UMEM Educational Pearls - By Hong Kim

Category: Toxicology

Title: QRS widening from Bupropion and NaHCO3 administration

Keywords: bupropion, QRS widening, NaHCO3 (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/15/2024 by Hong Kim, MD (Updated: 6/14/2024)
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Bupropion associated cardiac toxicity widens the QRS complex by inhibiting the cardiac gap junction, not cardiac Na channel blockade. NaHCO3 is often administered when EKG changes are noted. But the effectiveness of NaHCO3 in bupropion toxicity is not well established. 

A retrospective study between 2010-2020 showed, that administration of NaHCO3 only decreased QRS duration by 2 msec (median). The median NaHCO3 administered was 100 mEq. Although this study was limited by the fact that it only had a small sample size of 13, NaHCO3 administration may provide limited clinical benefit in patients with QRS widening from bupropion overdose.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Pediatric edible cannabis toxicity

Keywords: cannabis exposure, pediatric, toxicity, NPDS (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/6/2023 by Hong Kim, MD (Updated: 6/14/2024)
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Medical Cannabis is permitted in 39 states and Washington DC while 18 sates and Washington DC has legalized recreational cannabis use. As cannabis products become more available, pediatric exposure has also increased.

A retrospective study of National Poison Data System involving children < 6 years from 2017 and 2021 showed: Pre-COVID (2017-2019) & COVID (2020-2021)

  • 7043 exposures: (increase of 1375%)
  • 2017: 207  
  • 2021: 3054 
  • Residential exposure: 97% (n=6842)

Common Clinical effects

  • CNS depression: 70% (n=3381)
    • Pre-COVID: 61.6% --> COVID: 72.9% (p<0.05)
  • Tachycardia: 11.4% (N=548)
    • Pre-COVID: 10.3% -->COVID: 11.6% (p,0.05)
  • Vomiting: 9.5% (n=4827)
    • Pre-COVID: 7.5% -->COVID: 10.0% (p<0.05)
  • Ataxia: 7.4% (n=352)
  • Confusion: 6.1% (n=294)
  • Mydriasis: 5.9% (n=284)
  • Respiratory depression: 3.1%


  • Admission: 22.7%
  • Critical care: 8.1% (n=533)
    • Pre-COVID: 6.6% -->COVID: 8.6% (increase of 30%) (p<0.05)
  • Non-critical care: 14.6% (n=1027)
    • Pre-COVID: 9.7% -->COVID: 16.3% (increase of 68%)(p<0.05)


  • Pediatric cannabis exposure has increased between 2017 and 2021. consequently, more pediatrics patients developing toxicity and being hospitalized.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: High dose insulin for calcium channel blockers: amlodipine vs. non-dihydropyridines

Keywords: amlodipine, non-dihydropyridines, high-dose insulin (PubMed Search)

Posted: 6/1/2023 by Hong Kim, MD (Updated: 6/14/2024)
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Calcium channel blocker (CCB) overdose can lead to severe shock/hypotension. A small study was conducted to compare the hemodynamic effects of high-dose insulin (HDI) for two classes of CCB (dihydropyridines vs. non-dihydropyridines) that work differently to manage hypertension.   

Study design:

  • Retrospective study from a single poison center (2019 – 2021)

Study sample:

  • Amlodipine poisoning cases: 18
  • Non-dihydropyridine (non-DHP) poisoning cases: 15


Median number of maximum concomitant vasopressors (p=0.04)

  • Amlodipine: 3 (IQR: 2-5; range 0-6)
  • Non-DHP: 2 (IQR: 1-3; range 0-5)

Median difference in max concomitant vasopressors: 1 (95% CI: 0 – 2)

Median max epinephrine dosing

  • Amlodipine: 0.31 mcg/kg/min
  • Non-DHP: 0.09 mcg/kg/min

Use of rescue methylene blue (p=0.009)

  • Amlodipine: 7/18 (39%)
  • Non-DHP: 0


  • Amlodipine poisoning on HDI required more vasopressors and higher doses of epinephrine compared to non-DHP (verapamil or diltiazem)
  • This may be due to vasodilatory effect of amlodipine compared to non-DHPs

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Flumazenil is a reversal agent for benzodiazepine overdose.  Adverse events including seizure, agitation and cardiac arrhythmias have been reported but the frequency of adverse events is unknown.

