Volume 21, Issue 4 (October 1976)
A National Assessment of Propoxyphene in Postmortem Medicolegal Investigation, 1972–1975
Propoxyphene in its various proprietary forms is among the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. As an analgesic which physicians find useful to bridge the gap between aspirin and the narcotics, propoxyphene has reached general application unparalleled by any other “pain-killer.” It is inevitable for any drug with such widespread usage that if it has any toxicity at all, in whatever form or circumstance, it will eventually come to the attention of forensic pathologists and toxicologists. So it has been with propoxyphene in the 1970s through a series of papers in the scientific literature [1–8] suggesting that propoxyphene was increasingly implicated in medicolegal investigations of drug-related deaths. Many groups of cases have been reported by toxicologists in particular areas such as Dallas , North Carolina , Southern California , and the San Francisco Bay area , but generally in terms of the analytical toxicology findings alone, and usually as a “snapshot” of an incidence at one point in time.