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Journal Article

Citation

Darke S, Deady M, Duflou J. J. Forensic Sci. 2012; 57(5): 1259-1262.

Affiliation

National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, University of New South Wales, NSW, Sydney, Australia. Department of Forensic Medicine, Western Sydney Local Health District, Sydney, Australia. School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, NSW, Sydney, Australia.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2012, American Society for Testing and Materials, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02117.x

PMID

22444504

Abstract

  All cases presenting to the New South Wales Department of Forensic Medicine between January 1, 2001 and September 31, 2010 in which zolpidem was detected, were retrieved. A total of 91 cases were identified. The mean age was 49.4 years, 65.9% were male, and 61.5% were suicides. Zolpidem was a factor contributing to death in 35 (37.3%) cases, of which 31 (34.1%) involved zolpidem toxicity. The median blood zolpidem concentration was 0.20 mg/L (range 0.05-3.50 mg/L), with no significant gender difference. Drug toxicity cases involving zolpidem had significantly higher median blood zolpidem concentrations than other cases (0.50 vs. 0.10 mg/L). In 83.5% of cases, psychoactive substances other than zolpidem were detected, most commonly antidepressants (46.2%), benzodiazepines (35.2%), opioids (26.4%), and alcohol (39.6%). In summary, zolpidem was a factor contributing to death in a large proportion of cases, predominately involving drug toxicity and suicide.


Language: en

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