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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Actor Matthew Perry died from ‘acute effects of ketamine’

The medical examiner’s office said that drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of an opioid, buprenorphine, had contributed to his death.The medical examiner’s office said that drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of an opioid, buprenorphine, had contributed to his death.

Matthew Perry, the “Friends” actor who publicly struggled with drinking and drug use for decades, died from the “acute effects” of ketamine, an anesthetic with psychedelic properties, the Los Angeles County medical examiner’s office said in an autopsy report that was released on Friday.

Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles on Oct. 28. He was 54.

Read more: Fans gather around famous ‘Friends’ apartment to mourn Matthew Perry

The medical examiner’s office said that drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of an opioid, buprenorphine, had contributed to his death.

But the autopsy ascribed his death primarily to “the acute effects of ketamine.” Ketamine is a powerful anesthetic that has become increasingly popular as an alternative therapy for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other hard-to-treat mental health problems. It is also used recreationally.

The autopsy report said that Perry had been on ketamine infusion therapy but that the ketamine in his system could not have been from his last known therapy session, which was about a week and a half before he died.

“At the high levels of ketamine found in his postmortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression,” the autopsy report said. It noted that the level of ketamine investigators found in Perry’s blood was equivalent to the amount that would be used during general anesthesia.

Read more: ‘Friends’ creators say Matthew Perry’s death ‘seems impossible’