A Greenwood woman told investigators she gave her 12-year-old daughter applesauce spiked with Prozac for about six months without a doctor prescribing the drug to the girl, police said.
Karen S. Walsh, 51, was charged with felony neglect after admitting Wednesday she gave the girl the drug to help her sleep, the Johnson County Sheriff's Department said.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Walsh told officers that the child had trouble sleeping and that Walsh therefore administered the drug using her own prescription beginning in April.
Police said the Department of Child Services notified them of the situation and that Walsh stopped giving her daughter Prozac this month after DCS told her to stop.
Walsh was aware that Prozac can cause medical conditions, such as an increase in suicidal thoughts, and should only be used with a doctor's supervision, police said.
Walsh told officers, "I knew the doctor would tell me to stop," when asked why she didn't seek medical care for the girl, according to the probable cause affidavit. "I was just trying to help her sleep and I guess I should not have done it."
Police said Walsh told them she gave her daughter about 5 mg of the drug every night and sometimes woke her up to make her eat the applesauce spiked with the drug.
"She couldn't answer (a) question as to why she would wake her up (to give her the spiked applesauce) if she was having this issue with sleeping," Johnson County sheriff's Detective Kirby Cochran told 6News' Derrik Thomas
Walsh was arrested and charged with neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony, after police contacted three physicians, each of whom told them that giving the child Prozac endangered her.
Walsh was released on a $3,000 bond and for now will be allowed to remain at her home, where she lives with her husband, the 12-year-old girl and a 16-year-old daughter, authorities said. She has agreed not to give the girl any more Prozac, authorities said.
Walsh used Prozac herself for depression, according to police. Her husband has agreed to take their children to a doctor for examinations.
Authorities said they want to determine whether the 12-year-old will have any long-term damage from the Prozac use.
A pediatrician, Dr. Michael McKenna, told 6News that giving Prozac to a child who didn't receive a prescription for it is risky.
"A child is still growing, so ... there could be extra effects that maybe wouldn't happen in an adult that might happen in a child," McKenna said.
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