AE and serious AEs were defined as:


  • Aggressive behavior, agitation, screaming, restlessness
  • Nausea/vomiting, abdominal cramps
  • Sweating, shivering, chills, hot flashes
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Anxiety, distress, depressed mood, abnormal crying
  • Tremors 

Serious AE (SAE):

  • Seizures
  • Supraventricular arrhythmia
  • Multiple ventricular beats
  • Tachycardia
  • Sudden fall in systolic BP

A systematic review/meta-analyses of 13 randomized controlled trials showed

  • AEs more common in flumazenil group vs. placebo (risk ratio: 2.85; 95% CI: 2.11-3.84)
  • SAEs more common in flumazenil group vs. placebo (risk ratio: 3.81; 95% CI: 1.28-11.39) 

Most common AEs

  • Aggressive behavior, agitation, screaming: 26.2% (n=33/126)
  • Nausea/vomiting, abdominal cramps: 20.6% (n=26/126)
  • Anxiety, distress, depressed mood: 15.7% (n=19/126)

Most common SAEs

  • Supraventricular arrhythmia: 30% (n=4/12)
  • Seizure: 25% (n=3/12)
  • Tachycardia: 25% (n=3/12)


  • Administration of flumazenil to patients with known or suspected benzodiazepine overdose is associated with increased risk of AEs

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Xylazine in heroin/fentanyl

Keywords: xylazine, adulterate, heroin, fentanyl (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/16/2021 by Hong Kim, MD (Emailed: 12/23/2021)
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Xylazine is a central alpha-2 agonist (similar to clonidine) that is used as a veterinary tranquilizer. It also possesses analgesic, and muscle relaxant properties. Heroin/fentanyl is increasingly being adulterated with xylazine and resulting in severe adverse effects (CNS and respiratory depression, bradycardia, and hypotension), including deaths. 

According to CDC, 0.1%-5.5% of IMF death in US between 2019 – 2020 involved xylazine. 

In Philadelphia, PA:

The detection of xylazine in unintentional overdose death increased from

  • 2010 – 2015: 2%
  • 2016: 11%
  • 2017: 10%
  • 2018: 18%
  • 2019: 31%

Approximately 25% of drug seizures in Philadelphia contained xylazine in 2019


There is no effective pharmacologic agent for xylazine toxicity. Similar to clonidine toxicity, high dose naloxone may be tried. But pediatric data show that approximately 50% of pediatric clonidine toxicity response to high-dose naloxone administration. Thus, naloxone administration may not reverse the CNS/respiratory depression, bradycardia and hypotension.



  • There is increasing adulteration of heroin/fentanyl with xylazine
  • Naloxone administration may not reverse the toxicity of xylazine

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Substance use disorder contributes significantly to pediatric exposure/poisoning. There has been an increase in the opioid overdose deaths in the US, placing pediatric population to possible exposure. A retrospective study of fatal pediatric poisoning in the US was investigated using the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) from 2012-2017.

17 US states (AK, CO, GA, KT, MD, MA, NJ, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, UT, VA, WI) reported to NVDRS from 2012-2017.   

Age was limited to 0-9 years



1850 violent deaths were identified: n=122 (7%) were poisoning related



  • Male: 49%
  • Approximately 25% were homicide-suicides


  • Midwest: 25%
  • Northeast: 5%
  • South: 53%
  • West: 17%

Most common exposure/etiology

  1. Opioid (50%)
  2. Benzodiazepines (8%)
  3. Amphetamines (7%)
  4. Antidepressants (5%)


  • A large proportion of poisoning related pediatric fatality was due to opioid exposure
  • Largest proportion of death was reported from the Southern US.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Clinical severity score for acute poisoned patients ICU requirement score (IRS)

Keywords: ICU requirement score, physiologic score system (PubMed Search)

Posted: 8/19/2021 by Hong Kim, MD (Updated: 8/20/2021)
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There are several clinical scoring systems (SAPS II, SAPS III, SOFA, etc.) to assess the severity and/or risk of mortality in critically ill patients. However, the routinely used physiologic scoring systems are not always suitable for poisoned patient. 

