Tony Scott Autopsy: Could Director's Death Have Stemmed From Suicidal Thoughts Taking Lunesta, Mirtazapine?

By Jason Van Hoven on October 23, 2012 2:23 PM EDT

Tony Scott
Scott's recent films included "The Taking of Pelham 123" and "Unstoppable." (Photo: Reuters)

An autopsy report on director Tony Scott released on Monday didn't say exactly what prompted the filmmaker to jump off the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, Calif. and fall to his death this August, according to reports.

The Los Angeles County coroner's report listed the "Top Gun" director's death a suicide because of multiple blunt force injuries suffered upon impact after a 185-foot plunge into Los Angeles Harbor. Notes left by Scott to alert authorities who to call after he died and interviews with family members and friends also didn't suggest any particular motive.

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However, coroner Craig Harvey did reveal via toxicology tests that the director had therapeutic levels of the sleep aid Lunesta and the anti-depressant Mirtazapine, also known as Remeron, in his system. Both are known to cause side effects of suicidal thoughts.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, "amnesia and other neuropsychiatric symptoms may occur unpredictably" when taking Lunesta. "In primarily depressed patients, worsening of depression, including suicidal thoughts and actions (including completed suicides), have been reported in association with the use of sedative/hypnotics."

As for Mirtazapine, the FDA says that "patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), both adult and pediatric, may experience worsening of their depression and/or the emergence of suicidal ideation and behavior (suicidality) or unusual changes in behavior..."

The combination of the two medications, then, may have been Scott's way of trying to alleviate something besides depression or insomnia that had been affecting him greatly. Specifically what he was trying to alleviate, though, remains a mystery.

The Daily Mail reports that friends of Scott said that he had no marriage or money problems and was focused on the "Top Gun" sequel, which was to go into production early next year. Scott also appeared to have had no major health problems, including cancer, which initial reports said he had been suffering from.

With that said, whatever Scott was depressed about and had trouble sleeping over one may never know. At the same time, one can assume that it weighed him down mentally and emotionally.

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