Jayne Richner — (2006 FDA Hearings)

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THE FDA PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGIC DRUGS ADVISORY COMMITTEE HEARINGS 2006

The next speaker is Jayne Richner.

MS. RICHNER: On August 16, 120 days ago today, our lives were shattered beyond any words I can express to you today. Our beloved 22-year-old son, Sean, was horrifically killed and we were brutally robbed. Sean had no history of depression. He had visited his primary care doctor just for general situational anxiety in which he was given a 90-day prescription of Celexa in a 10-minute office visit.
After being on these for approximately two and a half months, he could no longer sleep.
His mind kept racing and thinking all the time, among other effects.
He went to his doctor, as a result of these feelings, four weeks prior to this death.
His doctor recommended no further medication and said these are side-effects and they should resolve themselves in three to four weeks.
We and Sean trusted that the FDA and the doctors are educated and well-informed about these drugs and the risks and dangers in order to be able
to prescribe these. We now know how wrong we were.
Without a doubt, we stand before you today knowing Sean was a victim of the withdrawal effects of discontinuing the antidepressant, Celexa, suicide by hanging in the middle of the night in our home.
At only 22 Sean had the world in his palms of his hands. He worked for almost two years in a high-tech company, my company. He has his car
and his dream bike paid for.
He was pursuing a career as a firefighter. He was enrolled in an EMT paramedic program and was in the top of his class with one month left to go. The state trooper teaching his class is devastated by this and has awarded Sean all of his certificates.
Sean was also in training with the local auxiliary fire department and had just received his protective gear, which he proudly wore. He had
taken the Firefighter Civil Service Exam in June.
We just received his score result of 91 last month. Sean would have been excited and proud, although he knew he aced it when he took it.
Sean had it all going for him and he knew it. He was excited that he had a direction, and that it was all falling into place. He was
articulate. He was outgoing and social with a sense of humor and a smile that drew everybody to him. He was athletic, played the guitar, and
sang.
He openly loved his family, his future, and his friends — who are all as devastated as we are knowing this is incomprehensible. Sean loved
life. Sean did not choose to end his life.
That was done for him by the drug-induced fatal withdrawal effects of the antidepressant that he was prescribed.
A few nights prior to his death he appeared to be disconnected and then could be in and out of altered states. He jumped out of a second-story bedroom window and then requested that a friend stay over with him.
He was extremely restless and agitated as he slept and then awoke during the night and had to keep moving around. No one knew what was wrong.
We now know this is referred to as akathisia. He was found kneeling at his bed with his hands clenched over his head.
When we found him, his feet were touching the floor. We can’t imagine the psychotic state he must have been in. Without a doubt, Sean had no
control over this and was overtaken by these drugs.
Applause.)