Doctor: Methadone, Antidepressants Found in Smith's System


Dec. 11 2007, Published 2:31 p.m. ET

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Daniel Smith, the late son of Anna Nicole Smith, died from a combination of methadone and antidepressants, according to the official autopsy.

On Monday, Dr. Govinda Raju testified during the official inquest into Smith's death that methadone and the antidepressants Zoloft and Lexapro — along with five other drugs — were found in Smith’s system at the time of his death. Smith died on Sept. 10, 2006, while visiting his mother in the hospital in the Bahamas, just days after she had given birth to daughter Dannielynn.

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Raju performed the official autopsy on Smith and confirmed the findings of a private doctor who examined the body after his death.

A lawyer for Anna Nicole Smith's attorney-turned-boyfriend Howard K. Stern said the drugs found in his system were all for either depression or back pain.

"Once you boil it all down, these were medicines treating either pain or depression," said attorney Wayne Munroe.

Zoloft and Lexapro, which a U.S. doctor had prescribed, are antidepressants commonly used to treat anxiety. Methadone is prescribed as a pain reliever and is also used to suppress symptoms drug users experience when going through withdrawal from heroin and other opiates.


Cyril Wecht, the doctor who performed a second autopsy at the request of Smith's family, has said the other drugs in Daniel's system included a third antidepressant, the sleep medication Ambien and an over-the-counter cold medicine but said they did not play a role in his death.


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