Grandmother died after ‘taking unprescribed medication’ — (Lancashire Telegraph)

SSRI Ed note: Woman taking antidepressants and sleeping tablets takes too many meds, dies.

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Lancashire Telegraph

7:00pm Friday 23rd November 2007

By Andrew Bellard

A GRANDMOTHER died after taking an unprescribed drug in “desperation” to help her sleep.  Now police have launched an investigation after 60-year-old Lynda Lovett’s family gave an inquest the name of the person they say supplied her with the diazepam pills.

Mrs Lovett, of Skye Crescent, Blackburn, was taking a cocktail of prescription drugs at the time for a variety of ailments that included emphysema and asthma, an inquest was told.

But a post mortem examination revealed a second sleeping tablet, diazepam, which had not been prescribed.

Coroner Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of misadventure and said the former licensee died after the combination of the drugs caused her to fall into a coma.

After the hearing, a police spokesman said officers were investigating the incident.

Mrs Lovett’s family paid tribute to a “loving grandmother” and said that she had only taken the diazepam in “desperation” because she could not sleep and did not mean to overdose.

The inquest was told that Mrs Lovett was prescribed pain killers, anti-depressants and sleeping tablets.

Mrs Lovett was found unresponsive in bed at her home on August 20.

Toxicology tests revealed the presence of five different medications and the medical cause of death was given as multiple drug toxicity.

Her daughter Lisa McLoughlin, 37, has now named her three-week old baby Lyndie after her mother.

Mrs Lovett, a mother-of-four and grandmother-of-nine, was a former licensee who moved to the area with her family 10 years ago after retiring in Kent.

After the hearing, her brother Graham Bielby said his sister “should not have died” so young.

He said: “Everyone who knew her loved her to bits, she was always so kind.”

Mr Bielby said that her medication was “doing what it should do” but she was having real problems sleeping.

He said: “I used to speak to her about her insomnia and it really bothered her.

“She would be up at all hours doing the ironing because she just couldn’t sleep. She was desperate for sleep.”

At the inquest Mr Bielby said he believed his sister had been supplied the diazepam by someone who told her it would help her sleep.

He said he had been working on the garden at his sister’s home and had been there two days before she died.

Mr Bielby said: “She was in high spirits. She couldn’t wait for the garden to be finished and she was also very much looking forward to the birth of her grandchild.”

Recording a verdict of misadventure, coroner Michael Singleton said that on August 19 Mrs Lovett had taken her prescribed medication as well as a quantity of diazepam.

He said: “The various drugs combined together effectively suppressed the central nervous system causing her to fall into a coma.

“The lesson to be learned from this is it is always important the doctor is aware of all the tablets that are being taken.”

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