Wednesday, February 20, 2008

If the doctor prescribes a regime of drugs...

... It might be a good idea to keep taking them...

Abbie Boudreau and Scott Zamost at CNN tell us Girlfriend: Shooter was taking cocktail of 3 drugs. I think we're supposed to think that the cocktail of drugs caused Mr. Kazmierczak to shoot students at Northern Illinois University.

Ms. Boudreau and Mr. Zamost report:
Steven Kazmierczak had been taking three drugs prescribed for him by his psychiatrist, the Northern Illinois University gunman's girlfriend told CNN.

Jessica Baty said Tuesday that her boyfriend of two years had been taking Xanax, used to treat anxiety, and Ambien, a sleep agent, as well as the antidepressant Prozac.

Baty said Tuesday that her boyfriend of two years had been taking Xanax, used to treat anxiety, and Ambien, a sleep agent, as well as the antidepressant Prozac.

Baty said the psychiatrist prescribed the medications, a fact that made her so "nervous" that she tried to persuade Kazmierczak to stop taking one of the drugs.

She said he had stopped taking the antidepressant three weeks before the Valentine's Day rampage on the NIU campus in DeKalb, Illinois, which left five students dead and 16 wounded. He then killed himself.
So, let me get this straight: Mr. Kazmierczak's girlfriend, who is 28 and not a medical authority, was worried, er, "nervous," that her boyfriend was taking three medications.

Er, shouldn't we be worried when he stops taking his meds?


  1. I can tell you from first hand experience that you shouldn't stop taking your medicines unless your doctor tells you to.

  2. So the girlfriend is worried that he's taking meds... when she ought to have been worried when he stopped... which reminds me, I think I forgot to take my meds yesterday...

  3. She disgusts me! I feel his girlfriend contributed to the MURDERS, as she contradicted her boyfriend's doctor's prescriptions! SHE made the decision, and then he acted erratic after he stopped taking them. She's not a medical professional. Another armchair 'doctor' type I face daily!

    I feel she should be held responsible, for contributing to his death, and his actions. I'm on similar drugs, suffering depression and chronic pain. You NEVER stop anything suddenly, without the doctor's knowledge, and many must be titrated down under doctor's supervision.

  4. I have to agree. Doctors are in their line of work for a reason. Someone with a mental condition can never be on to many drugs at once, maybe a mixture of the wrong ones, but not to many. A three drug cocktail is really nothing, and if he was doing well on the three the girlfriend is crazy (and should maybe even feel some guilt for what happened).
    A family member of mine suffers from many mental and physical conditions. They are on a cocktail of probably 15 or more drugs, all of which have been carefully matched together by a doctor, and stopping even just one proves to be detrimental.
    If the doctor says take drug A, B, and C together then do it. They have obviously checked to make sure all three will compliment one another and work in your best interest.

  5. when you live with someone who is taking meds for mental health, you can never be sure if they are taking them or not. even if he took them daily was he taking them at the same time each day? was he taking 1 instead of 2? there is a giant stigma associated with mental illness, it's difficult to understand, it changes people.. let's not presume to think Jessica is to blame and give her the peace we ourselves would want

  6. Thanks for the voice of reason. I just can't believe the CNN headline referring to three medications as being a "cocktail." Thanks CNN, for your accurate analysis and subtle editorializing.