October 23, 2012
Tony Scott, brother of Ridley Scott and British film director who was known for box office hits like Top Gun and Days of Thunder, leapt to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles last August.
Aside from blunt force trauma and drowning, the LA Coroner’s Office autopsy report has listed that Scott had antidepressants and sleeping pills in his system when he died.
Therapeutic levels of the drugs Mirtazapine and Lunesta were found in Scott’s bloodstream. Mirtazapine, known by the brand name Remeron, can cause serious side effects such as agitation, hallucinations, overactive reflexes, trouble concentrating, “feeling unsteady” and confusion. Warnings include not taking this medication if someone is taking Tryptophan, an essential amino acid that people need, and something people take for insomnia.
Along with Remeron, Scott had been taking Lunesta, a medication that is also prescribed for insomnia. Its side effects include depression and anxiety — the very symptoms Remeron is prescribed to treat. Like Remeron, Lunesta can also cause confusion, hallucinations, memory problems/amnesia, mental changes, severe mood swings, and unusual or disturbing thoughts.
The adverse reaction list for Lunesta also shows the drug can induce suicidal thoughts.
The British Medical Journal published a study earlier this year that found seniors who take Lunesta have a 50 percent higher risk of developing dementia if they begin taking the drug after the age of 65. Scott was 68 years old at the time of his death.
Did prescription medications play a role in Scott’s suicide? He is not the first member of the Hollywood elite in recent years with these kinds of legal drugs found in his system after death.
This past spring the coroner overseeing Whitney Houston‘s autopsy declared it was a mix of anti-anxiety medications and alcohol, not drowning in a bathtub, that killed her. The NYC Medical Examiner’s Office found that an accidental overdose of prescriptions, including a combination of anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills, killed Heath Ledger. Multiple prescription drug intoxication was partly blamed for Brittany Murphy‘s untimely death, and it was reported she may have taken over 100 pills of prescription painkiller Vicodin in the 11 days prior to passing away.
On average, prescription drugs kill 300% more Americans than illegal drugs. The Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA) admits that, conservatively, the adverse reactions of FDA-approved medications kill 290 people every single day — causing over 106,000 deaths in the U.S. per year, more than most cancers (except for lung), diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney disease, liver disease, traffic accidents or violence.
The AMA study these figures are based on is over 12 years old now, so the true number killed by Big Pharma every day is likely much higher.