Journal Article

Reference Concentrations of Antidepressants. A Compilation of Postmortem and Therapeutic Levels

M. Reis, T. Aamo, J. Ahlner and H. Druid

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 31, issue 5, pages 254-264
Published in print June 2007 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online June 2007 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/31.5.254
Reference Concentrations of Antidepressants. A Compilation of Postmortem and Therapeutic Levels

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In approximately 95% of all medicolegal autopsies performed in Sweden between 1992 and 2005, femoral blood samples were collected and screened for antidepressant drugs. A total of 8591 cases were identified and used for detailed analysis and interpretation. The present compilation provides information about 15 antidepressant drugs determined in femoral blood from certified fatal intoxications and in postmortem “control cases”. The postmortem data were subjected to a previously proposed strategy, based on strictly standardized conditions regarding collection, handling and toxicological analysis of the samples. The postmortem data were compared with a therapeutic drug monitoring material (Group T; n = 16,809). The strict inclusion criteria meant that only 2737 postmortem cases were included in the survey. Accordingly, Group A (n = 330) were certified as deaths involving intoxication with a single antidepressant drug; Group B (n = 864) were deaths involving intoxication with more than one drug and/or with a significant concentration of ethanol; and Group C (n = 1800) were deaths under circumstances not involving incapacitation by drugs. In addition to providing reference levels for each drug, the results may also be used to assess risk of toxicity and supply supplementary information to the standard fatal toxicity index.

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Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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