Actress Brittany Murphy

According to information leaked to the press, ten different drugs, including various psychiatric drugs, were found in pill bottles next to the bed of actress Brittany Murphy following her death.

• Topamax (anti-seizure)
• Methylprednisolone (anti-inflammatory)
• Fluoxetine (antidepressant, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor)
• Klonopin (anti-anxiety)
• Carbamazepine (bipolar drug)
• Ativan (anti-anxiety)
• Vicoprofen (pain reliever)
• Propranolol (hypertension drug)
• Biaxin (an antibiotic)
• Hydrocodone (pain medication)

According to the Drug Interaction Checker at

http://www.medscape.com/druginfo/druginterchecker

severe interactions (adverse side effects) may occur between Carbamazepine and Biaxin, and between Klonopin and Fluoxetine. Moderate interactions may occur between Vicoprofen and Propranolol; between Carbamazepine and Fluoxetine; and between Fluoxetine and Vicoprofen.

When multiple drugs are administered at the same time, the incidence of adverse drug interactions rises exponentially. Not only do individual psychiatric drugs have the potential for severe side effects such as suicide, but also these various drugs in combination escalate the potential for adverse drug interactions.

What can be done about this?

  • Coroners must test for the presence of psychiatric drugs.
  • State legislatures must establish rights for patients and their insurance companies to receive refunds for mental health treatment which did not achieve the promised result or improvement, or which resulted in proven harm to the individual, thereby ensuring that responsibility lies with the individual practitioner and psychiatric facility rather than the government or its agencies.

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