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Mental Health

Suicide - Does the Toxicology Report Explain?

09/05/2008

Question:

My brother committed suicide a year ago. We finally got the toxicology report and are trying to see if what was in his system is a contributing factor or, I don`t know. Depression & suicide run in our family - our father also committed suicide. My brother`s postmordem blood toxicology reported 9.0 ng/mL Klonopin w/ 2.0 reporting limit, 140 ng/mL Clonazepam Metabolite w/ 2.0 reporting limit, Hydroxyzine 23 ng/mL w/ 10 reporting limit Rapid Tox Panel II Blood showed Cocaine without a result, but see comments followed by 5240B Cocaine and Metabolites Quantitation/Confirmation, Blood Benzoylecgonine 190 ng/mL result w/ 50 reporting limit. Urine shows presump positive of cocaine & benzodiazepines. I have NO IDEA what any of this means. Could you possibly simplify this for me - tell me exactly what the picture is. It does not look like a pretty picture - and I am prepared for whatever it is so that I can explain it properly to my younger brother. Thank you in advance for your assistance. J

Answer:

I think you need to talk to either a pathologist or a primary care physician who has experience with toxicology reports and their interpretation. I would first go to your brother’s primary care physician if he had one. Otherwise, I would suggest you consult your own physician who may be able to direct you to a pathologist with expertise in this area.

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Response by:

Radu   Saveanu, MD Radu Saveanu, MD
Formerly:
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University