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Did Effexor Cause Teacher to Have Sex with Student?

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Saskatoon, CanadaWhen dealing with Effexor side effects, one of the topics that comes up is the reported risk of Effexor birth defects. What is not often covered is what happens when Effexor is given to a person misdiagnosed with depression. In such cases, the reported Effexor side effects can be devastating and, in one case, can result in criminal charges. Recently, a teacher in Canada learned what could happen after she faced charges related to a sexual relationship with a former student.

A judge in the case found that the teacher was not criminally responsible for a sexual relationship she carried out with a former student who was 15 years old at the time of that relationship. According to the Vancouver Sun (02/04/11), the teacher was misdiagnosed and given medication that caused her to be in an extreme "manic state" during the time of the relationship.

Although the teacher was charged with sexual touching, sexual exploitation and sexual assault, a judge declared the teacher not criminally responsible because of her manic state.

Both the Crown (the prosecution in Canada) and the teacher's lawyer agreed that the teacher was misdiagnosed with major depression and was prescribed Effexor, an antidepressant in the class of drugs known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). In fact, the teacher had bipolar disorder. Unfortunately the manic episodes of bipolar disorder are reportedly made worse by Effexor. Manic episodes of bipolar disorder involve euphoria, racing thoughts, lack of judgment and inability to sleep.

Friends of the teacher said she began drinking excessively even though prior to the Effexor she was a light drinker. She also reportedly went days without sleeping and lost a significant amount of weight. The teacher's family members were concerned enough about the changes in her personality that they contacted her doctor.

During the manic period, the teacher began a sexual relationship with her former student, which continued until the boy's mother found out what was going on.

The teacher's trial reportedly lasted less than an hour before she was declared not criminally responsible due to mental illness, a decision even the prosecution seems to agree with.


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