Journal Article

Distribution of Embutramide and Mebezonium Iodide in a Suicide after Tanax Injection

L. Morini, F. Pozzi, E. Risso, C. Vignali and A. Groppi

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 36, issue 5, pages 349-352
Published in print June 2012 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online June 2012 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI:
Distribution of Embutramide and Mebezonium Iodide in a Suicide after Tanax Injection

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Tanax is a veterinary formulation for euthanasia comprising embutramide, mebezonium iodide and tetracaine. A 37-year-old female was found dead on her bed, with three empty used syringes and a bottle of Tanax beside her body. Three needle puncture marks were observed on the body. The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of embutramide and mebezonium iodide in different biological matrices (femoral and cardiac blood, liver, muscle and vitreous humor) using a chromatographic method for the simultaneous determination of the two drugs. A direct and sensitive liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry method was developed in multiple reaction monitoring mode with positive ionization. Lidocaine was used as an internal standard. Limits of detection and quantitation of 0.01 and 0.05 mg/L, respectively, were reached for both compounds. Embutramide levels ranged from 2.74 mg/L in vitreous humor to 5.06 mg/L in femoral blood, while mebezonium iodide was found at widely differing concentrations (ranging from 2.80 mg/kg in muscle to 24.80 mg/kg in liver). The chromatographic method developed for this study provides a very simple and sensitive means for the simultaneous determination of embutramide and mebezonium iodide, the emetic concentrations of which were consistent with suicides reported in the literature.

Journal Article.  1588 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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