What MJ had in his system
It is well known that Michael Jackson had been on pain and anti-anxiety medications for years, probably since the Pepsi commercial accident in 1984 from which he suffered serious burns.
Demerol – which initial reports claimed had been administered to Jackson an hour before his death – is an opiate. These drugs provide pain relief but may result in breathing problems by depression of the respiratory system and low blood pressure. An overdose of such a drug may result in death, since one may stop breathing or blood pressure can become so low that the vital organs stop working. Demerol can also reduce the gag reflex, which reminds us to clear our secretions so that material does not get into the lungs.
Demerol may also result in a seizure in susceptible people. An overdose of an opiate drug such as Demerol, morphine or Vicodan can be reversed with the drug Naloxone, which will compete with Demerol or any opiate so that the drugs’ effects are reversed. In other words, a person who has stopped breathing due to an opiate drug, if given an adequate amount of Naloxone on time, may start breathing again. Of course, there are also adverse effects to this drug such as severe pain, muscle spasms, fast heartbeats and other cardiac problems.
Valium – which Charles Murray, Jackson’s doctor, claimed was the first drug administered to him on the night that he died – and Xanax are prescribed to make people less anxious and promote relaxation. As oral agents, they are used for people with anxiety/depression, obsessive/compulsive disorder and a range of psychological disorders, but may also be used as a calming medication, for muscle relaxation, pain and sleeping. At high doses, these drugs can also cause respiratory depression and hypotension. Both classes of drugs are habit forming and people who take them can become dependent.
According to documents obtained by the LA Times, lethal levels of Propofol were found in Jackson’s blood. This is a powerful drug that is usually used with extreme caution in critical care settings such as intensive care units, surgical or medical procedures. This type of medication is usually only handled by critical care doctors or anesthesiologists. If this medication is given as an outpatient, it would be a highly unusual practice and a very dangerous one. This drug may result in respiratory depression, pulmonary edema, hypotension or cardiac arrest even in controlled settings.