September 4, 2009 / 5:57 AM / 9 years ago

FACTBOX: The drugs that caused Michael Jackson's death

(Reuters) - Pop star Michael Jackson was laid to rest at a private funeral on Thursday attended by family and friends in Glendale, California, a suburb of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles coroner has said Jackson’s death was caused principally by two sedatives — propofol and lorazepam. Other prescription medications were also found in his system.

Police have been investigating for possible criminal charges against doctors who treated Jackson, including Dr. Conrad Murray, who was caring for the singer at a rented Los Angeles mansion when he died on June 25.

Here are some facts about the drugs found in Jackson’s body:

* Propofol, also known by the trade name Diprivan, is used to sedate patients on breathing machines or before procedures such as colonoscopies. Given properly, it does not render them unconscious but they usually cannot remember the procedure.

* The American Society of Anesthesiologists says propofol should “never be used outside of a controlled and monitored medical setting.”

* Lorazepam, sold under the brand names Ativan and Temesta, is one of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which include Valium. They are often used to allay anxiety when given as pills and can be administered intravenously before surgery to relax patients.

* Diazepam, the generic version of Valium, was also found in Jackson’s blood.

* Midazolam is a sedative similar to propofol, used to make patients drowsy but not unconscious during procedures.

* Lidocaine, also known as Xylocaine, is a painkiller that can be injected to numb an area before surgery.

* Ephedrine is a stimulant and decongestant, similar to the ingredients in the over-the-counter cold pill Sudafed and also to the illegal “upper” methamphetamine. Many states now control over-the-counter distribution of drugs such as Sudafed that contain pseudoephedrine because it can be used to make illegal drugs.

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