UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Toxicology

Title: Drug-Induced Seizures in Children and Adolescents

Keywords: bupropion, citalopram, seizure, drug-induced, children, teenager (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/3/2014 by Bryan Hayes, PharmD (Emailed: 2/13/2014) (Updated: 2/13/2014)
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Seizures can be the presenting manifestation of acute poisoning in children.

A 3-year data set from the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Case Registry identified 142 cases of drug-induced seizures in children < 18 years old. 75% were teenagers.

Antidepressants were most commonly associated with causing seizures, especially bupropion and citalopram. Diphenhydramine was also a commonly identified cause.

The authors conclude that clinicians managing teenagers presenting with seizures should have a high index of suspicion for intentional ingestion of antidepressants.


Finkelstein Y, et al. Drug-induced seizures in children and adolescsents presenting for emergency care: current and emerging trends. Clin Toxicol 2013;51(8):761-6. [PMID 23957582]

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