ICU requirement score (IRS) has been recently developed by investigators from Europe and a validation study (retrospective cohort) has been performed.

ICU requirement score (IRS) components (see inserted table)

  • Age
  • Systolic blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • GCS
  • Type of intoxication
  • Comorbidities (dysrhythmia, cirrhosis, and/or respiratory insufficiency, secondary diagnosis requiring ICU admission)

Retrospective cohort 

  • Study duration: Jan 1, 2009 to Dec 31 ,2019
  • Positive IRS score: >= 6
  • Comparison to SAPS II, SAPS III, SOFA score, and PSS
  • End point: need for ICU treatment



Area under the curve for IRS ROC: 0.736 (95% CI: 0.702-0.770)

IRS <6

  • Negative predictive value: 95% (95% CI: 93-97)
  • Positive predictive value: 21% (95% CI: 18-24)
  • Sensitivity: 89% (95% CI: 85-93)
  • Specificity: 38% (95% CI:36-41)


  • IRS of < 6 demonstrated excellent negative predictive value for ICU admission.
  • A larger study of ICU requirement score will be needed to further assess its usefulness/limitation prior to clinical use.  

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2108191337_Untitled.pdf (252 Kb)

Category: Toxicology

Title: Pediatric cannabis exposure before and after legalization in Canada

Keywords: cannabis intoxication, trend, Canada, ICU admission, legalization (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/8/2021 by Hong Kim, MD
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Canada legalized recreational cannabis use in 2017. A retrospective study of children (0-18 years) who presented to pediatric ED with cannabis intoxication/exposure was performed between Jan 1, 2008 to Dec 21, 2019 to assess the trend/severity of intoxication.


  • Single center study: Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • Case identification by ICD 10 code for cannabis intoxication and positive urine drug screening test
  • Pre-legalization period was defined as 1/1/2008 to 4/12/2017
  • Peri-post legalization period was defined as 4/13/2017 to 12/31/2019



A total of 298 patients were identified

  • Pre-legalization period: 232 (77.8%)
  • Peri-post legalization period: 66 (22.1%)
  • Male: 150 (50.3%)
  • Median age: 15.9 years (IQR: 15.0-16.8) 



Peri-post legalization

P value

Monthly ED visit

2.1 (IRQ: 1.9-2.5)

1.7 (IQR: 1.0-3.0)


ICU admission




Respiratory symptoms




Altered mental status




Age < 12 years




Unintentional exposure




Edible ingestion




Respiratory symptoms: tachypnea/bradypnea, cyanosis, O2 sat < 92%, bronchospasm, oxygen requirement

  • Edible ingestion was a predictor of ICU admission (OR: 4.1; 95% CI: 1.2-13.7)



  • Legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada was associated with increased rates of severe intoxication in children.

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What is the mechanism of action of N-acetylcysteine that is used to treat acetaminophen induced liver injury/toxicity?









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Category: Toxicology

Title: Getting "high" on household spices.

Keywords: household spices, abuse, toxicity (PubMed Search)

Posted: 4/8/2021 by Hong Kim, MD (Updated: 6/14/2024)
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There are three commonly household spices that can be abuse/misused or cause toxicity after exposure.

Pure vanilla extract contains at least 35% ethanol by volume per US Food and Drug Administration standards

  • Results in alcohol intoxication
  • Ingestion of 1.3 mL/kg in child will result in blood ethanol concentration of 100 mg/dL


Nutmeg contains myristicin – serotonergic agonist that possess psychomimetic properties. 

  • Typical recreational dose: 5-30 gm. (tablespoon of ground nutmeg: 7 gm).

Clinical effects:

  • GI symptoms: nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Cardiovascular: hypertension and tachycardia
  • CNS: hallucination, paranoia, seizure
  • Others: flushing, mydriasis


Cinnamon contains cinnamaldehyde and eugenol – local irritants.

  • Can cause contact dermatitis and ulceration from topical application
  • Inhalation of cinnamon can result in chronic and significant pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis

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Diphenhydramine is commonly involved in overdose or misused. Although it is primarily used for its anti-histamine property, it also has significant antimuscarinic effect.

A recent retrospective study investigated the clinical characteristics associated with severe outcomes in diphenhydramine overdose using the multi-center Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Registry. 

