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FDA PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIC DRUGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE WITH THE PEDIATRIC SUBCOMMITTEE OF THE ANTI-INFECTIVE DRUGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE
My son, Justin Cheslek, was a 20-year-sophomore at the University of Southern Mississippi when he went to the Student Health Clinic complaining of insomnia. He was given a thorough examination including bloodwork. Significant in the doctor’s note at that initial visit is the notation, “No suicidal ideation.”
Complaining that the sleep medication he was prescribed made him feel sedated and depressed, he was put on Paxil for two weeks. During those two weeks, he repeatedly told his doctor he didn’t like the way the Paxil made him feel, so he was switched to Effexor.
Within 24 hours of the switch to Effexor, he had a seizure. Five days later he hung himself in his apartment. He didn’t leave a note. Beneath him was his laptop computer and a glass of Coke.
It was as if some sudden impulse had made him do this.
We grilled his girlfriend about his mood and behavior in the months prior to his death. She said his demeanor changed dramatically around her birthday, February 22. Justin started taking Paxil February 21.