(Received 13 May 1996; accepted 12 June 1996)
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The death of a 72-year-old man is described who overdosed himself while in hospital. The man was being treated for lung cancer and ingested 90 mg of zopiclone in a suicide attempt. He died between 4 and 10 h after the ingestion. Zopiclone, quantitated by GC-MS in the femoral blood, cardiac blood, vitreous humor, urine and bile was found to be 254, 408, 94, 7,330, and 114,700 ng/mL, respectively. Considering the man's weakened physical condition, 90 mg could represent a minimum lethal zopiclone dose.
Toxicologist, St. Boniface General Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba,
Stock #: JFS14125J