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Methadone concentrations taken as indicating deaths due to overdose need to be reviewed

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 07 December 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1481
  1. John Merrill,
  2. Tim Garvey,
  3. Chris Rosson
  1. Consultant in drug dependence Consultant in drug dependence Clinical manager Drugs North West, Manchester M25 7BL

    EDITOR,—We are concerned that recent reports of death from methadone overdose may be greatly exaggerated owing to the use of inappropriately low serum methadone concentrations in attributing cause of death.1 2

    Alison Cairns and colleagues do not specify what was considered to be a fatal serum methadone concentration in the 90 cases reported from Manchester,1 but a recent study from Sheffield of deaths …

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