Edition 1 - StateTHU 17 JUN 2004, Page 005
How one patient
battled with medication's downside
FOR Alicia Quartermain, Aropax was doing more harm
About a year ago, the then-18-year-old slammed her
mother against the wall and began cutting her own arms.
after she stopped taking the anti-depressant, she said it took her
another six months to feel better.
Now Ms Quartermain, from the
Northern Beaches, wants to warn others about the drug's potential
``I was on it for about 2 1/2 months, [along with
Serapax and Hepnogram],'' Ms Quartermain said.
``I was suicidal.
I even slammed my mother against the wall -- which was totally out
of character for me. I couldn't control myself.''
psychiatrists have divided opinions about the risks versus benefits
of the medication for children's use.
For some children, Aropax has
meant the difference between life and death. For others, it has made
them feel more suicidal.
For Rebecca, 25, of Melbourne, who took
when she was 18, the drug turned out to be her saviour. It had to a
large extent suppressed her suicidal tendencies and had helped her
through her final year high school exams.
``It was quite positive
on my mental state,'' she said yesterday.
``It made a big
difference to me. It got me through my VCA and kept me
Highs and lows ... Alicia Quartermain yesterday told how she came
off Aropax because it increased her mood swings and depression.
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