WELLBUTRIN, Valium & Painkiller: Death: Overdose: New York

NOTE FROM Ann Blake-Tracy (www.drugawareness.org): I do wish doctors would learn that antidepressants and pain killers DO NOT MIX!!! They are deadly together and yet are so often prescribed together.

“Robert Guskind, the prolific yet troubled force behind the Gowanus Lounge Web site, died of “an accidental overdose” from a combination of prescription medication, the city’s medical examiner said.

Guskind’s March death was caused by “acute intoxication from the combined effects” of a painkiller and two antidepressants. He was 50 years old.

It took the medical examiner several months to complete the toxicology tests that found the painkiller hydrocodone, bupropion [Wellbutrin/Zyban] often used to help adults quit smoking), and diazepam (the generic name of Valium), circulating at lethal levels in Guskind’s system.”

http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/35/32_35_mm_guskind_death.html

September 2, 2009 / News / Carroll Gardens–Cobble Hill

Gowanus Lounge’s Guskind OD’d

By Mike McLaughlin
 Robert Guskind's death from an overdoseThe Brooklyn Paper

The Medical Examiner’s office now says Robert Guskind’s death from an overdose was accidental.

Robert Guskind, the prolific yet troubled force behind the Gowanus Lounge Web site, died of “an accidental overdose” from a combination of prescription medication, the city’s medical examiner said.

Guskind’s March death was caused by “acute intoxication from the combined effects” of a painkiller and two antidepressants. He was 50 years old.

It took the medical examiner several months to complete the toxicology tests that found the painkiller hydrocodone, bupropion (often used to help adults quit smoking), and diazepam (the generic name of Valium), circulating at lethal levels in Guskind’s system.

The three drugs are central nervous system depressants. They lead to drowsiness and, at high enough intake, can stop breathing.

It was not clear if Guskind had prescriptions for any of the drugs, but according to the assistant director of the emergency room at Long Island College Hospital, it would not be unusual for a doctor to administer them to a patient simultaneously.

“In the short course, I frequently prescribe [hydrocodone and Valium],” said Dr. Brian Blaufeux. Patients with back pain, for instance, could get the hydrocodone because it alleviates aching, and Valium, because it’s a muscle relaxer. “It’s certainly not uncommon for these to be prescribed together.”

Yet an inadvertent overdose is not a likely risk if the patients observe their recommended dosage, Blaufeux said.

“These two should not lead you to stop breathing,” he told The Brooklyn Paper.

But that appears to be what happened to the journalist, who was best known for his impassioned opposition to overdevelopment and obsession with discarded couches, which he diligently chronicled in photographs on GowanusLounge.com. In particular, he was fascinated with the transformation of Williamsburg, Coney Island and the area around the Gowanus Canal.

According to many, his death and, with it, the disruption of his popular Web site, have left a gaping hole in Brooklyn’s blogosphere.

One of his prophecies came to fruition in August when a warehouse near the Gowanus Canal partially collapsed.

“This thing has wall collapse written all over it,” the late great journalist said. He urged, “Do not go near this thing.”

©2009 The Brooklyn Paper

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Ann Blake Tracy, Executive Director,
International Coalition for Drug Awareness
(DrugAwareness.Org & SSRIstories.Net)
Author: ”Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? – Our Serotonin Nightmare – The Complete Truth of the Full Impact of Antidepressants Upon Us & Our World” & Withdrawal CD “Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!”

She has specialized since 1990 in adverse reactions to serotonergic medications (such as Prozac, Sarafem, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, Serzone, Remeron, Anafranil, Fen-Phen, Redux and Meridia as well as the new atypical antipsychotics Zyprexa, Geodon, Seroquel and Abilify), as well as pain killers, and has testified before the FDA and congressional subcommittee members on antidepressants.

WITHDRAWAL WARNING: In sharing this information about adverse reactions to antidepressants I always recommend that you also give reference to my CD on safe withdrawal, Help! I Can’t Get Off My Antidepressant!, so that we do not have more people dropping off these drugs too quickly – a move which I have warned from the beginning can be even more dangerous than staying on the drugs!

WITHDRAWAL HELP: You can find the hour and a half long CD on safe and effective withdrawal helps here: store.drugawareness.org And if you need additional consultations with Ann Blake-Tracy, you can book one at www.drugawareness.org or sign up for one of the memberships for the International Coalition for Drug Awareness which includes free consultations as one of the benefits of that particular membership plan. You can even get a whole month of access to the withdrawal CD with tips on rebuilding after the meds, all six of my DVDs, hundreds of radio interviews, lectures, TV interviews I have done over the years PLUS my book on antidepressants with more information than you will find anywhere else for only $30 membership for a month (that is only $5 more than the book alone would cost) at www.drugawareness.org. (Definitely the best option to save outrageous postage charges for those out of the country!)

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