Medical toxicology cases

Leslie R. Dye · Christine Murphy Diane P. Calello · Michael D. Levine AaronSkolnik Editors

Case Studies

in Medical

Toxicology

From the American College of Medical Toxicology

    

 

Case Studies in Medical Toxicology

Leslie R. Dye • Christine Murphy Diane P. Calello • Michael D. Levine Aaron Skolnik
Editors

Case Studies in Medical Toxicology

From the American College of Medical Toxicology

   

Editors

Leslie R. Dye
Editor-in-Chief, Point of Care Content Elsevier Clinical Solutions
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Diane P. Calello
Division of Medical Toxicology Department of Emergency Medicine Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Newark, NJ, USA

Aaron Skolnik
Department of Critical Care Medicine University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Christine Murphy
Department of Emergency Medicine Divisions of Medical Toxicology and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Carolinas Medical Center
Charlotte, NC, USA

Michael D. Levine
Department of Emergency Medicine Division of Medical Toxicology University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA, USA

ISBN 978-3-319-56447-0 ISBN 978-3-319-56449-4 (eBook) DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4

Library of Congress Control Number: 2017948728

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017
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LD: For my husband, Brian, and my parents, Bernice and Ray—a perfect combination.

CM: Geoff, without your tolerance of the chaos around me, none of this would be possible. You are my rock.

DC: To my family, without whom nothing would be possible.

ML: This book is dedicated to my wife Ilene Claudius, and my parents Carol and Murray Levine.

AS: To the loves of my life, Jessica and Asher Lev.

Foreword

Medical toxicology, a specialty of medicine focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and management of human poisoning, is a discipline of stories. Unlike most illness, in which a disease insidiously overtakes a patient, poisoning is often a discrete, de nable event. Viewed as a spectator, the event would appear as an unfolding series of foreseeable actions leading to an unintended culmination: poisoning. The child left alone with the bathroom cabinet ajar, the worker reaching for the “water bottle,” the depressed patient attempting to end their anguish, the injection drug user buying from a new supplier, each representing a common scenario in which poisoning occurs. What happens next depends on many variables such as the nature, dose, and route of exposure, the size, age, and health of the patient, the set and setting, the recognition of the event, and even the availability and timely administration of the speci c antidote.

Considering the many permutations, each of these unfolding stories requires skill to piece together in a logical and orderly manner. Prognosis guides expectation, and treatment quells fear. The knowledge and experience to understand the natural his- tory of various poisonings are part of the early training necessary to become a medi- cal toxicologist. This is a specialty of Sherlock Holmes-like detective work, in which no clues can be left untouched. Just as a single carbon separates an evening of gregarious enjoyment (ethanol) from a lifetime of blindness (methanol), no detail can be considered too small.

For several years, the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT), the professional organization of medical toxicologists, has held a monthly member- only, case-based webinar. During this time, I have led hundreds of participants on a journey to dissect complicated, intriguing human poisonings, while each shared their thoughts and beliefs on the how’s and why’s of medical management. Each case was initially selected for presentation because it was a challenge to someone, and on this basis it served as a learning tool for medical toxicologists across the USA and, often, across the world.

In this book, a group of dedicated medical toxicologists and gifted clinician edu- cators have faithfully reproduced the case discussions, added detail, lled in blanks, and corrected errors, to allow others who were not able to engage in the initial

vii

viii Foreword

process to bene t from the work of the participants. The cases are anonymized, but nonetheless represent the potential for real life exposures that can, in an instant or over a decade, lead to consequential adverse effects on human health. To increase the value of the book, each case is followed by a discussion of key issues to broaden out the relevance to other medical specialties.

I want to thank the editors (Christina, Diane, Aaron, and Michael) for their tireless attention to detail. A particularly special thanks goes to the champion of the process, Leslie, for making this labor of love a reality. Hopefully their combined efforts will inspire the readers of the book to savor the intriguing tales, while reminding each of us about our tenuous relationship with the chemical milieu in which we live.

Division of Medical Toxicology, Lewis S. Nelson Department of Emergency Medicine
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School,
Newark, NJ, USA

Preface

In 2011, the American College of Medical toxicology began offering webinars to members entitled, “National Case Conference.” Real medical toxicology cases were presented by people from various training programs and were moderated by sea- soned medical toxicologists. The popularity and educational value were quickly recognized and the webinars continue every month. The cases are usually presented by medical toxicology fellows, but sometimes also presented by residents or medi- cal toxicologists who are faculty members. Listeners participate by asking and answering questions.

