Nefopam hydrochloride: A fatal overdose

L. Nitin Seetohul (Lead / Corresponding author), Giorgia De Paoli, Gail Drummond, Peter D. Maskell

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Nefopam is a non-opiate analgesic commonly used for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. A case of a 37-year-old male who was found dead in the morning is presented. An autopsy was performed and femoral venous blood, heart blood, urine, and vitreous humor were submitted for toxicological analysis. A general drug screen detected the presence of nefopam, caffeine, nicotine, citalopram, gabapentin, amitriptyline, diazepam and paracetamol in cardiac blood. Nefopam was quantitated by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode-array detection. Nefopam was found at the following concentrations: 13.6 mg/L in unpreserved femoral blood; 14.7 mg/L in preserved (fluoride-oxalate) femoral blood; 21.2 mg/L in unpreserved cardiac blood and 4.5 mg/L in preserved vitreous. Citalopram was present at a concentration of 0.7 mg/L ( femoral blood) and 0.9 mg/L (cardiac blood). Ethanol analyzed by headspace gas chromatography (GC-FID) was detected in preserved (fluoride- oxalate) vitreous (14 mg/100 mL) and preserved (fluoride-oxalate) urine 50 mg/100 mL. Death was attributed to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease and therapeutic drug toxicity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)486-489
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Analytical Toxicology
    Issue number6
    Early online date7 Apr 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Analytical Chemistry
    • Toxicology
    • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
    • Chemical Health and Safety
    • Environmental Chemistry


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