Journal Published Online: 06 April 2005
Volume 50, Issue 3

Postmortem Tissue Distribution of Olanzapine and Citalopram in a Drug Intoxication



A 40-year-old white male was found dead in bed in a group home for mentally ill adults. The decedent had been diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic. An autopsy was performed at the Office of the Cuyahoga County Coroner in Cleveland, Ohio. Toxicological testing detected olanzapine and citalopram in post mortem specimens. Multiple fluids and tissues were assayed by liquid-liquid extraction followed by gas chromatography with nitrogen phosphorus detection, and qualitative confirmation by electron impact gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Drug concentrations [olanzapine : citalopram; mg/L or mg/Kg] determined in this case are the highest reported to date involving these drugs- 1.38:3.35 heart blood, 1.11:1.65 femoral blood, 60.24:32.43 urine, 6.47:10:71 liver, and 38.36:49.16 lung, respectively. Drug concentrations in tissues were found to be the highest in lung for both drugs and lowest in the heart. Citalopram but not olanzapine was detected in bone. The cause of death was ruled acute intoxication by the combined effects of olanzapine and citalopram and the manner, accident.

Author Information

Horak, EL
The Office of the Cuyahoga County Coroner, Cleveland, OH
Jenkins, AJ
The Office of the Cuyahoga County Coroner, Cleveland, OH
Pages: 3
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Stock #: JFS2004067
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2004067