Montgomery County police of Texas assisted in the traffic stop of Jessica Barber Gutierrez, a 40-year-old mother of two. She was initially found parked in the middle of the road for no obvious reason, Wednesday evening, December 12, 2012. Officers first assumed the vehicle required road side assistance. When they approached, Gutierrez started the car, drove a little up the road, and pulled off into a gas station.
Concerned she might be under the influence, Gutierrez was administered a field sobriety test. After failing she was placed in custody by deputies for driving while intoxicated. Upon further investigation of the vehicle, officers discovered an infant in the backseat. The baby was unearthed from beneath a clutter of clothing and a skateboard. There were no baby specific care items in the car. The 8-month-old was taken into the care of Child Protective Services. Gutierrez was taken to Montgomery County Jail where she is currently being held on a $25,000 bond. When questioned, Gutierrez confessed to drinking a beer and taking Prozac and Xanax, according to the Houston Press.
The drug interactions between Prozac and Xanax are already dangerous when not considering the addition of alcohol. Prozac (fluoxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressant. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become imbalanced, and result in depression and anxiety. Prozac is used to treat major depression, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorders. A combination of Prozac with other medications has the potential to cause manic depression.
Xanax (alprazolam) belongs to a group of drugs called benzodiazepines, and work by slowing down the circulation of certain chemicals in the brain. Xanax is also used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
Introducing alcohol to either of the aforementioned antidepressants can intensify the effects, as all influence serotonin levels. Serotonin is an organic compound formed from tryptophan, and found in the brain, blood serum, and gastric mucous membranes. It is active in vasoconstriction, stimulation of the smooth muscles, transmission of impulses between nerve cells, and regulation of cyclic body processes. Serotonin is produced in and released from neurons, and is a neuroendocrine chemical responsible for reducing irritability and depression.
Too much of a good thing (serotonin), in this case taking antidepressants in combination with alcohol, over stimulates the production of serotonin and results in serotonin toxicity. The consequences of toxicity can be lethal: fever, myoclonus (movement disorder), coma, seizures, cardiovascular failure, and death.