An inquest into the death of a 38 year old mother of one heard that “excessive consumption” of caffeine from drinking up to eight litres of Pepsi-Max a day, reacted with prescribed anti-depressant medication she was taking, resulting in her death.
The Daily Mirror reports:
Victoria Lane would drink up to four two-litre bottles of the fizzy drink every day in an effort to help her combat a dry mouth, which she would get as a result of taking prescription drugs.
At an inquest into her death, the coroner was told how the 38-year-old had struggled with depression and paranoia for many years and turned to alcohol to cope – at times downing a litre of vodka a day.
The inquest heard how in recent years she had tried to turn her life around, despite still drinking heavily and using the cola as a mixer.
A post mortem found she died as a result of her “excessive consumption” of caffeine from the fizzy pop combined with her prescription drugs.
The hearing in Stoke-on-Trent was told the mother-of-one’s body was discovered by her teenage son Rhys on April 19 this year.
He had returned to their home in Clayton, Stoke-on-Trent from a night out to find his mum sleeping. but when he went into her the next morning he found she had stopped breathing.
He told the hearing: “She was in the same position as I saw her the night before.
“I tried to wake her up but her jaw was completely locked. That’s when I started to worry. I called 999 .
“When mum was drinking heavily she could get through a one-litre bottle of vodka a day and four two-litre bottles of Pepsi Max.”
Miss Lane’s mum, Rosalind Lane, described how her daughter “changed” following a serious car crash when she was 16 years old.
She said: “She recovered physically from it but I noticed a change in her personality after that. She became very black.
“She used to be bright and outgoing but she became reserved and a bit of a rebel at college.”
Miss Lane was prescribed drugs to help, including fluoxetine, for anxiety and paranoia in the years before her death. She had also started to drink heavily.
Rosalind added: “I knew she drank vodka, but I didn’t know exactly how much. She did drink a lot of Pepsi Max though.
“One of the side-effects of the drugs was that she had a very dry mouth and Pepsi Max was what she liked to drink.
“I did question her about it because of the high amount of caffeine, but she told me it was fine.”
The pathologist recorded that Miss Lane died as a result of excessive ingestion of fluoxetine exacerbated by excess use of caffeine.
North Staffordshire’s assistant coroner Sarah Murphy recorded a conclusion of accidental death.
Miss Lane’s family are raisin funds for charity in her name: Justgiving Fundraiser
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