A MOTHER of two young children died after taking pills she had been prescribed for postnatal depression, an inquest has heard.

A hearing in Blackburn was told 23-year-old Afsheen Khan was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital on December 19 after telling family members that she had taken around 25 Sertraline tablets.

Mrs Khan lived at Crosshill Road, Blackburn, with her husband Rizwan and daughters Zahrah, two, and 18-month-old Maryam.

Doctors who treated her said the quantity of tablets ingested were not enough to cause a fatal overdose.

However, she suffered a ‘serious adverse effect’ to the drugs which subsequently caused cardiac arrest and death.

She died on December 23 and was buried on Christmas Eve, which would have been her fourth wedding anniversary.

Giving evidence, Rizwan Khan, a student at UCLan, said his wife began to exhibit symptoms of depression in the weeks following the birth of their second daughter in July 2009.

“She would have mood swings and wasn’t herself.

“She had been prescribed the Sertraline for depression but she told us she stopped taking it after three or four days.

“In the weeks leading up to what happened she had also been suffering from flu like symptoms which added to her being down and depressed.”

Recording an open verdict, Blackburn coroner Michael Singleton said at the time she took the pills her ‘intentions were not apparent’.

He added: “There is insufficient evidence that it was intended as suicide.”

Mrs Khan’s father-in-law, Mohabat Khan, 57 said the disease of postnatal depression was ‘swept under the carpet’ in parts of the Asian community and hoped Mrs Khan’s death would lead people to ‘tolerance and understanding’ of the issue.

He added: “If there is any positive to be taken from Afsheen’s tragic death, it’s that people should seek help if they or family members begin to suffer from postnatal depression.

"I feel that in parts of the Asian community these kinds of problems are dealt with internally rather than help being sought.”