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Title: Ethanol and Medical Psychotropics Co-Consumption in European Countries: Results from a Three-Year Retrospective Study of Forensic Samples in Spain
Authors: Almeida González, Maira Del Pino 
Domínguez Boada, Luis María 
Burillo-Putze, Guillermo
Henríquez Hernández, Luis Alberto 
Pérez Luzardo, Octavio Luis 
Quintana Montesdeoca, María Del Pino 
Zumbado Peña, Manuel Luis 
UNESCO Clasification: 32 Ciencias médicas
3201 Ciencias clínicas
3214 Toxicología
Keywords: Compulsory autopsies
Toxicological findings
Medical psychotropics
Blood alcohol concentrations
Issue Date: 2022
Journal: Toxics 
Abstract: Ethanol and medical psychotropics (MPs) are legal psychoactive substances widely consumed in Western countries that are routinely detected in standard toxicological analyses at compulsory autopsies, and toxicokinetic interactions between these drugs have been described. However, studies assessing the consequences of this co-consumption are scarce in Europe. We performed a retrospective study on toxicological results from compulsory autopsies in Spain. Thirty-five legal psychotropics, including ethanol, were measured in blood samples from 380 decedents to assess the determinants of such co-consumption. MPs were detected in 42.4% of the subjects. Polypharmacy was frequent in our series (25%), being more frequent in men than in women. More than one-third of the decedents had detectable levels of ethanol, and a significant positive association between ethanol levels and age was evident. About one-third of MPs consumers were also co-consumers of ethanol. The simultaneous consumption of ethanol and MPs was higher in men than in women. Blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) were lower in men who consumed MPs. In polypharmacy deaths, there was a significant negative association between the number of MPs consumed and BAC in men (r = −0.097; p = 0.029). Our results showed a high prevalence of co-consumption of MPs and ethanol in the European population involved in medico-legal issues and suggest that toxicokinetic interactions may be lowering BAC in men. This is a very worrying result, as it could indicate that the legal blood ethanol limits set by legislation would not be appropriate for men on MPs treatment.
ISSN: 2305-6304
DOI: 10.3390/toxics11010045
Source: Toxics [ISSN 2305-6304], v. 11 (1), 45, (Diciembre 2022)
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