A mother from Stoke-on-Trent, England, allegedly drank herself to death with Pepsi Max while using antidepressants, according to investigators.
Victoria Lane, 38, died from a mixture of prescription drugs, specifically fluoxetine, and "excessive" caffeine consumption, reports The Western Daily Press.
People who consume a lot of caffeine while taking fluoxetine may develop serotonin syndrome, according to the Daily Mail. This condition provokes excessive nerve cell activity in the brain, which can result in death.
Her 17-year-old son, Reese, found her body on April 19. He noticed his mother was in the same position as when he had left the house the night before. The teenager called emergency services after he couldn't wake her up.
"I tried to wake her up but her jaw was completely locked," said Reese. "That's when I started to worry. I called [emergency services]."
Lane suffered from mental health issues, according to a Just Giving crowdfunding page established for her funeral expenses. The mother also suffered from alcohol abuse, and was involved in a serious car accident as a teenager.
"When [mom] was drinking heavily she could get through a 1-liter bottle of vodka a day and four 2-liter bottles of Pepsi Max," Reese said.
Rosalyne Lane, Victoria's mother, said, "I knew she drank vodka but I didn't know exactly how much. She did drink a lot of Pepsi Max, though."
"One of the side effects of the drugs was that she had a very dry mouth and Pepsi Max was what she liked to drink," Rosalyne said. She mentioned being concerned about the high caffeine content of Pepsi Max, but Victoria claimed it was OK.
Pathologists report that her death was a result of "excessive ingestion of fluoxetine exacerbated by the excess use of caffeine." Lane's death has been ruled "accidental."
"It is absolutely tragic that such a young lady who had overcome significant adversity and had managed to sort herself and who had so much life and so much to look forward to, died prematurely," stated Assistant Coroner Sarah Murphy.