Severe outcomes were defined as any of the following:

  • Seizure
  • Ventricular dysrhythmia
  • Intubation



863 cases of isolated diphenhydramine ingestion were identified between Jan 1, 2010 to Dec 31, 2016

  • Females: 59.1% 
  • Age < 18 years: 51.3%
  • Intentional ingestion: 86.0%
    • Self-harm: 37.5%
    • Abuse/misuse: 11.5%

Most common symptoms:

  • Delirium/toxic psychosis: 40.1% (n=346)
  • Agitation: 33.1% (n=286)
  • Severe outcome: 15.6% (n=135)

Factors associated with severe outcome

  • Intubation: self-harm ingestion and male
  • Acidemia: pH <7.2
  • QRS prolongation: QRS > 120 msec
  • Elevated anion gap: AG >20


  • Acidemia, QRS prolongation and elevated anion gap was associated with severe outcome in diphenhydramine toxicity

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Occupational poisoning in the US

Keywords: occupational poisoning (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/18/2021 by Hong Kim, MD (Updated: 6/14/2024)
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There are different occupational hazards depending on the nature of one’s trade/skill/employment. Although healthcare providers may not always inquire about patient’s occupation, knowledge of a patient’s occupation may provide insightful information when caring for patients with acute poisoning.

From a recent retrospective study of National Poison Data System, the top 10 occupational toxicants were:

  1. Caustics (acids & alkalis)
  2. Chlorines/hypochlorites
  3. Carbon monoxide
  4. Hydrocarbons
  5. Cleansers/detergents
  6. Ammonia
  7. Cement
  8. Hydrofluoric acid
  9. Disinfectants
  10. Hydrogen sulfide


Top 10 occupational toxicants associated with fatalities were:

  1. Hydrogen sulfide
  2. Ammonia
  3. Carbon Monoxide
  4. Simple asphyxiants
  5. Chlorine/hypochlorites
  6. Alkalis
  7. Pyrethrins/pyrethroids
  8. Toluene/xylene
  9. Methane
  10. Methylene chloride 

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Is standard NAC dosing adequate for "massive" acetaminophen overdose.

Keywords: massive acetaminophen overdose, standard NAC, hepatotoxicity (PubMed Search)

Posted: 3/4/2021 by Hong Kim, MD
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Recently, there has been questions if standard n-acetylcysteine (NAC) dose is adequate for massive acetaminophen (APAP) overdose (ingestion of > 32 gm or APAP >300 mcg/mL).

A retrospective study from a single poison center (1/1/2010 to 12/31/2019) investigated the clinical outcome of massive APAP overdose (APAP > 300 mcg/mL at 4 hour post ingestion) treated with standard dosing of NAC.


1425 cases of APAP overdose identified; 104 met the criteria of massive APAP overdose. 

  • 300-449 mcg/mL: 59.6% (n=62)
  • 450-599 mcg/mL: 14.4% (n=15)
  • >600 mcg/mL: 25.9% (n=27)


  • No acute liver injury/hepatotoxicity: 76% (n=79)
  • Hepatotoxicity: 24% (n=25)

Among cases that received NAC within 8 hours post ingestion (n=44)

  • Only 9% (n=4) cases developed hepatotoxicity

Among cases that received NAC > 8 hours post ingestion (n=60)

  • 35% (n=21) developed hepatotoxicity 

Odds of hepatotoxicity

  • 5.5 If NAC initiated > 8 hours post ingestion
  • 3.8 if 4 h post ingestion APAP level >600 mcg/mL  


  • Cohort: no acute liver injury/hepatotoxicity in 76% (n=79)
  • Standard NAC dosing initiated within 8 hours prevented hepatotoxicity in 91% (n=40/44)

Category: Toxicology

Title: Haloperidol vs. ondansetron for cannabis hyperemesis syndrome

Keywords: Haloperidol, ondansetron, cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/18/2021 by Hong Kim, MD
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Patients with cannabis hyperemesis syndrome experience recurrent/protracted nausea/vomiting. Cases of cannabis hyperemesis syndrome may increase as cannabis use becomes more common in the United States.

A randomized control trial (triple-blind) was conducted to compare haloperidol (0.05 or 0.1 mg/kg) IV or ondansetron 8 mg IV. Primary outcome was reduction of abdominal pain and nausea from baseline (on a 10 cm visual analog scale) 2 hours after treatment.


