Woman Artist Kills Self: Coroner Says Effexor is Dangerous, Expecially for the Young
Paragraphs three through five read: "Ms Conner, who had been stressed out after studying an art degree at a local college, had been prescribed the strong anti-depressant drug Venlafaxine [Effexor] after suffering bi-polar disorder, anorexia and a borderline personality disorder."
"Her parents said they blamed the drug which had pushed her over the edge when she saw her ex-boyfriend shopping in John Lewis with his new girlfriend."
"Coroner Richard Hulett agreed that there had been speculation surrounding the drug, adding: 'There is enough controversy surrounding this drug to cause suspicions, particularly in regard to youngsters.' "
Woman artist took overdose after seeing ex with new girlfriend
A woman artist who spotted her ex-boyfriend out shopping with a new girlfriend killed herself with a cocktail of controversial drugs she had been prescribed, a coroner heard.
2:56PM BST 27 Mar 2011
Sarah Conner wrote in her diary that her former partner "looked so happy" after seeing him in a John Lewis store.
The 49-year-old woman's parents called on doctors to be wary of prescribing the the anti-depressants after hearing the coroner talk of controversy surrounding one of the drugs.
Ms Conner, who had been stressed out after studying an art degree at a local college, had been prescribed the strong anti-depressant drug Venlafaxine after suffering bi-polar disorder, anorexia and a borderline personality disorder
Her parents said they blamed the drug which had pushed her over the edge when she saw her ex-boyfriend shopping in John Lewis with his new girlfriend.
Coroner Richard Hulett agreed that there had been speculation surrounding the drug, adding: "There is enough controversy surrounding this drug to cause suspicions, particularly in regard to youngsters."
Ms Conner, who left behind a teenage daughter, was found dead by neighbours who broke into her house.
A post mortem examination carried out on her body found she had taken an overdose of a number of drugs, including other anti-depressants including Diazepam and Temazepam, which she was also prescribed.
Ms Conner, of Amersham, Bucks., had suffered for years with mental health problems.
Neighbour and friend, Carol Bradley found her November 14 last year after climbing through a window as she was concerned she hadn't seen her for a while.
Giving evidence at the inquest in High Wycombe, Bucks., she said: "Sarah had been seeing someone and he asked for time apart. I don't think she was coping with that very well. She said she felt she had been lied to.
"She came around my house on November 13 but only stayed for five minutes as I had people around.
"At 4.15 that afternoon, I sent one of my daughters to her house to check on her.
"She said Sarah was asking about my other daughter, who tried to commit suicide a few years ago. How she tried to kill herself and how many pills she would need to commit suicide."
The following morning, Mrs Cooper tried to get hold of Ms Conner by knocking on her door.
She failed to get an answer so called for other neighbours to help climb into her flat.
"I cleared everything off the window sill and I saw the kitchen light was on. I saw her daughter's bedroom door was closed. I went in to the kitchen and found Sarah on the floor.
"Her feet were under the breakfast bar and her head was near the dishwasher. She was lying face down. I noticed some blood on her face and on the floor."
A diary was found on the work surface of the kitchen. An extract written the day before she died was read to the inquest.
It said: "I saw Brian with Linda at John Lewis. He looked so happy. I just don't think I can hack it."
Referring to her daughter, she wrote: "I love you so much my darling. I have made a mess of everything. No matter how hard I try, things just don't work out."
Ms Conner's parents, Joan and Kenneth Conner, described their daughter as a loving and fun girl who was given drugs which made her state of mind worse.
Joan Conner said: "Something needs to be done to stop people taking these drugs. Her medication was never reviewed and she was on a really strong dose of the drug.
"She was at risk and nothing was done to help her. The doctors should never have prescribed her that drug.
"She was desperate. She went to go and see her friend who was busy and drove to Uxbridge to see her other friend who was also busy. She needed someone and no-one was there to listen to her."
Coroner Mr Hulett said: "I have heard from other sources the concern about this drug and this group of drugs and I have done my own research.
"I don't think it would be right for me to say it figures in this case.
"This is a patient who had been on a dosage for a full four years before this happened, and for some years before that in a different form.
"I can't go into the bipolar but having done some research I feel that this drug has been a cause for concern, along with the group of drugs it belongs to."