Local teen, parents sue drug makers, Allege anti-depressants led to girl’s suicide try — (Morris Daily Herald)

SSRI Ed note: Teen, 17, takes either Cymbalta or Prozac, hangs herself, is rescued but permanently disabled. Parents sue Eli Lilly.

Original article no longer available

Morris Daily Herald

Dec 17, 2005

By Michael Farrell, Herald Writer

A 17-year-old girl who attempted suicide after taking anti-depressants [Prozac or Cymbalta, probably the latter, since the maker was Eli Lilly] and experiencing hallucinations has filed suit against the drug manufacturer who produced and marketed the medications.

Also named in the 36-count suit, which Morris attorney Randy Gordon filed in Grundy County Circuit Court late Thursday afternoon on behalf of Sara Lowery along with her parents, Robert Lowery and Susan Carey were two psychiatrists and a psychologist who treated Sara Lowery, as well as two institutions with which they were affiliated.

Attorney Gordon charged the professionals were negligent in their treatment, contending that on Dec. 16, 2003, the day before she attempted suicide, Sara told the psychologist what she was going to do because of hearing hallucinations that told her to kill herself.

Eli Lilly and PAR Pharmaceuticals were named as defendants in the case because, the suit alleges, they failed to adequately warn the public of the tendency of a certain percentage of patients  especially adolescents  to experience auditory and visual hallucinations, which have resulted in patients killing themselves in a violent way.

Attorney Gordon said the FDA required Lilly and PAR to change the warning labels on their medications just months after Sara Lowery hanged herself on Dec. 17, 2003.

Sara suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and is now severely disabled. She is a resident of Alden Village in Bloomingdale, and requires almost constant care.

“Given my client’s young age, even at today’s prices, it will cost over $14 million to ensure Sara Lowery’s future medical care,” said Gordon.

Other defendants named in the suit are Dr. Jeanne Decker, Dr. Mary Cheerin, the Institute for Personal Development in Morris, Provena Mercy Medical Center and Dr. Ali Kishwar.