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Grandmother arrested after infant dies from overdose of antihistamine

An autopsy revealed the 11-month-old boy died died from an overdose of a powerful medication used to treat runny nose and watery eyes.
Grandmother arrested after infant dies from overdose of antihistamine
Posted at 9:31 AM, Oct 17, 2023

A grandmother in Broward County, Florida, was arrested last week for the 2022 death of her 11-month-old grandson. 

According to the Broward County Sheriff's Office, Josiah Fenelus died on Aug. 21, 2022. A coroner's autopsy revealed that Josiah had a "lethal concentration of the powerful antihistamine cyproheptadine" in his body at the time of his death. 

The boy's grandmother, Tibina Louissant, told investigators she was the only person to make Josiah’s bottles while in her care. Authorities said she was watching Josiah for the weekend.

The sheriff's office said toxicology samples from two of his bottles tested positive for cyproheptadine.

The medicine is commonly used to stop runny nose, watery eyes and itchy rash, according to the Cleveland Clinic. The Cleveland Clinic says the medicine can be prescribed for children as young as age 2. 

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The coroner said that Josiah's cause of death was determined to be cyproheptadine toxicity. The autopsy listed the manner of death as homicide. 

The Sheriff's office said that Josiah had no known medical issues before his death. 

Louissant was charged with aggravated manslaughter of a child. 

Last month, the Broward County Sheriff's Office released a warning about the drug. 

"According to the FDA, cyproheptadine is a powerful antihistamine that also acts as an appetite stimulant and is frequently used to augment one’s physical appearance," the sheriff's office said. It is only legal with a doctor’s prescription but can be found in products sold in certain stores and online without a prescription. Antihistamine overdose can cause disorientation, hallucinations, coma and, in some cases, death."

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