Methadone Related Deaths: Identifying the Vulnerable Patients
Methadone Related Deaths: Identifying The Vulnerable Patients
Methadone has been used in opioid dependence treatment since the 1960s and is now prescribed also as a chronic pain treatment. Even though its effectiveness has been worldwide assessed, literature reports several cases of death associated with the administration of this drug. Risk factors are still uncertain and the frequent combination with other substances of abuse makes it even more difficult to determine the exact role of methadone in the pathogenesis of fatalities. In this paper the authors present the autopsy findings in a subset of deaths characterized by blood being positive for the methadone only at a therapeutic dose in order to point out those pre-existent pathologic conditions that seem to increase the risk of death in methadone treatment.