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South Med J. 1977 Aug;70(8):938-42.

Fatal poisoning with propoxyphene: report from 100 consecutive cases.


The first 100 deaths caused by propoxyphene and recorded by the Chief Medical Examiner of North Carolina were studied. Victims ranged evenly in age from the second to the seventh decade. Over 65% were suicides with a female to male ratio of 2:1. Blood propoxyphene concentrations of 0.2 mg/dl were fatal, representing rapid ingestion of approximately ten capsules. In North Carolina, deaths due to propoxyphene have increased from five in 1969 to 49 in 1975. Raising physician-awareness of propoxyphene's toxicity and placing the drug in Schedule II are two of the author's recommendations for reducing the number of propoxyphene deaths.

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