Mother tells inquest of Prozac concerns

The mother of a 14-year-old boy who took his own life told his inquest that she would never have agreed to him taking Prozac if she had known the side-effects.

Jake McGill-Lynch: Died from self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Stephanie McGill-Lynch was giving evidence at the Dublin Coroner’s Court inquest into the death of Jake McGill-Lynch of Woodford Terrace, Clondalkin, who died at Tallaght Hospital on March 20 last year as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Jake was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome in early 2012 and suffered from anxiety issues. He had been seeing a psychologist at Clondalkin Linn Dara Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and was referred to a psychiatrist in January 2013, over concerns his anxiety was increasing due to his upcoming Junior Certificate.

The inquest heard that consultant child psychiatrist Dr Maria Migone prescribed Prozac to help with the anxiety.

Ms McGill-Lynch said she and her husband were not informed that side-effects of Prozac include an increase in suicidal ideation. When they collected the prescription, no patient information leaflet was included. She said that in the US, Prozac carries a “black label” warning that it should be given to under-18s who have experienced anxiety problems only after all other avenues are exhausted.

“My child is dead. I was not told this could happen. My husband and I were not given any literature off the HSE or CAMHS or the pharmacist. If we were, there is no mother in her right mind going to let their child have a drug that can cause suicide and self-harm when they are suffering from those symptoms in the first place. Asperger’s is not an illness, it is a condition that no tablet or medication is going to fix,” she said.

Jake and his mother were members of a gun club Mrs McGill-Lynch said. On the night of his death, he asked his parents to take the gun out of secure storage so he could practice holding it.

They discovered Jake had shot himself when his father John Lynch called him to have his supper but got no response. They did not hear the gunshot, the court heard.

The inquest was adjourned to July 14 for further evidence.

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