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Prozac Lawsuits: The Hidden Reality of Antidepressant

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Product liability

Defective drugs and faulty medical device injuries can ruin a person’s life and put them and their family in debt. Favorably, the law provides consumers with a solution when they suffer harm as a result of a manufacturer’s negligence.

Yeah. Those who have been harmed by defective drugs or products can choose to sue the manufacturer under product liability for compensation.

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This blog discusses one such medication, Prozac, which has recently been the subject of hundreds of Prozac lawsuits due to its lethal side effects.

Are you one of those people who filed a Prozac lawsuit against the manufacturer?

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Through this blog, you come to know what are the negative side effects of Prozac which led to several Prozac lawsuits against its manufacturers. Along with this, you can also find all the ins and outs of Prozac.


Fluoxetine, the chemical ingredient of Prozac, is a brand-name medication. Almost 28 million Americans are allegedly using it, making it one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants in the United States of America.

It was the first SSRI given approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression. It’s safe to be consumed by adults, children, and older people, unlike Lexapro, Xanax, and other antidepressants. Neurotransmitters, which transmit signals among brain cells, are stimulated by Prozac.

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Prozac uses

  • Fluoxetine is prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, a specific eating problem (bulimia), and a severe type of premenstrual syndrome (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).
  • It enhances your energy level, appetite, mood, and sleep. It may also help you regain interest in day-to-day activities.
  • Prozac could reduce anxiety, fear, undesirable thoughts, and panic attacks. Moreover, it could minimize the desire to engage in repetitive behaviors that interfere with day-to-day functioning (compulsions include hand washing, counting, and checking).
  • Premenstrual symptoms including melancholy, mood swings, and irritability may be lessened by Prozac. It could lessen the behaviors of bulimia patients who purge and binge.

Prozac history

Fluoxetine received FDA approval in December 1987 and was introduced to consumers under the brand name Prozac in January 1988.

It was first released to the public as a medication for clinical depression by the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company.

Since its release, Prozac (fluoxetine) has been the focus of intense research due to claims of negative side effects linked to its usage.

What is the success rate of Prozac?

Prozac has an overall average of 7.3 out of 10 from a total of 617 reviews for the treatment of anxiety and stress. 18% of reviewers had unfavorable experiences, compared to 66% who had pleasant ones.

What are the negative side effects of Prozac?

Many side effects have been reported by Prozac users. Headaches, nausea, diarrhea, sinus infections, indigestion, dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, excessive perspiration, rashes, and anxiety are some of the most common side effects.

Sexual and sleep difficulties have been experienced by some patients. The following significant side effects are what prompted many persons to file Prozac lawsuits.

Serotonin Syndrome

Individuals using Prozac are at increased risk of serotonin syndrome. SSRI antidepressants work to improve a patient’s mood by preventing the brain’s serotonin from being absorbed.

Patients may have symptoms including agitation or restlessness, disorientation, a quick heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, muscular jerks, and headaches when their serotonin levels become excessive.

These effects are similar to the symptoms of people under the influence of methamphetamine.

Birth Defects

Concerns about antidepressant usage during pregnancy have been identified by medical professionals. Medical research has revealed a link between SSRI usage during pregnancy and severe birth abnormalities in offspring.

A warning concerning the dangers of using antidepressants while pregnant was issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2006.

The FDA has now revised its opinion, stating that there is presently no strong evidence linking antidepressants to birth defects.

When deciding whether to recommend antidepressants to pregnant patients, doctors must consider the medication’s advantages and disadvantages in relation to the possibility of birth defects. While this connection is questionable, several pregnant women who used this medication have filed Prozac lawsuits against Eli Lilly.

Birth defects related to Prozac include:

  • Premature delivery
  • Heart problems
  • Craniosynostosis (the bones in a baby’s skull join together too early)
  • Anencephaly (a newborn lacking certain brain and skull components)
  • Lung or respiratory disorders
  • Gastroschisis (a birth defect where a hole in the abdominal (belly) wall beside the belly button allows the baby’s intestines to extend outside of the baby’s body)
  • Omphalocele (The infant’s intestines, liver, or other organs stick outside of the belly through the belly button)


Suicidal thoughts and behaviors

There is a chance that Prozac will make certain people more likely to have suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A boxed warning for this risk is therefore included on Prozac.

The most serious warning that the FDA suggests is a boxed warning. A boxed warning’s purpose is to notify medical professionals and consumers of the dangers associated with using a particular drug.

Children and young adults who used the medication and were 24 years old or younger were at risk. When you initially start taking Prozac or when your prescription dose is raised, your chance of experiencing this adverse reaction is at its maximum. There have also been occasional cases of suicide among Prozac users.

It’s crucial to remember that Prozac short-term users had this danger. It is therefore unknown if using this medication long-term would still carry this danger.

These are the reasons behind the Prozac lawsuits filed against Eli Lilly.

