The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that the antipsychotic medication Zyprexa has been linked to Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS), a rare and potentially fatal skin reaction which can mimic a viral infection.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by Zyprexa side effects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What is Zyprexa?
Zyprexa (generic: olanzapine) is used to treat psychotic conditions including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and children who are at least 13 years old. The drug, which is classified as a second generation antipsychotic (SGA) or atypical antipsychotic, rebalances dopamine and serotonin to improve thinking, mood and behavior. Zyprexa is made by Eli Lilly & Co., and was approved by the FDA in December 2009.
FDA Warns of Severe Olanzapine Skin Reactions
On May 10, 2016, FDA issued a Safety Communication regarding in an increased risk of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) with olanzapine (the active ingredient in Zyprexa). The agency has received at least 23 cases of DRESS — including one that resulted in death — associated with the drug since 1996, when the first olanzapine product hit the U.S. market. As a result of these problems, FDA is requiring a new warning to olanzapine labels indicating that the medication may cause DRESS.
What is DRESS?
According to the FDA, DRESS is a potentially fatal hypersensitivity reaction that includes skin eruption, hematologic abnormalities, lymphadenopathy and internal organ involvement. The condition is characterized by a long latency (2 to 8 weeks) between Zyprexa exposure and the onset of symptoms, a prolonged course with frequent relapses despite discontinuation of the drug, and frequent association with the reactivation of a latent human herpesvirus infection. DRESS can result in injury to organs including the liver, kidneys, lungs, heart or pancreas, and can lead to death in up to 10% of patients.
Zyprexa Side Effects
In addition to being linked to DRESS, Zyprexa may cause the following serious side effects in certain users:
- Heart attack
- Torsades de Pointes (abnormal heart rhythm)
- Ventricular fibrillation (heart stops pumping blood)
- QT interval abnormalities (heart cells take a long time to recharge)
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Cardiac death
- Type 2 diabetes
- Hyperglycemia and other blood sugar disorders
- Necrotizing pancreatitis (condition in which cells in the pancreas die)
Other, less severe side effects of Zyprexa may include:
- Akathisia (an inability to sit still)
- Weight gain (more likely in teenagers)
- Increased appetite
- Memory problems
- Stomach pain
- Loss of bladder control
- Back pain
- Pain in your arms or legs
- Numbness or tingly feeling
- Breast swelling or discharge (in women or men)
- Missed menstrual periods
Zyprexa Settlement Information
In 2009, Eli Lilly pleaded guilty to a charge of illegally marketing Zyprexa “off-label” for the treatment of dementia, and agreed to pay $1.42 billion to settle lawsuits and end a criminal investigation. The company said it would pay $800 million to settle civil suits, including $438 million to the federal government and $362 million to states. Lilly also agreed to pay $615 million to resolve the criminal probe, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor violation of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Do I Have a Zyprexa Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zyprexa lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you were injured by Zyprexa, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.