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Harvey Pekar died from accidental combination of Prozac and Wellbutrin


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http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/10/coroner_rules_that_harvey_peka.html
 
Coroner rules that Harvey Pekar's death due to 'natural causes'
Pat Galbincea, The Plain Dealer  October 19, 2010

 

American Splendor comic writer and Cleveland native Harvey Pekar died July 12th of an accidental overdose of two anti-depressant medicines, according to the Cuyahoga County Coroner's Office.

The 70-year-old Cleveland Heights resident was found dead by his wife, Joyce Brabner, in their home. His death was not a suicide, said coroner spokesman Powell Caesar, and Coroner Frank Miller ruled his death by natural causes on Pekar's death certificate Sept. 27th.

 

"He did not take his own life," Caesar said. "His death came as a result of accidental ingestion of fluoxetine and bupropion."

 

Fluoxetine is used as a treatment for major depression, and bupropion is used for depression and smoking cessation. The latter drug can lower a person's seizure threshold when used incorrectly.
....

Pekar, a 1957 Shaker Heights High School graduate, chronicled his life and times in the acclaimed autobiographical comic book series American Splendor. He portrayed himself as a rumpled, depressed, obsessive-compulsive 'flunky file clerk' engaged in a constant battle with loneliness and anxiety.

Describing American Splendor, Pekar wrote, "the theme is about staying alive...Life is a war of attrition. You have to stay active on all fronts...I've tried to control a chaotic universe. And it's a losing battle."
....

 

 

Harvey Pekar was also the subject of the film American Splendor.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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I wonder how much of his character description is iatrogenic!

2000 - sertraline for job anxiety low confidence (17 years old) ..which turned the next 16 years into nightmare!

 

On/off sertraline severe withdrawals every time. 2014 - felt better as reduced dose of sertraline no more inner restlessness. Doctor rushed off again. Hit severe withdrawal. Lost the little I had in life. Couldn't get stable again on 12.5mg. Was switched to prozac. Had severe reaction to prozac..came off in November 2015 at 6mg as felt more confused and damaged on it..Even more withdrawal ..rage, depression, dyphoria, near constant suicidal ideation, self harm impulses, doom, concrete block in head, unable to do much of anything with this feeling in head..went back on 6mg of sertraline to see if would alleviate anything. It didn't..reduced from December to June 2016 came off at 2.5mg sertraline as was hospitalised for the severe rage, suicidal impulses, and put on 50mg lofepramine which in 2nd week reduced all symptoms but gave insomnia which still have..psych stopped lofepramine cold turkey..no increased withdrawal symptoms new symptoms from lofepramine except persistant insomnia which has as side effect.

 

Taking Ativan for 8 months for the severe rage self harm impulses 1-3 times a week (mostly 2 times a week) at .5mg. Two months (I'm unsure exactly when the interdose started to happen) ago interdose withdrawal seemed to happen..2 days I think after the Ativan.

 

 

Nightmare that could have been avoided!

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The film is well worth seeing.

 

Harvey Pekar was a professional curmudgeon with an extremely sardonic sense of humor. I can only imagine what he would say about his accidental death from an antidepressant overdose (actually, a drug-drug interaction).

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Harvey was a master, American Splendor was king, and I had no idea that he died in this manner. My jaw is still on the floor. Thanks for posting this, Alto.

 

Dave

1996 - .5mg Ativan as needed, 7.5mg Remeron daily2008 - .5mg Xanax, Ativan discontinued, Remeron continued2012 - .5mg Xanax, .25mg Ativan 3x daily, Remeron continued2/2012 - Jumped from Remeron, continued .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily4/2012 - Began rapid taper of .5mg Xanax .25mg Ativan 3x daily6/2012 - Jumped from Xanax and Ativan, voluntary hospitalization followed7/2012 - 2nd voluntary hospitalization, reinstated Remeron, bumped to 30mg, also given risperidone.8/2012 - discontinued risperidone, tried gabapentin, dicontinued gabapentin, Remeron 30mg continued10/2012 to current - tapered Remeron 10% every 4 to 6 weeks (sometimes more time) using liquid compound12/2014 - 2mg Remeron 1/16/2015 - 1.9mg Remeron 8/1/2015 -1.6mg Remeron - 03/1/2016 - 1.5mg Remeron - 1/2/2017 1.3mg - 5/7/2017 1.2mg - 5/13/2017 - syringe size change - 6/8/2017 - 1.1mg - 7/10/2017 - 1mg - 9/1/2017 - 0.9mg - 10/22/2017 - 0.8mg - 11/22/2017 - 0.7mg - 2/2/2018 - 0.6mg - 3/13/2018 - new compound pharmacy - 5/20/2018 - 0.5mg - 8/31/2018 - 0.4mg - 11/16/2018 - 0.3mg - 12/24/2018 - 0.2mg - 4/1/2019 - 0.1mg - 5/1/2019 - .05mg - 0mg achieved 2019-06-15. 🤞

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Amazing they can call this natural causes.  If he had taken heroin and another illegal drug, would that have been listed as natural causes?