  • 33 subjected were randomized to haloperidol (n=13) and ondansetron (n=17)
  • 30 used 1.5 gm/day since 19 years of age.
  • Haloperidol was superior to ondansetron
    • 2.3 cm difference in pain and nausea
    • Less use of rescue antiemetics (31% vs. 59%)
    • Shorter time to ED departure (3.1 hours vs. 5.6 hours)


  • In this small trial, haloperidol (0.05 or 0.1 mg/kg IV) was superior to ondansetron (8 mg IV) in the treatment of acute cannabis associated hyperemesis  

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Is the anion gap metabolic acidosis due to alcoholic ketoacidosis or toxic alcohol ingestion?

Keywords: alcoholic ketoacidosis, toxic alcohol ingestion, anion gap metabolic acidosis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 1/21/2021 by Hong Kim, MD
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Anion gap metabolic acidosis is often found in ED patients. It can be difficult to distinguish between toxic alcohol (TA) ingestion and alcoholic ketoacidosis (AKA).  A retrospective study attempted to identify risk factors associated with AKA when TA ingestion was the alternative diagnosis.


New York City poison center data was reviewed from Jan 1, 2000 to April 30, 2019.

Case definition of AKA included

  1. Documented alcohol use disorder
  2. Urine or serum ketones or elevated blood beta-hydroxybutyrate concentration
  3. Anion gap >=14 mmol/L

Case definition of TA ingestion

  1. Detectable methanol or ethylene glycol concentration


  • 699 patients were screened.
  • AKA diagnosis: 86
  • TA ingestion: 36

Univariate analysis showed following variables to be associated with AKA diagnosis

  • Ethanol level: OR 1.007 (95% CI: 1.001 – 1.013)
  • Anion gap: OR 1.063 (95% CI: 1.007-1.122)
  • Age (years): OR 1.036 (95% CI: 1.005 – 1.068)

Multivariate logistic regression showed elevated ethanol concentration was associated with increased odd of AKA diagnosis 


  • In this retrospective study, the odd of AKA diagnosis increased as ethanol concentration increased.
  • TA ingestion remains challenging diagonsis without the availability of obtaining real time TA concentration.

Category: Toxicology

Title: TABLE: Persistently elevated serum insulin levels

Keywords: Serum insulin level table (Attachment) (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/31/2020 by Hong Kim, MD
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Please see attachment for the table of serum insulin levels

Show References


2012312227_Untitled.pdf (39 Kb)


High dose insulin (HDI) therapy is commonly used in patients with severe beta-adrenergic antagonist and calcium channel antagonist overdose. Hypoglycemia and hypokalemia are commonly known complication of HDI therapy. However, kinetics of insulin in patients who received HDI therapy is unknown.

A 51 year-old man with amlodipine overdose was infused HDI (10 unit/kg/hr) for 37 hours; Serial serum insulin levels were drawn after discontinuation of HDI.

Serum insulin levels are shown in below table

Table    Description automatically generated

The serum insulin level remained significantly elevated during the first 24 hours (normal range: 2.6-24.9 microU/mL) and gradually decreased over 6 days.


  • The supraphysiologic insulin levels persist after discontinuation of HDI where patient may continue to experience hypoglycemia
  • These elevated insulin level may allow for more rapid titration or simply discontinue HDI when hemodynamic stability is achieved.

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2012312232_Untitled.pdf (39 Kb)


Antimuscarinic agents (e.g. diphenhydramine) are one of the commonly ingested substances in the US. Lorazepam is frequently used to treat delirium and agitation associated with antimuscarinic toxicity. Although physostigmine is also effective, its use is infrequent due to concerns of safety and provider’s limited experience with physostigmine.

A small blinded randomized clinical trial was conducted to compare physostigmine vs lorazepam for the treatment of antimuscarinic toxicity -delirium/agitation. 

Inclusion criteria

  • Age: 10-17 years old
  • At least one central and 2 peripheral antimuscarinic symptoms
  • Delirium and moderate agitation



  1. Lorazepam 0.05 mg/kg IV bolus (max 2 mg). this dose could be repeated at 10 min if needed. then a 4 hr normal saline infusion 
  2. Physostigmine 0.02 mg/kg IV bolus (max 2 mg; over 3-5 min). this dose could be repeated at 10 min if needed. then 0.02 mg/kg/hr (max 2 mg/h) physostigmine infusion for 4 hours.

