Paramedics called after Hale Junior High School students ingest prescription anti-depressant

TULSA - Paramedics were called to a midtown Tulsa school Tuesday morning after nearly a dozen students ingested a prescription anti-depressant.

EMSA responded to Hale Junior High School near 21st and Sheridan just before 11 a.m. "for a possible multi-patient event," said Kelli Bruer, EMSA spokeswoman.

Chris Payne, Tulsa Public Schools spokesman, says nine students took what may have been Abilify, a prescription medication commonly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

Payne says two students alerted the principal to the situation and paramedics were called to campus to monitor the students.

No one was transported to the hospital, and officials say the students are OK. 

Some common side effects in children under 18 include sleepiness, headache, vomiting and uncontrolled movements. The drug can also cause stroke, high fever, confusion and in some cases choking.

READ: '1 in 5 Oklahoma teens have abused prescription drugs, CDC says' (http://bit.ly/CDCteenstats)

Campus police are investigating the incident and parents have been contacted.

Payne says the students who disbursed the drug and those who took it will face disciplinary action. The district believes the student who brought the medicine to school most likely took it from his or her parents.

Police did arrest one student at the school after a search uncovered marijuana. 

Officials say this should be a wake up call to parents to better monitor the prescriptions in their home.

On Monday, four high school students in Norman were hospitalized after overdosing on Xanax, a drug used to treat anxiety. Those students are expected to recover.

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