1992 Dothiepin 375mg 8 weeks, exhaustion/depression.  Serotonin syndrome, oh yes!  seizures . Fell pregnant, 3rd baby, Nitrous Oxide, 3 weeks mental hospital pp psychosis. zoloft tegretol.

Feb 1996 ct tegretol, tapered Zoloft 8 weeks. as (unexpectedly)  pregnant. Steven died after 3 days.(Zolft HLHS baby).  98 had run in with Paxil, 2 tablets, 3 weeks taper, survived.
2005..menopause? exhausted again. Zyprexa, mad in three days, fallout....  Seroquel, Effexor, tegretol,   and 8 years of self destruction. Failed taper.
Damn 1/4 valium... nuts again! .fallout, zoloft 100mg  seroquol 400mg mirtazapine 45 mg  tegretol 400mg.  Mid 14 3 month taper. Nov 14 CRASH.
Mid 15 ....   75mg  seroquel,  3 x 1800mg SJW  2 week window end of December followed by 6 week wave
5/2 68mg seroquel, 2.5 x 1800mg SJW::::20/2 61mg seroquel, 2.5 x  SJW::: 26/2 54mg seroquel, 2 x SJW::::21/3 43mg seroquel, 1 x 2700SJW :::: 23/4 36mg seroquel 1 x 1800 SJW
15/5 33mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::   28/5 30mg seroquel, 1 x SJW::::;  18/6 25mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::::, 11/7 21mg seroquel 1/2 SJW::, 26/7 18mg seroquel 1/2 SJW:::, 9/8 12mg seroquel :::, 16/8 6mg seroquel ;;;;, 12/9 0 jump.

23/9  3mg.....,  27/9 0mg.  Reinstated, 6mg, then 12mg.............  LIGHTBULB MOMENT,  I have  MTHFR 2x mutations.  CFS and issues with MOULD in my home. So I left home, and working 150km away during week, loving it.

Oh was hard, panic attacks first week, gone now, along with the mould issues.

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I cannot believe this. If deaths from psych drugs are coded as naturally caused, no one can have any clue how many such deaths there are! How many fronts are we fighting on here? The cause was drugs.

2009: Cancer hospital said I had adjustment disorder because I thought they were doing it wrong. Their headshrinker prescribed Effexor, and my life set on a new course. I didn't know what was ahead, like a passenger on Disneyland's Matterhorn, smiling and waving as it climbs...clink, clink, clink.

2010: Post surgical accidental Effexor discontinuation by nurses, masked by intravenous Dilaudid. (The car is balanced at the top of the track.) I get home, pop a Vicodin, and ...

Whooosh...down, down, down, down, down...goes the trajectory of my life, up goes my mood and tendency to think everything is a good idea.
2012: After the bipolar jig was up, now a walking bag of unrelated symptoms, I went crazy on Daytrana (the Ritalin skin patch by Noven), because ADHD was a perfect fit for a bag of unrelated symptoms. I was prescribed Effexor for the nervousness of it, and things got neurological. An EEG showed enough activity to warrant an epilepsy diagnosis rather than non-epileptic ("psychogenic") seizures.

:o 2013-2014: Quit everything and got worse. I probably went through DAWS: dopamine agonist withdrawal syndrome. I drank to not feel, but I felt a lot: dread, fear, regret, grief: an utter sense of total loss of everything worth breathing about, for almost two years.

I was not suicidal but I wanted to be dead, at least dead to the experience of my own brain and body.

2015: I  began to recover after adding virgin coconut oil and organic grass-fed fed butter to a cup of instant coffee in the morning.

I did it hoping for mental acuity and better memory. After ten days of that, I was much better, mood-wise. Approximately neutral.

And, I experienced drowsiness. I could sleep. Not exactly happy, I did 30 days on Wellbutrin, because it had done me no harm in the past. 

I don't have the DAWS mood or state of mind. It never feel like doing anything if it means standing up.

In fact, I don't especially like moving. I'm a brain with a beanbag body.   :unsure:

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  • 1 year later...
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Oh no! I just clicked on this because someone else was reading it, I remember reading or hearing about this guy on NPR I think or maybe in relation to the movie, idk.

