Eli Lilly & Company, at long last, has stepped up the Zyprexa warning label on its flagship treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The warning label for olanzapine, the generic name for Zyprexa, now will read that Zyprexa has a greater propensity to cause weight gain and high blood sugar than other atypical antipsychotics.
Physicians have noticed for several years the alarming side effects with patients on Zyprexa, primarily weight gain and hyperglycemia. For a time after the drug was approved by the FDA, doctors considered Zyprexa first-line therapy for schizophrenia. Lilly marketed the drug as a broad-based mood stabilizer, while undertaking great efforts to downplay the drug’s dramatic side effects.
Lilly has since entered into settlement agreements worth billions of dollars with thousands of claimants over the deleterious effects of Zyprexa. Most of these cases are persons who did not realize the extent of the side effects of the medication until it was too late.
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