Maskell, Peter D., De Paoli, G., Seetohul, L. N. and Pounder, D. J. (2012) Meptazinol and Ethanol: A Fatal Intoxication. Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 36 (1). pp. 69-73. ISSN 0146-4760

Meptazinol (Meptid®) is an analgesic drug that is used to treat mild to moderate pain including postoperative pain, obstetrical pain, and the pain of renal colic. This case reports a death due to the combined effects of meptazinol and alcohol in a man with significant heart disease and alcoholic liver disease. A 57-year-old male was found unresponsive in his bed at home with empty blister packets of meptazinol around him. A general drug screen detected the presence of meptazinol, and caffeine and metabolites, in cardiac blood. Analysis, both quantitative (HPLC–DAD) and qualitative (HPLC–DAD, LC–MS), of meptazinol was carried out. Meptazinol was found at the following concentrations: 15.5 mg/L in unpreserved femoral blood; 18.6 mg/L in preserved (fluoride-oxalate) femoral blood; 52.1 mg/L in unpreserved cardiac blood; 16.8 mg/L in preserved vitreous; 61.7 mg/L in unpreserved urine; and 9.8 g/L in stomach contents. Ethanol, analyzed by headspace GC–FID, was present in preserved (fluoride-oxalate) femoral venous blood, urine, and vitreous at concentrations of 232 mg/100 mL, 297 mg/100 mL, and 192 mg/100 mL, respectively. Death was attributed to meptazinol and ethanol toxicity, with atherosclerotic coronary artery disease as a contributing factor

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