Plus administration of lorazepam (0.05 mg/kg) IV bolus (max 2 mg) every 2 hours as needed for continued agitation or delirium (at the discretion of treatment team)


Delirium and agitation were assessed by Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit score (CAM-ICU) and Richmond Agitation Sedation Score



Study duration: March 20, 2017 to June 30, 2020

  • 175 patients presented with xenobiotic ingestion. But 19 patients were enrolled
  • Physostigmine arm: 9 (47%)
  • Lorazepam arm: 10 (53%)

Antimuscarinic agent ingested

  • Diphenhydramine: 16 (84%)
  • Dicyclomine: 1 (5%)
  • Doxylamine: 1 (5%)
  • Hyoscyamine: 1 (5%)

Proportion of subject with delirium by CAM-ICU

Prior to first bolus (p >0.99)

  • Lorazepam arm: 9/10 (90%)
  • Physostigmine arm: 9/9 (100%)

After 1st bolus (p=0.01)

  • Lorazepam: 10/10 (100%)
  • Physostigmine: 4/9 (44.4%)

End of 4 hr infusion (p <0.001)

  • Lorazepam: 10 (100%
  • Physostigmine: 2 (22.2%)

No adverse events noted in both group



  • Although this is a small study, it showed that physostigmine is better than lorazepam in treating antimuscarinic delirium and agitation.
  • This study provides additional support to the finding from a prior retrospective study (Bruns MJ et al. Ann Emerg Med. 2000;35(4):374-381), which also showed the benefits of physostigmine over benzodiazepines in the management of antimuscarinic overdose associated delirium.

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Category: Toxicology

Title: Ethanol exposures among infants in the US: 2009-2018

Keywords: ethanol exposure, infant, national poison data system. (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/3/2020 by Hong Kim, MD
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Ethanol exposure among young children can result in significant morbidity. Infants and young children can be exposed to ethanol in many different ways: exploratory ingestion, mixed in formula-both intentionally and unintentionally, etc. 

A recently published study used national poison data system to characterize the ethanol exposure among infants < 12 months of age.



Between 2009-2018, 1,818 ethanol exposures among infants were reported. Oral ingestion was the most common (96.7%; n=1738). Annual number of ethanol exposure increased by 37.5% each year. 

Exposure site

  • Residence: 96.7% (n=1,758)
  • Public are/workplace or school: 1.6% (n=29)


  • 0-2 months: 16.3% (n=296)
  • 3-5 months: 19.6% (n=357)
  • 6-8 months: 18.8% (n=341)
  • 9-11 months: 45.3% (n=824)

Clinically significant effects

  • Coma: 20
  • Hypoglycemia: 16
  • Respiratory depression: 15
  • Seizures: 13
  • Hypothermia: 9
  • Cardiac arrest: 4
  • Respiratory arrest: 3
  • Death: 5

563 infants (31%) were evaluated at hospital

38% (n=214) of the exposures were hospitalized

0-5 months of age 

  • higher odds of admission: non-critical (OR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.41-3.92) or critical care unit (OR: 2.39; 95% CI:1.5-3.79)
  • higher odds of serious outcome (OR: 4.65; 95% IC: 3.18-6.79)



Ethanol exposure among infants is increasing each year and associated with serious clinical effects.  

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What is the cause of Mad honey poisoning?







Grayanotoxin is a neurotoxin that is found in honey contaminated with nectar of Rhododendron plants. It binds to activated/open neuronal sodium channels and prevents inactivation of sodium channels. Case reports of mad honey poisoning is often reported in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey. Commercial honey producers frequently mix honeys from multiple sources to decrease the grayanotoxin contamination.


Mad honey poisoning is rarely fatal and generally resolves within 24 hours. Commonly reported symptoms include dizziness, weakness, impaired consciousness/disorientation, excessive perspiration, nausea/vomiting, and paresthesia. In severe intoxication, patients can experience complete AV block, bradycardia/asystole, hypotension, and syncope. 


Management is primarily supportive with atropine and IV fluids.