Zyprexa Drug History

Zyprexa Drug History

Mental illness has been part of the human condition since the dawn of mankind. Throughout the ages, victims of these terrible afflictions have been outcast, stereotyped, and ridiculed. Often because of no external indication of underlying problems, victims of mental illness were frequently met with skepticism when seeking treatment from a hostile and inconsiderate medical community. As medical and psychiatric science progressed, a greater understanding was reached about these debilitating conditions which reduced the social stigma attached to them.

In the 20th century, science began to experiment with certain chemicals that would alleviate the symptoms caused by certain neurological disorders such as schizophrenia. These drugs worked by blocking certain chemical receptors in the brain that triggered many psychotic episodes. While initially greeted with great enthusiasm and relief, studies began to show that long term effects of these types of drugs, called antipsychotics, caused patients to develop severe motor control and coordination problems. The benefits outweighed the risks for most patients however, and doctors continued to prescribe these drugs.

In 1989, the first of so-called "atypical" antipsychotics were released. Unlike previous drugs, these selectively blocked certain chemicals and left others alone, significantly reducing the occurrence of side effects. This drug was called Cloarzil, and though it treated the symptoms of many neurological disorders, it caused an elevated white blood cell count which interferes with proper immunological functions.

Later, in 1996, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new atypical antipsychotic called Zyprexa. Clinical studies showed that Zyprexa exhibited the same reduced number of side effects but without increasing white blood cell count. It became one of the most profitable drugs for Eli Lilly & Co, with sales doubling to $8 billion between 2000 and 2003. Unfortunately, while Zyprexa performed well in reducing psychotic episodes and limiting the number of side effects of coordination and motor skills, it showed a marked and unexpected increase in diabetes mellitus type II, which proved fatal for a number of patients.

Recently, Zyprexa has been the subject of legal action not only regarding the side effects it causes, but also for what is called "off-label" uses not approved by the manufacturer but prescribed nonetheless. If you or a loved one has been injured because of Zyprexa, you may have a right to be compensated for your condition. Contact our lawyers today for a free case review.

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