Anaphylaxis After the Injection of Buprenorphine*

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Cause of death rulings in cases when the concentration of a drug or drugs is higher than observed following therapeutic use are generally straightforward “drug deaths.” However, when toxicology testing identifies drug concentrations consistent with therapeutic use or detects no drugs at all, then the cause of death determination is more complicated. Given the rapidity and protean manifestations of anaphylaxis, it should be considered in deaths where no other cause of death is apparent in a suspected drug death. This article reports two cases where an anaphylactic reaction was observed following either the actual or alleged use of therapeutic formulations of buprenorphine intravenously.

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