skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 227806 Find in a Library
Title: Fatal Bupropion Overdose with Post Mortem Blood Concentrations
Journal: Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:2008  Pages:47-50
Author(s): Henry A. Spiller; Edward Bottei; Linda Kalin
Date Published: 2008
Page Count: 4
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper reports five cases of fatal bupropion overdose, with postmortem bupropion concentrations that ranged from 3.1 to greater than 20 mg/l.
Abstract: Bupropion (amfebutamone) is a monocyclic antidepressant pharmacologically unrelated to the other antidepressant classes, with structural similarities to amphetamine and diethylpropion. Bupropion is indicated in the treatment of depression and as an aide to smoking cessation. In addition, bupropion has reportedly been used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome and Crohn's disease, with equivocal results. In bupropion overdose, toxicity is primarily neurological, with agitation, hallucinations, tremor, and seizures. Cardiovascular toxicity has been primarily sinus tachycardia, with some reports of Qtc prolongation and sodium channel blockade evidenced by QRS widening. Death after bupropion ingestion is rare, but has been reported. Nausea and vomiting have been noted in burpropion overdose, which occurred in four of the five cases discussed. Sustained release formulation bupropion may produce delayed onset of severe clinical effects, despite an early asymptomatic period. Sustained release formulation bupropion may release significant portions of drug for absorption while retaining a recognizable pill body shell in the stomach and intestines. Four patients had ingested a sustained-release formulation of bupropion and had evidence of pill "bodies" in their stomach, with significantly elevated blood bupropion concentrations. The pills found in these patients may represent the residual matrix/shell with significant potions of the actual bupropion released and absorbed by the patients. 15 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Drug detection; Drug overdose; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.