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Doctor's doubts on treatment.

Byline: SAM BEATTIE

DRUGS given to a psychiatric patient who died after cutting his throat with a razor blade could have made his condition worse, an inquest has heard.

Jason Walker, who was being treated in the Stephenson ward of the University Hospital of North Tees, was given a high dose of Prozac to treat a severe form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

But the antidepressant may have had the opposite effect, his psychiatrist told Teesside Coroners' Court.

Mr Walker, who was 34 and from Yarm, died in May 2007.

Speaking during yesterday's hearing, consultant psychiatrist Dr Stephen Humphries said increased serotonin as a result of the large Prozac dose could have worsened Mr Walker's anxiety.

"The unintentional results could be side-effects such as over stimulation," he told the jury. "Jason was quite a tortured man. He was tortured by his thoughts.

"I'm beginning to wonder whether the anxiety was actually being generated by the Prozac rather than resolving it." He said that Mr Walker was on a number of medicines and doctors had to constantly modify his prescription as his health wavered.

On Monday, Mr Walker's mum Janet McClusky, of Ormesby, told the inquest her son had a history of mental health problems.

In March 2007, he was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

He was given Prozac, after which the family noticed Jason deteriorate and become "really low and depressed".

On March 31 he called his mum and told her he had suicidal thoughts.

Mr Walker later made a bid to take his own life with an overdose of painkillers.

A day later he was admitted to the Stephenson ward despite protests from his family.

A few weeks later, he cut his throat with a modified razor. He was pronounced dead at the University Hospital of North Tees. The inquest is expected to conclude on Tuesday.

Proceeding
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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jun 5, 2009
Words:307
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