Is there a lawsuit against Prozac?

Several people who experienced side effects from using Prozac have sued the drug’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly. This includes mothers who used Prozac during pregnancy and later gave birth to children who had birth abnormalities.

Other Prozac lawsuits involved wrongful death claims brought by the family members of Prozac users who later committed suicide. A few people who took Prozac and later developed serotonin syndrome have also brought legal claims, providing their medical records as proof.

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These Prozac lawsuits accuse Eli Lilly of failing to inform medical professionals and patients about the dangers of Prozac.

They claim that stronger warnings might have reduced patient injuries and made doctors and patients more aware of the dangers of using the medicine.

Also, several cases allege that Eli Lilly failed in its testing of Prozac prior to being released to the public.

After claiming that the medicine has a well-established effectiveness and safety profile, Eli Lilly has successfully defended a number of lawsuits but has also resolved a number of cases.

Several plaintiffs who have sued Eli Lilly have received settlements, while others have voluntarily dropped their lawsuits due to the lack of evidence.

Some of the Prozac lawsuits are as follows;

Fentress v. Shea Communications

The Fentress case was the first significant Prozac case to go to trial. According to the 1994 complaint, Joseph T. Wesbecker used an AK-47 to kill eight coworkers, injure twelve others, and then shoot himself in the head in 1989 when he was under the influence of Prozac.

The plaintiffs’ counsel purposefully concealed their most compelling evidence against Lilly, which led Judge John Potter to suspect something was awry.

Later, it was discovered that Lilly and the plaintiffs had made a covert agreement throughout the trial in order to allow the company to achieve a favorable judgment. The settlement’s details remain unknown.

Romona L. Floyd v. United States of America

After an improper Prozac prescription from a federally supported clinic in 2006, Romona Floyd sued on behalf of her deceased daughter, Jessica Ann Ray.

Floyd claims that Ray attempted suicide because of Prozac. Although Ray’s attempt to hang herself was unsuccessful, she did suffer catastrophic brain damage and passed away.

“The court finds that Jessica Ray suffered severe anguish and suffering for three years and forty-seven days following her attempted suicide.

Although being entirely weakened and locked inside herself, she remained conscious of her surroundings and stayed capable of sensing discomfort.

It is challenging to put a financial price on such pain and suffering, but the court concludes in its awakened judgment that $500,000 is a reasonable amount to compensate Jessica Ray for the pain and suffering she suffered from the time of her attempted suicide until the time of her death.

Finally, judge Land ordered $500,000 for pain and suffering, $9,523 for funeral and burial costs, and $474,972.20 for medical bills. The overall compensation was $3.459 million.

Dana Fields v. Eli Lilly

Dana Fields filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly in 2013 after taking Prozac in 1996 and giving birth to a boy who had a serious cardiac birth defect. Her son required open heart surgery twice: once at the age of six weeks and again at the age of five.

Fields used the medication in the first trimester of her pregnancy, which is when a fetus’s heart develops.

In 2015, Lilly made an attempt to have the case dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins rejected the defendant’s request for summary judgment.

Fields ultimately lost the lawsuit because she was unable to provide an attorney who could tie Prozac to birth defects.

MDL on Prozac

75 federal Prozac lawsuits were transferred to MDL 907 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana by the Federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in 1992.

More than 30 Prozac lawsuits involving murders or suicides were allegedly settled for more than $50 million by Eli Lilly by the year 2000; this figure excludes any other unreported settlement sums.

The medicine lost its patent after a rise in Prozac suicide claims in the 1990s, and litigation against Eli Lilly decreased when generic versions of the drug flooded the market in 2001. The MDL is not currently available.

Is it possible for me to bring a Prozac lawsuit?

Yes, you can bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Prozac if you feel that the drug’s side effects have affected you.

Also, you have the right to sue any physician who failed to adequately inform and forewarn you of the potential negative effects of Prozac.

Patients who suffer harm with Prozac may be eligible for financial compensation for losses such as:

  • Expenses associated with medical care
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Mental agony
  • Loss of income or working ability

Family members of patients who passed away from the side effects of Prozac may be entitled to financial damages for the unlawful passing of their loved one, including the following:

  • A loved one’s conscious anguish and sorrow before passing away
  • The emotional suffering inflicted by losing a loved one
  • Funeral costs

Individuals who have used Prozac and had serious adverse effects, as well as the relatives of those who have passed away due to difficulties with the medication, are urged to see a Prozac lawsuit lawyer to learn more about their legal options.

Significance of medical records in Prozac lawsuits

Medical records are evidence in any Prozac lawsuit since they provide the patient’s whole medical history.

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Medical records will serve as evidence in your claim, but they may hinder the attorneys’ work as they contain unneeded information. The right approach for attorneys to win their Prozac lawsuits is to review medical records with a reputable medical record review company.

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