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Kennedy took eight doses of drugs a day.

Former US President John Kennedy suffered more pain and illness than previously known, and took as many as eight medications a day, according to a published report.

Newly disclosed medical files from the last eight years of Kennedy's life, including X-rays and prescription records, show he took painkillers, anti-anxiety drugs, stimulants and sleeping pills, as well as hormones to keep him alive.

The records were revealed by historian Robert Dallek, who was allowed to examine the documents last spring by a committee of three Kennedy family associates, who for decades refused all requests to look at the records.

Their findings appear in the December issue of The Atlantic.

As president, Kennedy was known for having a bad back, and since his death, biographers have pieced together details of other illnesses, including persistent digestive problems and a lifethreatening lack of adrenal function.

The records reveal that Kennedy took codeine, Demerol and methadone for pain, Ritalin, a stimulant, meprobamate and librium for anxiety barbiturates for sleep, thyroid hormone, and injections of a blood derivative, gamma globulin, presumably to combat infections.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 18, 2002
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