Meyerson & O'Neill Attorneys at Law

Cymbalta and Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS)

The commonly prescribed antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication Cymbalta has been demonstrated to cause Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS), an extremely painful and sometimes fatal skin condition. SJS causes the sufferer to feel as though their skin is being burned from the inside out and produces lesions that begin in the mucous membranes before spreading to the rest of the body. SJS is a medical emergency that can cause death if not treated promptly.

Cymbalta is FDA approved as a treatment for depression and generalized anxiety, although it is commonly prescribed off-label as a treatment for stress urinary incontinence and pain conditions such as diabetic neuropathy and fibromyalgia. Manufacturer Eli Lilly has pushed to expand the indication for Cymbalta and has even encouraged doctors to use the drug to treat conditions for which it is not approved. In 2010, the FDA issued a warning to Eli Lilly for misrepresenting the efficacy and capabilities of the drug.

In 2007, or possibly earlier, the link between Cymbalta and SJS began to emerge, and the FDA directed Eli Lilly to investigate the matter. However, Eli Lilly declined to do so even as more cases of SJS were being reported. Finally, in 2011, Eli Lilly was forced by the FDA to amend the Cymbalta label to include a warning that the drug may cause SJS. For many unfortunate patients, this warning came too late.

If you or someone you know was afflicted with SJS as a result of taking Cymbalta, you may be entitled to legal compensation. Please contact our experienced Cymbalta attorneys for a free and confidential consultation.
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