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J Anal Toxicol. 1995 Oct;19(6):531-4.

Zolpidem tissue concentrations in a multiple drug related death involving Ambien.

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Institute of Forensic Sciences Toxicology Laboratory, Oakland, CA 94609, USA.


Zolpidem (Ambien), a relatively new nonbenzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic, was involved in the death of a 39-year-old obese male who was being treated for depression and insomnia. The identification and quantitation procedures of zolpidem in postmortem tissues included dual-column gas chromatography (GC) with nitrogen-phosphorus detection and GC-mass spectrometry. Zolpidem was present at concentrations of 2.91, 1.40, and 2.13 microg/mL in the heart blood, peripheral blood, and urine, respectively. The liver had zolpidem present at a concentration of 4.74 microg/g, and the gastric contents had a total of 172 mg zolpidem. Additional drugs present included hydrocodone and morphine (nonconjugated) at 0.16 and 0.04 microg/mL, respectively. The cause of death was determined to be multiple drug intoxication. This report describes the analytical techniques and significance of the zolpidem findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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