Cymbalta Lawsuits

Cymbalta Lawsuits

The packaging label for Cymbalta provides minimal information on its safety and the difficulty of discontinuing the drug. Patients who suffered withdrawal symptoms like debilitating brain zaps are filing claims against Eli Lilly, Cymbalta’s manufacturer.

Why File a Cymbalta Claim?

People with diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety and chronic pain take Cymbalta, but most don’t know how hard it can be to stop taking it. Withdrawal symptoms include dizziness, tunnel vision and brain zaps ¬– shock-like sensations in the brain that come with terrible nausea and headaches that cloud mental clarity and impair the ability to perform daily tasks. These symptoms also tend to last longer than withdrawal signs from other medications.

Some Cymbalta users keep taking it – becoming dependent – simply to avoid these life-altering symptoms that can last weeks or months. Legal claims against Eli Lilly say that the drugmaker does not do enough to make patients aware of potential dangers associated with this medicine. The after-effects can cost people lost hours from work, dramatic medical bills and can decrease their quality of life.

Of their many claims in court documents, plaintiffs say Eli Lilly:

  • “Overstated the efficacy of Cymbalta” and “downplayed and/or failed to state the true withdrawal side effects associated with Cymbalta.”
  • Deceived the public by saying only 1 percent of users experienced withdrawal symptoms, when in reality nearly 45 percent suffered from discontinuation problems.
  • Failed to properly warn patients about the risks.
  • Benefitted from patients who started taking Cymbalta again (becoming physically dependent on the drug) to avoid terrible side effects.
  • Advertised the benefits of the drug, even those that were not proven.
  • Produced a defective drug.

Lawsuits and Related Injuries

Plaintiffs filing Cymbalta lawsuits hold that the drug’s label is misleading. The label suggests a withdrawal risk of 1 percent or greater. However, in Lilly’s clinical trials, around half of participants experienced withdrawal symptoms. The manufacturer has clear evidence of this potential danger, yet the warning information provided to physicians and consumers remains inadequate.

Withdrawal complications that lead patients and their families to file Cymbalta lawsuits include:
Brain zaps Nausea
Suicidal thoughts Nightmares
Dizziness Weight changes

Withdrawal Symptoms Lawsuits

Doctors prescribe Cymbalta as a treatment for osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other painful conditions. As they complete Cymbalta treatment, these same patients encounter severe withdrawal symptoms and no clear time table for relief from discomfort.

In December 2014, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied the motion to consolidate 25 cases into multidistrict litigation (MDL) in California. Instead, the cases will proceed individually.

Recent Cymbalta Cases

Many plaintiffs claim Lilly failed to warn about the severity of withdrawal symptoms.

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Jennifer Saavedra

Jennifer Saavedra filed suit in California against Eli Lilly after she tried to stop using Cymbalta and experienced brain zaps, body shaking and tunnel vision. It took her a year to finally recover. In the meantime, her life was disrupted. Her complaint claimed withdrawal symptoms were more prevalent than Lilly claimed, and the company misled the public.

Jesse McDowell

Jesse McDowell filed his lawsuit in New York after he suffered “serious and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms” from Cymbalta. His suit alleges Lilly fraudulently marketed the drug, overstating its benefits and downplaying the side effects, specifically the dangers of withdrawal symptoms.

Melissa Stafford

Melissa Stafford filed her lawsuits in California. In order to deal with debilitating side effects, she was forced to continue using Cymbalta. After she finally stopped, she suffered for months. Her lawsuit accuses Lilly of deceiving the public about the risks of the drug.

Other Cymbalta Lawsuits

Schilf Suicide Case

Paul and Cynthia Schilf filed a claim again Eli Lilly in August 2012. The Schilfs’ 16-year-old son committed suicide after using Cymbalta. Dr. Richard Briggs, the Schilfs’ family practitioner, prescribed Cymbalta to the young man for depression in November 2004. A month later, the son committed suicide. The event occurred prior to the FDA adding a black-box warning to the drug.

Rare Skin Disorder

After taking Cymbalta, Nanci Mattos, a Kansas resident, suffered from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a rare skin disorder that can lead to complications resulting in death. She developed a severe cutaneous adverse reaction (SCAR). She filed a lawsuit against Eli Lilly in 2012 for not providing adequate warnings with the drug. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome was mentioned under adverse reactions, but not in the warnings and precautions section.

If you need help determining if your experience with Cymbalta makes you eligible for legal compensation, speak to our patient advisors and get answers to your questions.

View Sources
  1. Schilf, P., Schilf, C., et al v. Eli Lilly and Company and Quintiles Transnational Corporation. (2012, August 3). United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Case 11-2082. Retrieved from
  2. Saavedra, J., Strafford, M., Jacquez, C and Matthews, D. v. Eli Lilly and Company. (2013, January 1). United States District Court for the Central District of California. Case 2:12-cv-SVW-MAN. Retrieved from
  3. Carnes, et al, v. Eli Lilly and Company. (2013, December 16). In the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina Rock Hill Division. Case No 0:13-591-CMC. Retrieved from
  4. Matos v. Eli Lilly and Company. (2012, May 23). In the United States District Court for the District for the District of Kansas. Case 12-1014-JWL. Retrieved from
  5. McDowell V. Eli Lilly and Company. (2013, June 4). In the United States District Court for the District for the District of New York. Case 1:13-cv-03786-RWS.
  6. Saavedra et al. vs. Eli Lilly and Company. (2014, December 18). United States District Court Central District of California. Order Denying Plaintiffs’ Motions for Class Certification Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Case 2:12-cv-9366-SVW.
  7. In Re: Cymbalta (Duloxetine) Products Liability Litigation. (2014, December 10). United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Order Denying Transfer. MDL No. 2576. Retrieved from