Orinda, California—16-year-old Joseph Loudon died on May 23 during a house party. Investigators were not surprised to find alcohol in his blood, but were shocked to find high levels of papaverine, the active ingredient in most erectile dysfunction medications, in his system.
Police are investigating whether or not the boy took the drug purposely, or if other partygoers slipped it into the boy’s drink as a prank. The combination of papaverine and the alcohol caused Loudon to throw up and he subsequently choked to death on his own vomit, according to the Contra Costa County coroner.
Papaverine is a vasodilator, which makes blood vessels bigger by relaxing the muscles surrounding them. As is common knowledge, older males, not teenagers, commonly use erectile dysfunction medications. Therefore, those who do die as a result of taking papaverine-containing drugs, usually die because they were taking other drugs that interacted negatively with the erectile dysfunction medication. Neither the boy’s mother or father claimed to have had erectile dysfunction medication in either of their homes. However, police have arrested three people suspected of furnishing alcohol or fake ID cards to minors at the party.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.