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Fatalities associated with fentanyl and co-administered cocaine or opiates.

Fatalities associated with fentanyl and co-administered cocaine or opiates.

  1. Bajeda
    Hull MJ, Juhascik M, Mazur F, Flomenbaum MA, Behonick GS. (2007). Fatalities associated with fentanyl and co-administered cocaine or opiates. J Forensic Sci. Nov;52(6):1383-8.

    Fatalities associated with fentanyl hydrochloride are increasingly seen in Massachusetts. Between September 2005 and November 2006, 5009 medicolegal investigations associated 107 deaths with licit or illicit fentanyl use, along with a co-detection of an opiate/opioid or cocaine/benzoylecognine, or both. Deaths associated with illicit fentanyl use occur in younger people (39.4 vs. 61.5 years) with higher fentanylassociated with illicit fentanyl use. A wide range of postmortem blood concentrations of fentanyl was detected (trace-280 ng/mL), with a minimum concentration of 7 ng/mL of fentanyl strongly associated with illicit use of fentanyl in poly-drug cases. The most commonly detected opiates/opioids in illicit fentanyl users were: morphine (29%), oxycodone (14.5%), and methadone (14.5%). Ethanol, cannabinoids, diazepam, citalopram, and diphenhydramine were each detected in greater than 10% of the licit fentanyl cases. (17.1 ng/mL vs. 4.4 ng/mL) and lower morphine (76.9 ng/mL vs. 284.2 ng/mL) postmortem blood concentrations, and more frequent cocaine co-intoxication (65% vs. 3%), than deaths