January 12, 2011 / 1:36 AM / 9 years ago

Factbox: Drugs that contributed to Michael Jackson's death

(Reuters) - Michael Jackson’s doctor was on Tuesday ordered to stand trial on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the singer’s death. Dr. Conrad Murray was caring for Jackson when he died of a drug overdose on June 25, 2009, age 50.

The Los Angeles coroner has previously ruled Jackson’s death was caused mainly by two drugs — propofol and lorazepam. Murray has admitted giving the drugs to Jackson, but pleaded not guilty to the charge against him.

Other prescription medications were found in Jackson’s system, but a full autopsy report lists “acute propofol intoxication” as the principal cause of death. 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 patients unconscious, but they usually cannot remember the procedure. Jackson used the drug as a sleep aid.

The autopsy report said the amount of propofol found in Jackson’s system was equivalent to that used during anesthesia for major surgery. It added that there were “no reports of its use in insomnia relief.”

* The American Society of Anesthesiologists says propofol should “never be used outside of a controlled and monitored medical setting.” The autopsy report said there was no resuscitation or monitoring equipment found in Jackson’s room.

* Lorazepam, sold under the brand names Ativan and Temesta, is one of a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which includes 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 pill Sudafed and also to the illegal “upper” methamphetamine.

Many states now control over-the-counter distribution of drugs like Sudafed that contain pseudoephedrine because it can be used to make illegal drugs.

Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte and Maggie Fox; editing by Todd Eastham

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