Atypical Anti-Psychotic Drug Lawsuits
Zyprexa (Olanzapine®) Lawsuit
Zyprexa, like Risperdal and Seroquel, has been associated with serious
side effects in patients, especially those who have already been
diagnosed with diabetes.
Knowledge of the potential dangers of Zyprexa were discovered as a
result of a series of findings beginning in 2001 when the FDA was alerted
to 19 case reports of diabetes associated with the drug.
One of these cases resulted in a patient’s death due to necrotizing
pancreatitis, a very serious condition in which cells in the pancreas
An emergency report issued by the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry
in April of 2002 concerning the side effects of Zyprexa noted that there
had been two deaths of patients who had diabetes prior to taking the
It also reported that there had been seven other patients who lost
consciousness or slipped into comas after taking the drug.
In April of 2003, the Wall Street Journal ran a front page article on
Zyprexa and the other Atypical Antipsychotics with respect to their
connection to cases of Type 2 Diabetes ( sometimes called “adult
The authors of the Wall Street Journal article estimated that somewhere
around 11 million people have taken Zyprexa. An eight-year study found
that nearly 300 patients developed diabetes, 75 became seriously ill, and
In addition to the Wall Street Journal article, five lawsuits were filed
against Eli Lilly and Co. accusing the company of failing to warn Zyprexa
patients of the risk that Zyprexa caused the patients’ diabetes.
The plaintiffs are seeking damages of up to $35 million. In order to
confront the charges, Lilly sponsored two patient trials and opened its files
of Zyprexa patients to an outside researcher to study the issue.
The lawsuits claim that Lilly knew that the product was dangerous and
unsafe and that it never took the necessary steps to provide this critical
information to medical professionals or patients.
Finally, in May of 2003 forty reports of hyperglycemia (elevated blood
sugar), diabetes mellitus, or exacerbation of diabetes were received
in the UK including one which proved to be fatal.
In March of 2004, Eli Lilly ( the company that markets Zyprexa in the
United States) sent a so call “Dear Doctor Letter” to thousands of
physicians who were likely to use Zyprexa.
The letter indicated that Lilly was adding a warning statement to the
Zyprexa label regarding the increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes
in people taking Zyprexa and similar medicines. [Click Here to read the
actual warning letter]