Man shoots himself after starting new medication — (The Irish Independent)

SSRI Ed note: Man given Lexapro for depression by GP becomes suicidal, kills himself after 8 days on med. Inquest promotes myth that drug takes time to kick in, then helps.

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The Irish Independent

By Georgina O’Halloran

Tuesday August 14 2007

A MAN who suffered from polio shot himself with a home-made gun eight days after starting a course of medication for depression, an inquest heard yesterday.

Patrick Fitzpatrick (58), of 9 Shanid Road, Harold’s Cross, died in a downstairs room at his home after shooting himself with a brass pistol he had made himself, Dublin City Coroner’s Court heard.

The retired watch-repairer was discovered in his home by his brother, Anthony Fitzpatrick and a locum doctor, Dr Ronan Donohoe on September 28, 2006. He had attached a note to the door on the downstairs room which read: “Do not open. Call the guards. I have shot myself.”

A subsequent post mortem by Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Michael Curtis revealed that Mr Fitzpatrick died from a gunshot wound to the head. There were no suspicious circumstances.

The inquest heard that Mr Fitzpatrick, who suffered from polio since the age of two or three and spent many years in hospital when he was young, attended his local GP, Dr Robert Hickey on September 19, where he was prescribed the anti-depression medication, Lexapro.

He returned to the practice three days later on September 22, and told Dr Hickey that he was still feeling very down. The doctor told him that “it takes 10 days to kick in”.

Anthony Kelly told the court that the family are concerned that Dr Hickey failed to stress to Patrick that “it’s a well known fact Lexapro makes your symptoms worse for seven days”.

Coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, adjourned the inquest to a date in September to give Dr Hickey to answer the issues raised.