The format used produced valuable information that the editors thought would be an excellent foundation for a book of cases. Five prominent medical toxicolo- gists, the lead editor an immediate past president of the American College of Medical Toxicology, edited all of the included cases. In addition, the editors added questions and answers that cover various aspects of medical toxicology, to allow readers to test their knowledge on a variety of toxicology topics. At the end of each case, specialty-speci c guidance was added to broaden the appeal to providers in primary care and intensive care. This volume is a necessary resource for medical students, residents, and fellows, as well as seasoned medical providers.

Cincinnati, OH Charlotte, NC Newark, NJ
Los Angeles, CA Pittsburgh, PA

Leslie R. Dye Christine Murphy Diane P. Calello Michael D. Levine Aaron Skolnik

ix

Acknowledgements

The editors would like to acknowledge the American College of Medical Toxicology, the organizers of the National Case Conference, and, most importantly, all of the patients and healthcare workers involved in these cases.

Disclaimer: NCC is an educational endeavor and a quality improvement effort intended to improve patient care. The cases in this book are not intended to de ne standard of care. Attempts have been made to ensure HIPAA compliance.

All data and information provided in this activity is for informational purposes only. The American College of Medical Toxicology and the editors and contributors of this book make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, present accept- ability, suitability, or validity of the content and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.

xi

Contents

Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Case 4 Case 5 Case 6 Case 7

Case 8 Case 9 Case 10

Case 11

Laundry Pod Ingestion in an Adult . . . . Vincent Nguyen

Coma and Metabolic Acidosis. . . . . . . . . Michael D. Levine

Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child. . . . . . . . . . Christine Murphy and Janetta Iwanicki

Salicylate Ingestion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A. Min Kang

Exotic Snake Envenomation . . . . . . . . . . Naren Gunja and Christine Murphy

Medication Error in the Delivery Room

Nicholas Connors

. ………………. 1 . ………………. 9 . ………………. 15 . ………………. 25 . ………………. 35 . ………………. 45

Delirium and Bradycardia Following Opioid Dependency Treatment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. . 51 Michael Hodgman

Necrotic Skin Lesion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. . 59 Sheila Goertemoeller

Isoniazid Ingestion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. . 69 JoAn Laes

Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug
Insufflation
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. . 79 Christine Murphy and George Sam Wang

An Acute Medical Condition in a Patient with Opiate
Dependence
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . …. . 89 Timothy J. Wiegand

xiii

xiv

Contents

Case 12 Case 13 Case 14 Case 15 Case 16 Case 17 Case 18 Case 19 Case 20 Case 21

Case 22 Case 23 Case 24 Case 25 Case 26

Case 27 Case 28

Acute Hepatitis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Murphy and Annette Lopez

Thyroid Supplement Ingestion . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Murphy and Charles McKay

Blue or Rigid: Pick your Toxin . . . . . . . . . . . . . Betty Chen

Overdose in a Patient with Parkinson Disease

Larissa K. Laskowski

Snake Bite to the Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meghan Spyres

Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxification. . . . . . . . . . Christine Murphy and Hong K. Kim

Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Ingestion . . Scott Lucyk

Nicotine Toxicity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Murphy and Lauren K. Shawn

…. . …. . …. . …. . …. . …. . …. . …. .

. ……… 97 . ……… 109 . ……… 121 . ……… 129 . ……… 137 . ……… 147 . ……… 157 . ……… 163 . ……… 173

. ……… 181 . ……… 189 . ……… 197 . ……… 207 . ……… 217

A Skin Rash and Fever After Starting an Antibiotic

Brian Wolk

Recurrent Seizures in a Patient with a Chronic Neurologic Disorder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lauren K. Shawn

Caustic Ingestion in a Toddler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Diane P. Calello

Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication . . Christine Murphy and Shana Kusin

Weakness in a Dialysis Patient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annette Lopez

Hyperlactemia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Murphy and Betty Chen

Tachycardia in a Patient from an Opioid Detoxification
Facility
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227 Lauren K. Shawn

Hepatic Injury from a “Cultural Medicine” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235 Christine Murphy, Betty Chen, and Hong K. Kim

Glyphosate Toxicity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245 Michael D. Levine

Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 251

About the Editors

Leslie R. Dye, M.D., F.A.C.M.T. graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine and fellowship in Medical Toxicology and Hyperbaric Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medical Toxicology, has authored numerous book chapters, and has published extensively in the scienti c literature. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Point of Care Content for Elsevier in addition to practicing addiction medicine. Dr. Dye is board certi ed in Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology and is the immediate past president of the American College of Medical Toxicology and the past president of the Medical Toxicology Foundation.

