SSRI Stories note: The Physicians Desk Reference lists “Alcohol Craving” as an infrequent, but not rare, side-effect for Paxil. Also, SSRIs may cause a craving for illegal drugs such as cocaine by inducing mania or mood swings in those taking such antidepressants. According to earlier newspaper accounts, this young girl began drinking alcohol and using cocaine after starting on the Paxil.
Changes recommended to the way patients informed about anti-depressants
By SAM PAZZANO, Courts Bureau
Last Updated: June 28, 2010 12:37pm
An Oakville teen using an anti-depressant drug died after hanging herself while “affected by depression, cocaine and ethanol,” a coroner’s jury ruled Monday.
Sara Carlin, an 18-year-old scholar and outstanding athlete committed suicide on May 6, 2007, at her Oakville home, 14 months after she had began taking the anti-depressant drug Paxil, which is a type of drug known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). She had also been using cocaine and drinking heavily.
Carlin’s parents, Neil and Rhonda were visibly pleased after the jury released its verdict and also made several recommendations aimed at preventing similar suicides.
Among its many suggestions, the jury recommended the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons train doctors administering these drugs to “inform the patient of the benefits and risk including rare and serious side effects of SSRIs” and of reasonable alternative treatments, and the risks of taking such medications while consuming alcohol or narcotics.
“If those recommendations were in place a few years ago, Sara would be alive today,” said Neil Carlin. “We consider this a great victory.”