WHAT CYMBALTA WITHDRAWAL SIDE EFFECTS ARE PATIENTS EXPERIENCING?

Since the medication’s release in 2002, an inordinate number of Cymbalta users have indicated withdrawal side effects. According to a 2009 report by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nearly 1.5 million patients Googled the adverse symptoms they were experiencing after stopping Cymbalta. That’s about three times as many Google queries as those performed by patients who stopped taking Paxil (released in 1992) and Effexor (1993).

WHAT TYPE OF CYMBALTA WITHDRAWAL SIDE EFFECTS HAVE PATIENTS SUFFERED?

The active ingredient in this medication is called duloxetine. It is an antidepressant prescribed primarily for major depression, but has also been used to treat chronic muscle and bone pain, anxiety, and fibromyalgia. Upon discontinuation of the drug, however, many users reported moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms. Some experience distressing brain zaps, which reportedly feel similar to being shocked by a faulty appliance or electrical outlet. Others suffer from paresthesia, a severe tingling of the skin, and others still experience seizures that, in several cases, have led to injury. These symptoms can last for weeks or months after the medication is stopped.

WHY SHOULD THE DRUG MAKERS AND POSSIBLY PHYSICIANS, BE HELD LIABLE FOR CYMBALTA WITHDRAWAL SIDE EFFECTS?

In its 2009 report, the FDA refers to thousands of anecdotal entries in online forums where participants voiced their frustration at the lack of information and warnings provided by physicians regarding discontinuation of the drug. In addition, doctors themselves claim that sales representatives for Eli-Lilly, the makers of Cymbalta, offered insufficient information they could relay to patients, and marketing materials failed to state the severity of discontinuation syndromes.

The FDA documented the various complaints by patients and doctors and found that marketing and sales materials contained insufficient warning of Cymbalta withdrawal side effects. In addition, the company did not develop a safe process for the cessation of the medication.  The FDA further observed that Eli-Lilly was evasive in confronting the discontinuation issue.

WHAT RECOURSE DO DISCONTINUATION SYNDROME SUFFERERS HAVE?

The FDA report notes that in some cases, withdrawal symptoms are so severe that patients experienced physical and psychological disturbances at home and work. For some, ongoing brain zaps or seizures, and a general feeling of being unwell placed their job in jeopardy. Others said the discontinuation syndrome negatively affected their ability to care for family members and loved ones. In addition, many physicians claim that patients no longer trust them or even “fired them,” and that future suspicion of antidepressants may leave underlying mental health problems untreated.

Since the problem surfaced, several class action lawsuits have been filed in Texas and across the nation to hold responsible parties accountable for the pain and suffering affecting thousands of patients. A drug injury lawyer can be consulted with in an attempt recover costs associated with the Cymbalta discontinuation syndrome, recovering financial expenses for lost time at work, medical treatment, and loss of quality of life.