Diego Maradona ‘was taking deadly drug cocktail to treat bipolar disorder that may have contributed to heart attack’

DIEGO Maradona had been prescribed a cocktail of drugs including antidepressants and antipsychotics used to treat bipolar disorder, according to reports.

It comes after police in Argentina raided the home of the football legend's doctor and launched an investigation into possible manslaughter following his death on Wednseday.

Maradona died of heart failure leading to a pulmonary edema, an accumulation of fluid in the tissue of the lungs.

Health experts have suggested the cocktail of drugs the 60-year-old was taking could have put stress on his heart.

On Sunday, and following damning statements given by Maradona's daughters Dalma and Giannina about his medical care, police searched the home and private clinic of personal physician Leopoldo Luque.

Dr Luque has not been charged and has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

The medications Maradona was on reportedly included Quetiapine, used to treat mood disorders including depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, and Gabapentin, used for nerve pain caused by illnesses such as diabetes but also for epilepsy.

Medics are also said to have detected dilated cardiomyopathy, a medical condition in which the heart muscle becomes weakened and enlarged and cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

The other drugs Maradona was taking reportedly included Naltrexone, used to treat alcohol abuse; antidepressant Venlafaxine, sometimes used to treat panic attacks; Lurasidone, used to treat bipolar disorder; stomach protector Omeprazol; and a Vitamin B complex.

Discussing the medications with Argentinian news outlet Todo Noticias, neurology specialist Nelson Castro said: “You’d have to examine how much of each he was being given and what the criteria was, and whether he was taking them at the same time or he began with one and switched to another.

“There was a lot of mixing of antidepressants and antipsychotics.

“Several of these medicines – Quetiapine, Lurasidone, Venlafaxine – have cardiac effects and one of those is an increase in heart rate.”

A lawyer to one of Maradona's nurses has also claimed he was suffering tachycardia and that his heart rate reached 115 beats per minute in the days before his death, but that the “warning signs” were ignored.


Maradona had been discharged from hospital on November 11 after a brain blood clot op and moved to a rented home on the gated estate of San Andres near Buenos Aires.

The full list of his medications reportedly came from medical records now in the hands of state prosecutors, who have launched a high-level probe into the circumstances surrounding the death.

Documents including the records are understood to have been seized along with phones and computers belonging to Dr Luque, a neurosurgeon by background.

Following the search, Luque made a tearful defence of his treatment of Maradona in an interview with Argentinian media.

“If I’m responsible for anything when it comes to Diego, it was loving him, caring for him, improving his life to the end and extending it,” he said.

He also described the former Napoli and Barcelona star as an “impossible” patient who hated doctors but had a special relationship with him.

Insisting Maradona’s daily wellbeing once he left hospital was not his direct responsibility, he added: “I don’t blame myself for anything. It’s very unfair what’s happening.

“Someone is trying to find a scapegoat here when I don’t see one anywhere. We all did the best we could with Diego."

Luque also received some welcome backing from Maradona’s lawyer, Matias Morla.

Taking to Twitter on Monday, Moria wrote: “I understand and comprehend the work of the prosecutors but only I know, Dr Luque, what you did for Diego’s health, how you cared for him, accompanied him and how you loved him.

“Diego loved you and as his friend I am not going to leave you alone. You left blood, sweat and tears and the truth always wins.”

Leaked WhatsApp messages published by Argentinian media today showed Maradona’s eldest daughter Dalma telling his psychiatrist and psychologist he needed a general GP to help coordinate his day-to-day care.

Mr Luque has claimed part of the key to Maradona’s care was “controlling the pills and alcohol” and said the former footballer should have gone to rehab from hospital but refused.

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