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BY Alison Gendar, Edgar Sandoval and Tracy Connor, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Wednesday, April 29th 2009, 4:00 AM
Cops who Tasered a suicidal and violent Jayson Williams in a Manhattan hotel found empty bottles of two psychiatric drugs that could have exacerbated his mental illness if taken together, the Daily News has learned.
Two sources said the ex-NBA star had bottles for Celexa, an anti-depressant, and lithium, used for manic-depression – along with the sleeping pill Ambien, human growth hormone and two other drugs.
Williams, 41, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the runup to his 2004 trial for fatally shooting his chauffeur.
It’s unclear how many pills he took before Monday’s freak-out at the Hilton Embassy Suites in Battery Park City.
But doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan – where he is recovering – told relatives the combination of Celexa and lithium could have made the former Net’s mood swings turn frighteningly violent.
“He was struggling – hell, who wouldn’t with what is going on in his life,” a police source said of Williams, who is in a nasty divorce battle and faces a retrial on manslaughter charges.
“But when police arrived he couldn’t even talk. He was crazy and out of it. Maybe the interaction of the drugs helps explain that.”
Reputable medical Web sites say lithium and Celexa together can cause a toxic condition – serotonin syndrome. Agitation, delirium and even death can result.
Now that Williams is at St. Vincent’s, he’s on the mood stabilizer Depakote, which is used to get bipolar patients out of the manic phase of their illness, another source said.
Williams’ friend and manager Akhtur Farzaie said he didn’t know which drugs were found in the athlete’s hotel room.
“I don’t know what kind of reactions those drugs would cause, but I can tell you I have known him for a while as a manager and friend, and he has never acted like the way they said he did,” he said.