Volume 30, Issue 2 (April 1985)
Deaths as a Result of a Combination of Codeine and Glutethimide
Toxicological findings are described in 16 medical examiner cases directly related to the combination of codeine and glutethimide. The cases described represent a six-month period, July through December 1982, showing the epidemic rate of abuse of this drug combination, most prominent in the Newark, NJ area since the late 1970s. Concentrations of codeine and glutethimide, measured by gas liquid chromatography (GLC), in the blood averaged 0.62 and 4.07 mg/L, respectively. Similarly determined urine concentrations averaged 38.06 and 12.68 mg/L, respectively. Specific concentrations of each drug in most cases were in the high therapeutic range, suggesting a possible toxic synergistic effect.