WHEN Stacey Fusco's mental health started to take a turn, medics prescribed her with antidepressants.
Her mum, Sue Eley said she had started to feel 'mentally low' in September 2020 due to the daily stresses of her job as a children's nurse.
It was only when Stacey started to experience panic attacks which forced her to take time off work, that she sought medical help.
Her doctor prescribed the young nurse sertraline, a common antidepressant taken by millions of Brits, to manage her symptoms.
But after starting the new medication, Stacey began to suffer worrying side effects including intense sweating, memory loss and acting out of characters.
In response, her doctor told her to increase the dosage of sertraline.
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Less than a year later, on 20 April, Stacey was found dead at her home in Derbyshire by her mum after suffering sudden heart arrhythmia.
Arrhythmias or heart rhythm problems are experienced by more than 2 million people a year in the UK.
Many heart arrhythmias are harmless; however, if they are particularly abnormal, or result from a weak or damaged heart, arrhythmias can cause serious and even potentially fatal symptoms.
Sue, said the day she found her daughter's body was "the worst day of my life.
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"I tried to perform CPR on her – but it was too late," she explained.
“As a family, we feel cheated by losing Stacey, a healthy girl, and it’s given me so much guilt," she said.
An inquest into the young woman's death has since found the antidepressant was, in part, to blame.
Sue has shared a heartbreaking tribute to her daughter and hopes to raise awareness for the “dangerous” side effects medication can cause.
“I know nothing will bring my baby girl back, but I don’t want people to go through the same thing I have done.
"I think they [the drugs] need to be looked into more before being dished out," she said.
NHS figures published in July showed that 8.3 million patients received antidepressants in 2021/22 in England – a 6 per cent rise from 7.9 million the previous year.
A recent study found antidepressants like sertraline could increase the risk of heart disease.
Researchers at the University of Bristol found “concerning associations” between taking the pills over ten years and increases in heart disease, death from cardiovascular disease and earlier death from any cause.
However, experts have warned people not to stop taking the drugs.
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Previously, The Sun revealed that more than a million prescriptions for anti-depressants were handed to teenagers last year.
In 2019, research looking at around 1,000 existing studies, published in JAMA Psychiatry, concluded that antidepressants are generally safe.
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