Los Angeles medical examiner says Matthew Perry’s death caused by ‘acute effects of ketamine’

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12:  Actor/Executive Producer Matthew Perry speaks onstage during 'The Odd Couple' panel as part of  the CBS/Showtime 2015 Winter Television Critics Association press tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa on January 12, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES — “Friends” star Matthew Perry’s cause of death was “acute effects of ketamine,” the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner said.

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The autopsy report was released Friday nearly two months after Perry was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his house on Oct. 28, according to The New York Times. He was 54.

The medical examiner said that contributing factors to Perry’s death were drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine, according to online records. Buprenorphine is used to treat opioid use disorder.

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His manner of death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner said.

The report said that Perry was found by his live-in assistant face down in the pool after he got back home from running errands, according to The Associated Press. The assistant reportedly told investigators that Perry was not sick, did not show any signs of any recent drug or alcohol use, and had not complained about feeling ill.

The autopsy said that Perry was going through “ketamine infusion therapy.” His most recent therapy was more than a week before he died. The report notes that the therapy could not have been the cause of his death due to the high levels of ketamine found in his blood. Ketamine metabolizes out of the body within hours.

Ketamine is “is a powerful anesthetic that has become increasingly popular as an alternative therapy for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and other hard-to-treat mental health problems,” according to the Times.

The Food and Drug Administration issued an alert in October about how dangerous it could be to treat psychiatric disorders with “compounded versions of the drugs,” the Times reported.

Perry, known for his role as Chandler Bing on the sitcom “Friends” from 1994 to 2004, was open about his struggles with addiction dating back to when he starred on the television series, the AP reported.

“We are all so utterly devastated by the loss of Matthew. We were more than just cast mates. We are a family. There is so much to say, but right now we’re going to take a moment to grieve and process this unfathomable loss,” Perry’s “Friends” cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer wrote in a statement after his death, according to Variety. “In time we will say more, as and when we are able. For now, our thoughts and our love are with Matty’s family, his friends, and everyone who loved him around the world.”

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