How many more people have to die from Lundbeck’s drugs?

Coroner calls for urgent anti-depressant inquiry after doctor blames drug for mother’s suicide

By Daily Mail Reporter  7th December 2010

A mother-of-two hanged herself while her children watched TV downstairs after anti-depressants turned her into a zombie, an inquest heard. 

A coroner has ordered an urgent investigation into an anti-depressant after it turned a mother-of-two into a ‘zombie’ before she was found hanged in her attic. Housewife Yvonne Woodley, 42, visited six GPs who increased her dosage of Citalopram in the months before her death. But she became more agitated after taking the drug and told people she wanted to die.

Her husband Kevin found her hanging in the loft of the family home in Solihull, West Midlands, on October 25 last year. Their two daughters, aged ten and 14, were watching TV downstairs at the time.

Birmingham coroner Aiden Cotter called for more research into the drug after experts raised concerns over its side-effects.

The inquest in Birmingham on Monday heard how Yvonne saw six GPs on nine occasions at Solihull’s Yew Tree Medical Centre last year. Doctors increased the dosage of the drug but her mental state continued to deteriorate.

Professor David Healy, an anti-depressants expert at Cardiff University, told the inquest he believed the drug was to blame.

He said: ‘I believe the drug was likely to have played a part. Yvonne was clearly suffering adverse effects of the drug and it was this that put her at risk. If treatment was contributing then putting the dosage up wasn’t the thing to do.
This is the second inquest regarding this drug I have attended in the past five months. There have also been homicide cases involving it.’

Yvonne’s mother Vera Sansbury told the hearing she saw her daughter turn into a ‘zombie’ after taking the drug. She said: ‘The change in my daughter was remarkable. She was a stable, happy, calm person but in three weeks the decline was rapid to a woman who was trembling, had panic attacks and wouldn’t make eye contact.She was like a zombie. The eyes were blank and flat and there was no emotional response. Yvonne displayed every single side-effect of the drug.’

Housewife Yvonne Woodley was discovered in the family home’s loft (family home pictured, Solihull, Birmingham) by her husband Kevin 

The inquest heard that the drug was a common anti-depressant which came with a warning about side-effects. The effects include agitation and mental turmoil in the first weeks of treatment and trials showed it could increase the risk of suicide.

Recording an open verdict, coroner Aidan Cotter said: ‘I cannot be sure of what happened and Mrs Woodley’s death may have been an accident as she made a cry for help.

‘I will write to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency asking if more research is needed into the drug.’

Dr Christopher Muldoon, representing Lundbeck which manufactures the drug, said: ‘The drug is safely used by millions of people but it could cause someone to take their life who had not previously thought of doing so.

‘I don’t think this was the case with Mrs Woodley as I think it was her underlying depressive illness.’ Heard this line before anyone???

When will the Irish Medicines Board listen and how many more people have to die? More doctors who haven’t got a clue about the poison they are prescribing!

Partial Transcript of Yvonne Woodley’s Inquest…Link.


4 thoughts on “How many more people have to die from Lundbeck’s drugs?”

  1. Only just read this terrible story. I suffered depression after being diagnosed with Epstein-Barr ( old man’s glandular fever ) in March 2008. My G.P put me on Citalopram, and I suffered suicidal feelings. I was told to take the medication at night and this should solve the problem. I apparently gradually experienced a ‘high’. and to cut a very long but heroically exciting story short (including attempted arrest, arrest, and escape !),I ended up spending nine weeks in a secure psychiatric hospital with a diagnosis of bipolar and my married life all but destroyed. Am now on drugs for the rest of my life. I was told the condition was probably hereditary. Noone in my family was bipolar. I now have to reapply for a driving licence every year and the stigma will always be with me. Nothing’s secret where I live. I lost nine weeks of my freedom, and noone’s to blame. The drug manufacturers and G.P’S are all in a huge cover-up operation. This drug should be stopped and others like it.


    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for taking the time to write. You are one of the lucky survived citalopram.
      I hope your family will understand in time that the drug is the problem and not you.
      If you need any more information just let me know.
      Kind regards,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s