Girl in drug tragedy riddle — (Manchster Evening News)

SSRI Ed note: Student, 20, already recovering from disappointment over course, is prescribed Effexor, she has a terrible reaction to it and dies.

Original article no longer available

Manchster Evening News

TRAGEDY: Joanne Francis

Nov 3, 2004

A MOTHER has paid tribute to her 20-year-old daughter who died after suffering a devastating reaction to drugs prescribed for depression.

Joanne Francis never fully recovered after taking just one tablet, which made her violently sick for more than 24 hours.

An inquest recorded an open verdict after hearing how Joanne had studied art at Stockport College but, on finishing the course, had become depressed.

Mum Gwyneth Francis said: “I think she was just disappointed that the course hadn’t worked out in the way she thought. But she gradually became more herself, and in the weeks before she died, she seemed very positive and was making lots of plans for the future.”

Joanne, of The Lodge, Hadfield, remained under the care of the community mental health team, but four to five months passed before she was prescribed the powerful anti-depressant Venlafaxine.


The drug made her so sick she couldn’t even keep fluids down and she stopped taking it with the promise that her GP would prescribe alternative medication, the Stockport inquest heard.

But less than a week later, Joanne was found collapsed on the floor beside her bed.

Coroner John Pollard said there was no evidence Joanne had taken any other substances.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had a very small heart which could explain her extreme reaction to the drug.

Gwyneth added: “Joanne was a wonderful daughter, sister and friend. She was generous to a fault with a great sense of fun.”

Earlier this year, the drug was investigated with other popular anti-depressants by the Office for National Statistics.

Experts found there was a rising number of deaths associated with the drug, compared to its rivals.