SSRI Litigation

What Is Symbyax?

Symbyax®is a medication that combines two drugs: the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine (Proxac® and the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine (Zyprexa®. Doctors typically use it to reduce the severity of the depressive episodes of bipolar I disorder. They also prescribe it off-label to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or eating disorders.1

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Symbyax for the treatment of bipolar I disorder in 2003. In 2009, the FDA approved Symbyax for use in cases of treatment-resistant depression.1


Symbyax is available in the following dosages (measured in mg olanzapine/mg fluoxetine):1

  • 3 mg/25 mg
  • 6 mg/25 mg
  • 6 mg/50 mg
  • 12 mg/25 mg
  • 12 mg/50 mg

Adverse reactions

Because Symbyax includes both a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor and an antipsychotic, it combines the interactions and side effects of both of these drugs.

Symbyax's labeling lists many warnings.2 These adverse effects may include:

  • An increased risk of suicide
  • Death and cardiovascular problems (among elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis)
  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (which may be fatal and can include delirium, muscle rigidity, fever, and instability of the autonomic nervous system)
  • High levels of blood sugar
  • High levels of lipids in the veins or arteries
  • Serotonin syndrome (a potentially life-threatening condition which may include shivering, sweating, dilated pupils, twitching, overactive reflexes, bowel sounds, fever, agitation, hypervigilance, and high heart rate and/or high blood pressure)
  • Allergic reactions (which may include a rash)
  • Tardive dyskinesia (a disorder which causes involuntary, repetitive body movements)
  • An increase in blood pressure when one stands up
  • Problems with one's white blood cell count (such as leukopenia, neutropenia or agranulocytosis)
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood
  • Increased levels of prolactin in the blood
  • Cognitive and motor impairment

Legal Concerns

If you have had adverse reactions to a Symbyax prescription, you may be interested in contacting a personal injury attorney. You can file multiple types of lawsuits related to the prescription of this medication, including wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice.

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