The recently released autopsy report from the County of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner has disclosed that actor Matthew Perry, best known for his role in “Friends,” died due to the “acute effects of ketamine.” Perry, aged 54, passed away on October 28 after an apparent drowning incident in a hot tub at his residence in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles.
The autopsy report outlined that along with the ketamine-related effects, Perry’s death was influenced by “coronary artery disease” and the effects of the medication buprenorphrine. The report also noted the discovery of “prescription medications and loose pills” at his residence.
Contrary to speculation, the autopsy confirmed the absence of substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, PCP, and fentanyl. The report specified that Perry had trace amounts of ketamine in his stomach contents, although the exact method of intake remained unknown.
Perry had reportedly undergone “ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety,” with his last known treatment occurring more than a week before his demise. However, the medical examiner ruled out that the ketamine in his system at the time of death could be attributed to the therapy, given ketamine’s short half-life of 3 to 4 hours.
Ketamine, described as a dissociative anesthetic drug with established medical and surgical applications, has a history of use in veterinary surgery. Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City and a forensic pathologist, explained that ketamine was initially employed for surgeries on horses but later gained popularity among humans, albeit with hallucinatory side effects.
Speaking exclusively to Fox News Digital, Dr. Baden expressed surprise at the presence of ketamine in Perry’s autopsy report, noting that Perry had not previously been associated with this particular substance during his battles with addiction. Dr. Baden emphasized Perry’s efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and highlighted that ketamine was not among the drugs the actor had been known to abuse during his public struggles with addiction.