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Forensic Sci Int. 2015 Mar;248:e13-5. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.01.001. Epub 2015 Jan 8.

A fatal intoxication with phenazone (antipyrine).

Author information

1
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Forensic Sciences, Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway. Electronic address: ritva.karinen@fhi.no.
2
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Forensic Sciences, Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway.
3
Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Division of Forensic Sciences, Box 4404 Nydalen, 0403 Oslo, Norway; Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Norway.

Abstract

Phenazone is a non-opioid analgesic used to treat acute mild to moderate pain, and is considered to be a safe drug. It is most often sold as a nonprescription/over-the-counter drug. Very few fatalities due to phenazone overdoses are reported in the literature. We present a case where a man in his early sixties was found dead in his home in the bottom of a staircase, the scene suggesting that death might have been caused by blunt force injury. However, in spite of the apparently dramatic scene, the gross findings at autopsy did not reveal lethal injuries. Whole blood from the femoral vein was collected during autopsy and screened for drugs of abuse and medicinal drugs. The only toxicological findings were a very high concentration of phenazone (280mg/L) and a high therapeutic concentration of caffeine (34mg/L). An UPLC-MS/MS method was used for quantification of the drugs.

KEYWORDS:

Antipyrine; Forensic science; Lethal intoxication; Phenazone; UPLC–MS/MS

PMID:
25631541
DOI:
10.1016/j.forsciint.2015.01.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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