Prescription drug’s side effects contributed to woman’s sudden death
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A woman left weakened by alcohol addiction and painkiller overuse died as a result of the side effect of an anti-depressant, an inquest heard.
Ann Marie Walsh, 46, was found in her Allum Lane home, in Borehamwood, by police on December 16 last year.
Concerns had been raised by her brother after he had been unable to contact her for a couple of days, and found that his key would not work in her front door.
After climbing a ladder and looking in through the first floor window, he saw a shape on the floor of the hallway.
He alerted police, and when officers broke in they found Ms Walsh showing no signs of life. She was confirmed dead at the scene.
An inquest at the Old Court House in Hatfield on Monday heard that having battled depression and anxiety for a number of years, Ms Walsh developed alcohol dependency as a result of work-related stress.
The inquest also heard she had a history of overuse of co-codamol and paracetamol.
She attended meetings at Spectrum Hertfordshire – a drug and alcohol recovery service – and was admitted to Watford General Hospital following an overdose of co-codamol in May 2015.
Two bags of anti-depressant drugs were found by a chair in her living room by police, however a post mortem found no traces of anti-depressants in her blood, according to Dr Mohamid.
It was concluded that, in the time before her death, Ms Walsh was taking the drugs purely for medicinal reasons.
Dr Mohamid told the inquest he believed Ms Walsh collapsed after experiencing a “sudden cardiac death”.
One of the anti-depressants she had been prescribed was Paroxetine, a known side effect of which is cardiac arrhythmia, more commonly known as an irregular heartbeat.
Deputy coroner Graham Danbury concluded that Ms Walsh died “as a result of a known side effect of a prescribed drug, contributed to by her impaired physical condition”.