Journal Article

A Fatality Due to Cyproheptadine and Citalopram

Veronica Hargrove and D. Kimberley Molina

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 33, issue 8, pages 564-567
Published in print October 2009 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online October 2009 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
A Fatality Due to Cyproheptadine and Citalopram

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Cyproheptadine (Periactin®) is a first-generation antihistamine available in over-the-counter cold medications and is used to treat allergic-type symptoms. Although antihistamines in general have long been known to cause serious side effects, especially when taken in overdose, few reports that specifically address cyproheptadine-related fatalities exist. A 42-year-old healthy female was found dead at her home with no anatomic cause of death and a recent history of suicidal ideations. Toxicology revealed cyproheptadine and citalopram in the femoral postmortem blood at concentrations of 0.49 and 2.3 mg/L, respectively. Vitreous, urine, and bile analysis were also performed, yielding concentrations of < 0.04 and 0.80 mg/L in the vitreous for cyproheptadine and citalopram, respectively; 0.23 and 8.2 mg/L in the urine; and 30.7 and 9.0 mg/L in the bile. The cause of death was determined to be cyproheptadine and citalopram intoxication, and the manner was ruled a suicide. Although cyproheptadine is widely available in the United States and Europe, there are only two published fatalities due to this antihistamine and only one that specifically cites blood and tissue concentrations. Therefore, this case study will be beneficial to the forensic toxicology community by providing additional information regarding postmortem interpretation.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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