Matthew Perry’s cause of death has been revealed nearly two months after the actor’s sudden death.
The Friends star passed away on October 28 when he was found unresponsive in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home. At the time, it was confirmed that no drugs other than prescription medicine were found on site.
Now, the autopsy was concluded and it was confirmed that the funnyman, who opened up about his battle with addiction in his candid 2022 memoir, died of “acute effects of ketamine” and drowning.
The report states that Perry had similar levels of ketamine, an anesthetic, in his body at the time of his death as a patient under general anesthesia.
“The County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner determined the cause of death for 54-year-old actor Matthew Langford Perry as the acute effects of ketamine,” the Los Angeles coroner’s office revealed.
“Contributing factors in Mr Perry’s death include drowning, coronary artery disease, and the effects of buprenorphine (used to treat opioid use disorder). The manner of death is accident.”
As the medical examiner confirmed, Perry had been on ketamine infusion therapy as part of his depression treatment up until one week and a half prior to his passing. Since ketamine only stays in the system for hours, however, this means the therapy itself was not what led to tragic development.
“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,” Raffi Djabourian said.
“Drowning contributes due to the likelihood of submersion into the pool as he lapsed into unconsciousness; coronary artery disease contributes due to exacerbation of ketamine induced myocardial effects on the heart.
“Buphrenorphine effects are listed as contributory, even though not at toxic levels, due to the additive respiratory effects when present with high levels of ketamine.”
The report also confirmed that Perry had no cocaine, alcohol, meth, or fentanyl in his body at the time of his passing.
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