Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Diana's Driver Took Prozac, Test Reveals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Diana's Driver Took Prozac, Test Reveals

Article excerpt

A fresh test found the antidepressant drug Prozac in the blood of the driver for Princess Diana, prosecutors said Wednesday. The test also confirmed high levels of alcohol in the driver's blood.

The test of driver Henri Paul found fluoxetine - the antidepressant best known as Prozac - and tiapride, used to prevent aggression and treat alcoholism.

Side effects of Prozac can include shaking, anxiety and impaired vision. Both medications can cause drowsiness when combined with alcohol. "Prudence in the use of these medications is normally recommended to drivers," the prosecutors' statement said. Prozac wouldn't necessarily worsen the effects of alcohol, but tiapride would, said Dr. Michel Cratlet, a psychiatrist specializing in the treatment of alcoholism. "At this level of alcohol intake, the risks came from the use of alcohol," Cratlet said. "But the fact he took medicine with alcohol could have impaired his vision, reduced his concentration and diminished his vigilance." The prosecutor's statement said the fluoxetine was found at a "therapeutic" level, the dosage a doctor might prescribe. No quantity was given. The tiapride was at a level considered less than therapeutic. The blood test confirmed two earlier tests that showed Paul's blood- alcohol level at 1.75 grams per liter of blood - more than three times the legal limit. Such a level is the equivalent of nine quick shots of whiskey; in the United States, it would translate as a blood alcohol level of .175. A report by the first policeman at the scene of the crash Aug. 31 that killed Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and his driver gave new details Wednesday about first aid efforts and the behavior of photographers. The policeman, who was on patrol nearby, says right after calling for help a witness told him that Diana was in the car. Rescuers tried to keep Diana "conscious as much as possible, by talking to her and tapping her on the cheek" and asked "me to keep her head straight," the officer wrote in his report, which was seen by The Associated Press. …

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