Database processing for identification of concomitant drug frequencies in a forensic material positive for antidepressant drugs

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för medicin och hälsaHälsouniversitetet


This article presents a study conducted on data containing drug concentrations. The data was obtained from femoral venous blood samples collected at medico legal autopsies in Sweden. Cases positive for antidepressant drugs were scrutinized and divided in to two groups for 15 antidepressant drugs: B‑cases, where the cause of death was intoxication with more than one drug detected in the blood sample. C‑cases, where the cause of death was NOT intoxication and at least one drug (the antidepressant) was detected in the blood sample. This data was then processed to find frequencies of concomitant drugs taken together with the antidepressant drugs. Frequencies of the most common concomitant drugs were then compared between B-cases and C-cases for each antidepressant drug. This revealed that the drugs dextropropoxyphene, ethanol, codeine, flunitrazepam, paracetamol, propiomazine and alimemazine were signifcantly more common as concomitant drugs in B-cases (intoxications) than in C‑cases (non‑intoxications).With regards to unknown interactions the most interesting combinations were: Propiomazine with mirtazapine, venlafaxine, citalopram or fluoxetine; Paracetamol with paroxetine; Flunitrazepam with mirtazapine, venlafaxine or citalopram; Codeine with mirtazapine or sertraline. These combinations should be further investigated.

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