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Murder-suicide by Tanax®-Pathology, toxicology and veterinary analysis of a forensic case

Guareschi, E.ORCID: 0000-0001-9883-9872, Maker, G.L.ORCID: 0000-0003-1666-9377 and Tobe, S.S.ORCID: 0000-0002-4854-6278 (2019) Murder-suicide by Tanax®-Pathology, toxicology and veterinary analysis of a forensic case. Global Journal of Forensic Science & Medicine, 2 (1). pp. 1-4.

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Poisoning by Tanax® is uncommon as a suicide method, and it is even more unusual for murder-suicides. Tanax® is a veterinary drug used for euthanasia in animals and, as such, poisoning by Tanax® is almost completely limited to veterinary workers. Its active components are embutramide, mebezonium iodide and tetracaine hydrochloride. It acts as a general and local anesthetic, and paralyses skeletal muscles by a curariform-like action. A literature review is provided with focus on embutramide and mebezonium concentrations detected in body fluids and solid organs of patients and victims. A unique case of murder-suicide by Tanax® poisoning is then detailed, leading to the medico-legal diagnosis of a complex suicide method following the murder. This case highlights the heterogeneity of information about lethal concentrations of embutramide and mebezonium in human body fluids and solid organs, the possible emergence of embutramide as a drug of abuse, and the delayed hepatotoxicity induced by dimethylformamide (DMF), contained in Tanax® as an organic solvent.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Medical, Molecular and Forensic Sciences
Publisher: Iris Publishers
Copyright: © 2019 The Authors.
Publisher's Website:
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