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Jan 18,2008
Methadone linked to cardiac death
by UPI

PORTLAND - Methadone is a possible cause of sudden cardiac death at therapeutic levels for relief of chronic pain or drug addiction withdrawal, a U.S. study found.

Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland did an evaluation of all sudden cardiac deaths in the greater Portland metropolitan area form 2002-06 in which detailed autopsies were performed.

The analysis, published in the American Journal of Medicine, compared two groups, one group consisted of 22 sudden cardiac deaths in which toxicology screens turned up 1 mg or less of methadone -- defined as a therapeutic level and the second group of 106 cases showed no evidence of methadone.

Lead investigator Dr. Sumeet Chugh found 17 of the first group, or 77 percent, had no significant cardiac abnormalities, while five had evidence of significant coronary artery disease. By contrast, 60 percent of the group where no methadone was present had identifiable evidence of cardiac disease or structural abnormalities -- potential causes of sudden cardiac death.

"The unexpectedly high proportion of otherwise unexplained sudden deaths in the therapeutic methadone group points to a significant contribution of this drug toward the occurrence of sudden cardiac death among these patients," Chugh said in a statement.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

1239 times read

Related news
Lifewire: Metabolic syndrome points to heart health by Ven_Griva posted on Jun 08,2007

Two Bend Men Busted for Cocaine, Methadone Sales by Cheryl McDermott posted on Oct 06,2006


Oregon 2007 drug-related deaths increase by Bend_Weekly_News_Sources posted on May 14,2008


Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 4.76Rating: 4.76Rating: 4.76Rating: 4.76Rating: 4.76 (total 33 votes)

  • Methadone is the #1 killer of prescription narcotic drugs today. Many have died from a single small dose and nothing else in their system. Some have died even after several years of dosing then suddenly become toxic. As I head a research project involing autopsy reports of many victims from various doses that has led to their death I can say with confidence that the first post it absolutley incorrect. Also through our research and studies we have found that remarks such as the one posted usually come from people who are actively using Methadone. Truth is Methadone is a very lethal and unstable drug. One pill can kill!!!! Mothers Against Medical Abuse. Org
  • (Posted on January 19, 2008, 2:01 am MAMAorg)

  • First, many MANY drugs can have cardio toxic effects on the heart. That is why with ANY drug there is always a risk/benefit analysis a patient and doctor must face before going on the medication. Second this is a HYPOTHESIS that is FAR from proven. This study is far from conculsive and in order to really pin point the problem a real clinical trial would have to be done-one that involved much more patients and rigorous controls on other factors that could contribute to the problem. Third, even if it is found that methadone is cardio-toxic, many (if not all PLUS MORE) of these patient would probably have died without methadone anyway due to overdose, HIV, Hepatitis or a host of other problems that come with Heroin addiction.
  • (Posted on January 18, 2008, 9:41 am KRISTAN)

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