Man died of accidental Solpadol overdose

A CORONER has warned of the dangers of codeine after an inquest heard how a man died from an accidental overdose of Solpadol, which contains painkilling codeine and paracetamol.

Terence Walsh, 50, from Killala Gardens, Knocknaheeney, Cork was found slumped in a chair in the sitting room of his house, on the morning of April 7 2010.

Cork City Coroner’s Court was told how his son, Tony, raised the alarm, but Mr Walsh was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy performed by assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster found lethal levels of both codeine and paracetamol in Mr Walsh’s system.

His blood showed a reading of 213mg of paracetamol, where the fatal range begins at 160mg, and 2.9 micrograms per millilitre of codeine in a lethal spectrum that activates at the 1.6 micrograms per mil.

Dr Bolster said the cause of death was an overdose due to a combination of paracetamol and codeine likely to represent too much Solpadol in the system.

City coroner Dr Myra Cullinane said: “It has been drawn to attention by the media recently — the dangers of some of these medicines and of taking them to excess,” she said.

“You must follow instructions. If you take the medication according to the prescription you won’t get into trouble.”

She returned a verdict of death by misadventure.


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