This story at the Miami Herald saddens me. It also infuriates me. When are doctors and the FDA going to wake up? What will it take? How many more lives will be lost before this madness stops?
From the article:
Weeks before his death, Gabriel Myers, the 7-year-old Broward boy who hanged himself in the shower of his foster home, had been prescribed a powerful mind-altering drug linked by federal regulators to an increased risk of suicide in children.
In all, Gabriel had been prescribed four psychiatric drugs, two or three of which he was taking at the time of his death, said Jack Moss, Broward chief of the state Department of Children & Families. Moss said he is not sure which medications the boy was taking because Margate police took the foster home’s medication log as part of an investigation into Gabriel’s death last week.
Three of the psychotropic drugs carry U.S. Food and Drug Administration ”black box” label warnings for children’s safety, the strongest advisory the federal agency issues. Three of the medications are not approved for use with young children, though they are widely prescribed to youngsters ”off label” — meaning doctors can prescribe the drug even if not formally approved for that use.
Gabriel had been prescribed Symbyax, Lexapro, Vyvanase and Zyprexa. Again, three of these meds are not approved by the FDA for use with young children. And of course, prescribing them nonetheless is not uncommon, doctors must be held accountable.
Four feet tall and 67 pounds, with short-cropped brown hair, Gabriel was a bright, charming and often sweet little boy, those who knew him say.
But he already had a sad past hinting at a troubling future. Records obtained by The Miami Herald show Gabriel may have been molested by an older boy while he was living with grandparents in Ohio, while his mother was in jail.
On Thursday, Gabriel locked himself in a bathroom and hanged himself with a detachable shower head after arguing with the 19-year-old son of his foster dad about his lunch, Moss said.
this screams trauma. and yet again, another precious child did not get the help he so desperately needed. Instead he got the “quick fix”-medicate. medicate. medicate. so very tragic.
Myers said the boy’s pediatrician had discontinued all psychotropic drugs while Gabriel lived with him, and the boy did well, earning A’s and B’s at the Hollywood Christian Academy.
”We did not have any issues with him having tantrums,” Myers said. “He would get upset, like little boys do.”
A week or two before Gabriel died, his grandfather in Ohio expressed concerns that the boy sounded overmedicated. ”My father said that the last conversation he had a couple of weeks ago Gabriel sounded like he was too drugged,” Myers said. “He sounded like he was doped up.”
Gabriel’s doctor, Dr. Sohail Punjwani, said he did not recall Gabriel. This statement sums up part of my problem with modern psychiatry today. Dr. Punjwani, since you seem to have forgotten your patient-here is a picture:
What a sweet face. Rest in peace, Gabriel. Let this picture be a reminder to any parents thinking about medicating their children with dangerous meds like Zyprexa. Do the research on these medications before you think about filling that prescription. Unfortunately in today’s modern psychiatric world, your child’s life and well-being is rarely your doctor’s concern.