Teen’s family sue over amitriptyline prescriptions

The family of a 14-year-old suicide victim are suing four GPs who prescribed her the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline, claiming it caused her death.

Angel Cowie overdosed on the drug in February 2014, and now her parents and sister are suing the Queensland doctors for negligence, as well as breach of duty of care and breach of contract.

The District Court claim alleges amitriptyline, marketed as Endep, is inappropriate for treating major depressive disorders in adolescents and carries a “significantly higher risk of suicide or higher rate of death in the event of an overdose than newer non-tricyclic antidepressants”.

A major review published in the Lancet recently found only one drug, fluoxetine, is suitable for teenagers.

“Fluoxetine is probably the best option to consider when a pharmacological treatment is indicated,” according to the review,