 

IIRC he was very talented as a writer, his story was hilarious and he persisted in his chosen vocation of 'file clerk' instead of fame and fortune through writing. I never got around to reading him or his story or seeing the movie.

 

He died??????? O how I'd love to know the backstory on why he even HAD the opportunity to munch those 2 drugs at the same time, wth?

 

We can never go back. It is firmly entrenched in our modern mind that 'depression' must be treated with drugs because it is A BAD THING FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE. Well, yeah, but the cure is worse than the disease in a lot of cases and untreated depression can be cleared with the proper non drug approach.

 

Oh we know that NOW, but try telling THAT to the docs, drug companies and the public.

 

When will I ever have time to read all of the stuff I want to read? I'll have to wait and see if I can look this guy up when I get to the great beyond too? I wonder how that works? More reading.......

What happened and how I arrived here: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/4243-cymbaltawithdrawal5600-introduction/#entry50878

 

July 2016 I have decided to leave my story here at SA unfinished. I have left my contact information in my profile for anyone who wishes to talk to me. I have a posting history spanning nearly 4 years and 3000+ posts all over the site.

 

Thank you to all who participated in my recovery. I'll miss talking to you but know that I'll be cheering you on from the sidelines, suffering and rejoicing with you in spirit, as you go on in your journey.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OMG,just saw this...I was on both those drugs together for a short time....scary.

went on Prozac 1994-99,60mg.poopout ct  back on 2001-2002,prozac weekly 2002,not working,Effexor 75 mg.?2003-mar.2004 gaining weight 8wk. taper,wellbutrin 150 mg.mar. -may 2004 ctmedfree til july 2005 back to Prozac gaining weight again,back on wellbutrin jan.2006150-300 mg.bad constipation.also was taking aygestin(hormone)perimenopausal irregular bleeding.back on Prozac around sept,?2006,hysterectomy jan30.2007(adenomyosis)off&on Prozac til 2009,citalopram about 1 mo, April 2010 no effect,Effexor again may -mar, 2011.ct,Prozac aug,-dec, 2011 &sept-nov 2012,paroxetine oct,23 2013-may 4 2014 20 mgs.tapered 6 wks.-failed RI in Oct.2014-in protracted WD.started 10 mgs. Fluoxetine May 25.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I cannot believe this. If deaths from psych drugs are coded as naturally caused, no one can have any clue how many such deaths there are! How many fronts are we fighting on here? The cause was drugs.

 

Exactly!  This is exactly how they hid the drug deaths in drug trials... but pharma paid for those trials it makes a bit of  sense to those of devious minds.  Who is paying the coroner?  Gee is it us again... in the end we are paying pharma without us they would be broke... it is our money paid to insurance perhaps but still out money ... it all comes back to us.. we pay for everything at the end of the day. 

So we or you US citizens paid for this result: 

Coroner rules that Harvey Pekar's death due to 'natural causes'

 

If being used as a lab rat were not enough more insult to injury is I guess the term for this. 

 

WHY?

WARNING THIS WILL BE LONG
Had a car accident in 85
Codeine was the pain med when I was release from hosp continuous use till 89
Given PROZAC by a specialist to help with nerve pain in my leg 89-90 not sure which year
Was not told a thing about it being a psych med thought it was a pain killer no info about psych side effects I went nuts had hallucinations. As I had a head injury and was diagnosed with a concussion in 85 I was sent to a head injury clinic in 1990 five years after the accident. I don't think they knew I had been on prozac I did not think it a big deal and never did finish the bottle of pills. I had tests of course lots of them. Was put into a pain clinic and given amitriptyline which stopped the withdrawal but had many side effects. But I could sleep something I had not done in a very long time the pain lessened. My mother got cancer in 94 they switched my meds to Zoloft to help deal with this pressure as I was her main care giver she died in 96. I stopped zoloft in 96 had withdrawal was put on paxil went nutty quit it ct put on resperidol quit it ct had withdrawal was put on Effexor... 2years later celexa was added 20mg then increased to 40mg huge personality change went wild. Did too fast taper off Celexa 05 as I felt unwell for a long time prior... quit Effexor 150mg ct 07 found ****** 8 months into withdrawal learned some things was banned from there in 08 have kept learning since. there is really not enough room here to put my history but I have a lot of opinions about a lot of things especially any of the drugs mentioned above.
One thing I would like to add here is this tidbit ALL OPIATES INCREASE SEROTONIN it is not a huge jump to being in chronic pain to being put on an ssri/snri and opiates will affect your antidepressants and your thinking.

As I do not update much I will put my quit date Nov. 17 2007 I quit Effexor cold turkey. 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1096-introducing-myself-btdt/

There is a crack in everything ..That's how the light gets in :)

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