury as a result of using Prozac or if your loved one committed suicide while taking Prozac, call an attorney in your area. You might qualify for financial restitution for your losses.