What prescription or OTC drug should my character overdose on?

I have a character in his 60s who has been kidnapped and is being kept against his will. The kidnappers wanted to keep him alive, though, so they’ve taken whatever medication you’d expect a man in his late 60s to need with them (these drugs have not been named yet). Eventually the character opts to poison himself with something on hand when he’s left alone for a short while.

Here’s the sticky part: He needs to be alert enough for a 15-30 minute conversation immediately after taking the pills.

What should he overdose on?

What medical issues does he have? I’m thinking he could down all his pain killers (vicodin, Oxycodone, Oxycontin), sleeping pills (ambien, lunesta), and benzos (valium, ativan, xanax) at once. All things I would think compleatly normal for a 60 year old man to have hanging around the house. As far as things he would take on a regular basis, what happens if you OD on blood pressure medicine?

Plain old Tylenol would work.

Viagra. He’d stroke out.

I’ll be darned, I thought of Tylenol first as well. He’d be alert and conscious for days probably. I don’t know if it would serve **elfkin477’s ** narrative purpose to have him die a long, slow, miserable death from liver failure though. If he’d quit taking blood pressure medication, and loaded up on blood thinners, a stroke might be possible, and that way he could go pretty quickly. It wouldn’t be guaranteed in real life, but plausible enough for fiction.

How about an anti-coagulants like Coumadin? Thats something that a lot of older people would have, that would kill you if you overdosed on it. Its also something that the kidnappers would have no interest in keeping from him, and probably wouldn’t even think about. Unlike some of the controlled drugs listed up thread.

I don’t know how long you would last while your bleeding internally from an overdose of Coumadin though.

I would shy away from the popular sleeping pill overdose. The more recent sleeping pills like Ambien are not even close to as fatal as the older drugs that were popular choices for suicides in the past. Some people have taken months supplies at once with alcohol as well without fatal effect.

1960s? I’m trying to think of the OTC stomach ache mediciene with opium that was banned about 1970 (Thank’s Nixon.) But I cannot for the life of me think of the name. Probably since I haven’t used it in almost 40 years.


I have no medical knowledge (only a user), but what about Toprol? It slows heart-rate, and I imagine an overdose would simply slow it to…0.

During a dark time in my life, I researched what a lethal dose of the blood pressure medication I was on at the time would be. I was taking the beta-blocker Atenolol at the time. Overdose symptoms described here.

Given that this is in the 60’s. What about Quaaludes?

This is looking too much like a “how to kill oneself using readily-available drugs” thread for my taste. I’m sorry I even mentioned Tylenol, even though its dangerousness is well-publicized.

Why don’t you just make something up like “Florexum”. That way, you have a drug that works exactly the way you want, without worrying how depressed people might use the information.

Looks to me like the character’s age is in the 60’s. Not the time period the story is set in.

:smack: Maybe he’s got some leftover?

Oops. Well if he’s that old then just about anything will kill him.


I almost said something inappropriate for this forum. Sixty is hardly tottering on the brink of oblivion. Why, I sometimes go days without praying for the sweet relief of death.

Something fictional.

So you don’t get sued 'til you’re naked, later on. :smack: :rolleyes:

No, I think the OP is thinking of paregoric, which has not been banned, but is now a Schedule III controlled substance in the U.S. Laudanum contains much more opium in a dose, and is also still available as a Schedule II substance.