Britney's drug-mix could explain behavior

February 6, 2008 10:36:06 AM PST
Lynne Spears says her daughter unknowingly consumed crushed-up pills - a "risky mix" that may have put her at the edge of mental abyss

The combination of prescription drugs that Britney Spears' mother claims were ground up in the singer's food was a risky mix that could cause hysterical outbursts, agitation, creepy hallucinations, even a stroke, medical experts told

"Grinding up medications without medical direction that's dangerous," said Dr. Joshua Prager, director of the Center for the Rehabilitation of Pain Syndromes (CRPS) at UCLA Medical Plaza. "Drugs have very different ways of getting into the bloodstream when you crush them up. Nobody should be messing with drugs without a physician's supervision."

In court documents requesting that the singer's self-described manager Sam Lutfi be ordered out of Spears' house, Lynne Spears said Lutfi was slipping ground-up pills in her daughter's food to keep her quiet and at one point Lutfi told Lynne Spears that Britney had to take "10 pills a day."

The drugs mentioned in her deposition, Seroquel and Risperdal, are anti-psychotics used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The known side effects of the drugs that Lynne Spears alleges were given to her daughter may also help explain some of the singer's recent bizarre behavior.

Lynne Spears described arriving at her daughter's Los Angeles home Jan. 28, two days before Spears was forcibly hospitalized. She said that she found Lutfi in charge and the entertainer confused.

"Mr. Lutfi drugged Britney, he has cut Britney's home phone lines and removed her cell phone chargers," Lynne Spears wrote in a court declaration, "He yells at her, he claims to control everything Britney's business manager, her attorneys and the security guards at the gate."

Doctors say that taking a combination of anti-psychotic drugs like Risperdal and Seroquel is common, but in high doses can cause heavy sedation.

Additionally, according to Lynne Spears' declaration, Spears told her doctor on that night that she had taken "Aderol." She was most likely referring to the amphetamine drug Adderall used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, doctors said.

"Adding the amphetamine is strange. I've never heard of that before," said Ja

mes Adams, associate professor at pharmacology at the University of Southern California.

Mixing Adderall in with the anti-psychotic medications Lutfi allegedly used could also have serious medical side effects, potentially even causing stroke.

"Amphetamine can cause hallucination at very high doses, just like cocaine," said Adams, who likens the hallucinations to the feeling of bugs crawling over the skin.

If Lynne Spears' allegations are correct, Lutfi's administration of the anti-psychotics could explain recent reports of Britney Spears' slurred speech and hysterical outbursts, while the allegation that she was given Adderall also seem to be reflected in her behavior.

"Britney & became very agitated and could not stop moving," Lynne Spears wrote in the court papers.

"She cleaned the house. She changed her clothes many times. She also changed her dogs' clothes many times. Britney spoke to me in a tone and with the level of understanding of a very young girl," she said.

The Spears family has attempted to file a temporary restraining order against Lutfi, claiming he has taken over the distressed 26-year-old's life.

Britney Spears' father, Jamie Spears, and attorney Andrew Wallete have been granted temporary control of her assets, including her house, pending further legal proceedings.

Radha Chitale contributed to this report.