‘Dr Google’ can kill: Self-medication using Internet takes life of city youth

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Sep 2018 08:11:38


By Dheeraj Fartode,

Police probe revealed that the obese youth died due to overdose of a weight loss medicine

HOW overdependence on Internet, even for curing diseases, can ruin people’s lives was realised the hard way by city’s Chikhalkar family, whose only son died due to overdose of a medicine he was using for weight loss. Investigation into last year’s accidental death case of Paritosh Suresh Chikhalkar (27) has revealed that the deceased had gained information about the medicine to reduce weight on Google search engine.

Paritosh, a resident of Plot No. 4, Durga Nagar, MIDC, had gone missing on April 4, 2017. His decomposed body was found after four days in the jungles of Ghoghali village near Besa on April 8, 2017. Police seized a bag, a water bottle, a mobile phone and empty strips of Quetiapine medicine from the spot. The devastated parents of Paritosh suspected that someone had killed their son and urged police to investigate the case. Police started probing the angles of murder, suicide and accidental death.

The post-mortem report stated no injury or marks were found on the body, ruling out the murder angle. To investigate poisoning angle, police sent Viscera for forensic analysis to ascertain whether Paritosh’s heart, lungs, abdomen, liver, pancreas and intestines had any signs of poison. The viscera report also mentioned ‘no poisoning’.

As the last resort when the cops started checking the deceased’s digital footprints the role of medicine recovered from the spot stunned the investigators. Kishor Choudhary, Police Inspector, Hudkeshwar Police Station told ‘The Hitavada’ that Paritosh’s Google search history helped them establish link with the medicine recovered from the spot.

Paritosh, a graduate in Biotechnology, was preparing for the MPSC for last three years. He was under depression after failing the examination. Obesity was also the reason for his frustration and he was searching medicines to reduce weight.

When the deceased’s mobile phone was unlocked after several attempts police got a crucial lead after studying his Google search history. Paritosh was searching for dosage, usage and disadvantages of Quetiapine pills on Google for a week. His queries included; How to lose weight? How to lose weight by medicine? Methods to lose weight by Quetiapine medicine? Incidentally, he had also read reports of three persons dying due to overdose of combination of Quetiapine and Homoeopathic medicine.

Nilesh Bharne, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Zone IV, said, the medicine was prescribed by a doctor to his mother and Paritosh used to bring it for her. Out of three strips of Quetiapine recovered from the spot, two strips were empty and a strip was having just seven tablets. It means Paritosh might have consumed 23 tablets. Police had also sent a query to manufacturer of the medicine who said overdose of the medicine can cause death of a person.