Post-mortem toxico-kinetics of trazodone

Forensic Sci Int. 1992 Oct;56(2):201-7. doi: 10.1016/0379-0738(92)90180-5.

Abstract

Trazodone is a structurally unique bicyclic anti-depressant, said to be significantly less toxic than other anti-depressants following an acute overdose. We studied the tissue distribution and post-mortem redistribution of trazodone in two fatalities, one of which allowed comparison with trimipramine, a typical tricyclic anti-depressant. Case 1, a 53-year-old female weighing 72 kg, had femoral vein concentrations of trimipramine 5.5 micrograms/ml, trazodone 14.4 micrograms/ml and alcohol 107 mg%. Case 2, a 48-year-old female of 70 kg, had a femoral vein trazodone of 15.5 micrograms/ml and alcohol 34 mg%, with no other drugs detected. For case 1 and case 2 respectively, trazodone tissue concentrations were: skeletal muscle 7.3 and 9.0 micrograms/g; left and right lungs 13.3, 12.9 and 35.3, 40.1; myocardium, 30.9 and 28.9; kidneys 34.7 and 39.6; liver 73.7 and 82.4; fat 18.5 and 16.5; brain 48.6 and 20.9. For case 1 and 2, respectively, blood trazodone concentrations in 10 initial autopsy samples ranged from 13.7-17.3 and 14.4-16.9 micrograms/ml. Twenty-four and forty-eight hours later the respective ranges were 12.8-18.0 and 12.4-19.9 for case 1, 12.5-20.1 and 12.7-27.0 for case 2. By contrast, for trimipramine, blood concentrations at 0 time, 24 h and 48 hours ranged from 5.5-11.4, 5.2-14.3, and 4.2-18.2, respectively. We conclude that trazodone shows little preferential concentration in solid organs and consequently has relatively stable post-mortem blood concentrations with little drug redistribution artefact. Both the clinical pharmacokinetics and post-mortem toxicokinetics of trazodone differ significantly from the tricyclic anti-depressants.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Suicide
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Trazodone / blood
  • Trazodone / pharmacokinetics*
  • Trazodone / poisoning*
  • Trimipramine / blood
  • Trimipramine / pharmacokinetics
  • Trimipramine / poisoning

Substances

  • Trimipramine
  • Trazodone