Drug company warns of risk of liver problems with antidepressant

The warning about possible liver-related problems with the depression drug, Cymbalta, has been expanded and doctors are being cautioned against its use in chronic liver disease patients.

Drug company Eli Lilly has issued a new label for the antidepressant, known generically as duloxetine, which also includes reports of hepatitis, jaundice and other liver-related problems in patients using the drug.

The information is displayed on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration web site.

In a letter to doctors in early October the company said there had been some reports indicating that patients with pre-existing liver disease who take duloxetine may have an increased risk for further liver damage.

Cymbalta, which is also approved to treat a type of nerve damage caused by diabetes, has been known to cause liver problems.

The initial label also warned against using the drug with alcohol.

According to the new label, Cymbalta should ordinarily not be prescribed to patients with substantial alcohol use or evidence of chronic liver disease.

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