The death of Friends star Matthew Perry has been ruled an accident from the “acute effects of ketamine”, the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner confirmed.
Ketamine was used to treat his anxiety and depression.
Perry, who played Chandler Bing in the hit US sitcom, was found “unresponsive in the pool at his residence” on October 28 before he was pronounced dead at the age of 54.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner said in the autopsy report that Perry also drowned in “the heated end of the pool” but that it was a secondary factor in his Oct. 28 death.
The report says coronary artery disease and buprenorphine, which is used to treat opioid use disorder, also contributed.
A post-mortem examination concluded Perry died from the “acute effects of ketamine” while contributing factors included “drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine” – which is described as an “opioid-like drug used in the treatment of opioid addiction as well as acute and chronic pain.”
Perry, 54, was found unresponsive in late October, “floating face down in the heated end of the pool,” the autopsy report said. His cause of death is listed as the “acute effects of ketamine,” with contributing factors listed as “drowning, coronary artery disease, and buprenorphine effects.”
The report says the death was accidental and that no signs of foul play were suspected.
The actor had struggled with addiction for many years, although he reportedly had been clean for 19 months, the report said. Perry had been reportedly receiving ketamine therapy for depression and anxiety, the autopsy report said.
“The manner of death is accident,” The County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner confirmed.
Senior deputy medical examiner Raffi Djabourian’s summary said: “At the high levels of ketamine found in his post-mortem blood specimens, the main lethal effects would be from both cardiovascular overstimulation and respiratory depression.
“Drowning contributes due to the likelihood of submersion into the pool as he lapsed into unconsciousness; coronary artery disease contributes due to exacerbation of ketamine-induced myocardial effects on the hearts.”
The report summary said Perry was receiving “ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety,” with his last known treatment one-and-a-half weeks before his death.