One patient who wrote to the website noted that he attempted suicide after only two weeks of taking Zyprexa. Another patient reported that he attempted suicide three times and has had suicidal thoughts continuously for over two years. He also notes that his suicidal experiences caused great trauma to his family.
A major problem with Zyprexa is that it is often prescribed for conditions for which it was never approved. One woman notes that her husband committed suicide after taking Zyprexa, despite never being diagnosed with bipolar disorder or any other long-term mental illness. She writes that he was only diagnosed with depression and anxiety but was still given Zyprexa. Eli Lilly & Company has come under fire for pushing Zyprexa to treat conditions for which it was never FDA approved. Prescribing drugs for off-label uses is not illegal; however, marketing drugs for off-label uses is.
Many of the people who report that their loved ones committed suicide or tried to commit suicide report that they were not suicidal before taking Zyprexa. Although there may be a link between schizophrenia and suicide attempts this does not mean that every patient who is diagnosed with schizophrenia will attempt to take his or her life.
At least one doctor, Dr. David Healy, is concerned about the risk of suicide in patients taking Zyprexa. He has gone on record as saying that Zyprexa has the highest suicide rate of any antipsychotic in clinical history. The research he based his claim on involved five pre-marketing clinical trials conducted by Lilly. In the trials 12 patients taking Zyprexa committed suicide. However, information on how many unsuccessful suicide attempts occurred during the trials is not known.
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The sad truth is that many family members may have lost loved ones and assumed that their suicidal acts were caused by the patient's mental state rather than by the medications the person was taking. However, it is entirely possible that people who were not suicidal before taking Zyprexa became suicidal after taking it.
Family members and patients are now exploring the possibility of a lawsuit against Lilly, alleging the company knew about the risks of suicide in patients who took Zyprexa.