Symbyax® contains the antidepressant fluoxetine hydrochloride, an extended-release form of Prozac®. Fluoxetine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression.1 But, although fluoxetine can provide relief for depressive symptoms, the drug can also cause suicidal behavior or suicidal thinking, which psychiatrists call "suicidal ideation"2
Suicidality is a problem for some people who use the class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The Food and Drug Administration has added a "black box" warning to all SSRIs to inform doctors and consumers about this situation.
Black box warning
FDA labeling for fluoxetine now includes a black box with cautions about suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults.2
According to the label, studies show that the medication has no effect on the suicidality of adults between the ages of 24 and 65. Studies also show a reduction in suicidality among adults over 65.2
The warning recommends monitoring patients closely, since depression already leads to an increased risk of suicide.2
Symbyax also contains the antipsychotic olanzapine (Zyprexa®). According to the FDA, taking olanzapine does not increase suicidal ideas or behavior.3
Do you know someone who has committed or considered suicide after using Symbyax? If so, this person's family may be interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit. Contact an attorney for more information about lawsuits related to Symbyax and other SSRI-based medications.
In 2005, a psychiatrist alleged that the Eli Lilly and Company, which manufactures fluoxetine, concealed the suicide risk of this medication for many years. USA Today reported the story.4