Acute Effects of Ketamine Caused Friends Actor Matthew Perry Death

By Dr Nikhil

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Friends actor Matthew Perry died of accidental ketamine overdose as per the autopsy report. The 54 year old actor was found dead in his pool at his Los Angeles home on october 28, 2023.

The contributing factors for the death are drowning, coronary artery disease and buprenorphine, a drug used for the treatment of opioid use disorder. The cause of death is accidental. 

Perry had a history of drug addiction, anxiety and depression. He was receiving ketamine infusion for the treatment of depression. He had received ketamine infusion a week before his death.

The autopsy report has found that ketamine levels in Perry’s blood is higher than that used for the surgical procedure which caused stimulation of heart and respiratory depression. This lead to Perry to get unconscious and fall in the pool and drawing becomes the secondary cause of death. No alcohol is detected in his body or other drugs like cocaine or fentanyl.

According to the research of the National Institutes of Health in 2006, intravenous ketamine could be used for the treatment of severe depression to relieve symptoms early. 

Ketamine : General anesthetic

Ketamine is approved by Food and Drug. Administration for the purpose of general anesthetic only. Doctors use ketamine for the surgical procedures that do not require muscle relaxation.Ketamine can produce hallucinations. Hallucinations are distorted perceptions of sight and sounds. Because of this property of hallucinations, ketamine has been used in parties and clubs to get a sense of feeling out of body experience for a short time.

Ketamine is used for the short general anesthesia for the short surgical procedures in the surgical hospitals. Ketamine can cause side effects like double vision, confusion, feeling of unease, hallucinations. 

Overdose of ketamine can cause an increase in the blood pressure and heart rate and respiratory depression according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It also responsible for increased intracranial pressure

Ketamine is colourless and odourless. So someone may be a victim purposefully for the crime.

Mixing with alcohol is very fatal due to properties of the ketamine. It can be associated with accidental injuries as in the case of Perry.

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Dr Nikhil is Pediatrician works at Nandai Clinic in Jalgaon. He has completed his MBBS in 2009 and DCH in 2015. He has started blog for generating awareness about health among people for healthy lifestyle.

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