Christine Murphy, M.D. received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from the College of William and Mary and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. She completed her residency training in Emergency Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University and a fellowship in Medical Toxicology at Carolinas Medical Center. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Carolinas Medical Center and Director of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship Program. Dr. Murphy is board certi ed in Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology. Her current interests include alternative uses for existing antidotes and trends in recreational drugs of abuse.

DianeP.Calello,M.D.,F.A.C.M.T. istheExecutiveandMedicalDirectoroftheNew Jersey Poison Information and Education System at the New Jersey Medical School of Rutgers University. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the American College of Medical Toxicology and a regular contributor to the National Case Conference Webinar.She received her Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary in Virginia and her medical degree from the New Jersey Medical School she now calls home. Her residency and fellowship training was conducted at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.She is board certi ed in Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine,

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xvi About the Editors

Medical Toxicology, and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Calello is a national expert on pediat- ric lead poisoning, use of critical care methods in poisoning patients, and the impact of the opioid and emerging drug epidemic on the young child.

Michael D. Levine, M.D., F.A.C.M.T. After matriculating from the Chicago Medical School, Dr. Michael Levine completed an emergency medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s/Massachusetts General Hospital. He subsequently attended the Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where he completed his medical toxicology fellowship. Michael Levine is currently faculty at the University of Southern California, where he serves as Chief of the Division of Medical Toxicology. His current research interests are mostly focused on toxicity from antiplatelets and anticoagulants. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Medical Toxicology.

Aaron Skolnik, M.D. received his Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed residency in emergency medicine at Brigham and Women’s/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. Thereafter, Aaron graduated from the medical toxicology fellowship at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, and joined the faculty of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix. He is board certi ed in Emergency Medicine, Medical Toxicology, and Addiction Medicine. Currently, he is completing addi- tional fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in critical care medicine, neurocritical care, and extracorporeal life support.

Case 1
Laundry Pod Ingestion in an Adult

1. Should we be concerned about laundry detergent (LD) pod exposures? 2. How are LD pods different from traditional LD products?
3. How should patients with LD pod exposures be managed?
4. What is being done to reduce harm from LD pod exposures?

Abstract Laundry detergent (LD) pod ingestion is an increasing source of morbid- ity and mortality in the pediatric population. However, injury associated with unin- tentional ingestions of LD pods by adults has not been described in the literature. We report a case of a 50-year-old man who ingested a LD pod and had esophageal and gastric injuries.

Keywords Laundry • Detergent • Pod • Caustics • Aspiration Emergency Department Presentation

Chief Complaint: 50-year-old man presents with vomiting and odynophagia.

History of Present Illness

A 50-year-old hypertensive man who could not read English drank the contents of a Tide Pods® laundry detergent (LD) pod, mistaking it for candy. He vomited imme- diately after the ingestion and developed repeated emesis over the next 6 h. His

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 1 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_1

2 Case 1 Laundry Pod Ingestion in an Adult

efforts to eat and drink caused pain and repeated vomiting. The patient presented to ED 12 h after the ingestion, complaining of odynophagia.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

185/111 mmHg

Hypertension
None
None
Denied drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using illicit drugs

O2 saturation

97%

   

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

83 bpm

16 breaths/min

36.4 °C (97.6 °F)

General: Lying in a gurney, comfortable
HEENT: Normocephalic with normal pupils, normal tongue, and oropharynx; no

evidence of oropharyngeal burns
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm with no murmurs
Pulmonary: Symmetric breath sounds; lungs were clear to auscultation with no rales

or rhonchi
Abdominal: Normal bowel sounds, soft, non-distended, and non-tender Neurologic: Alert and oriented to person, place, and time; answered all questions

appropriately
Skin: Warm and well-perfused

Diagnostic Testing WBC

9.2 K/μL Na

139 mEq/L

Ancillary Testing

Platelets

223 K/dL

Glucose

98 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

Hematocrit

15.2 g/dL

45%

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

4.0 mEq/L

103 mEq/L

27 mEq/L

16 mg/dL

0.8 mg/dL

An esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) performed in the ED revealed diffuse super cial erythema and ulcerations to the esophagus (Zargar’s grade 2A) and stomach (Fig. A–D).

Ancillary Testing 3

Fig. A, B Grade 2A esophageal injuries Fig. C Antral and pyloric

ulcers

Fig. D Gastric mucosal erythema

4 Case 1 Laundry Pod Ingestion in an Adult

Treatment and Hospital Course

The patient was managed with a proton pump inhibitor and given a liquid diet overnight. He had no further episodes of vomiting while in the hospital, and his odynophagia resolved. He was discharged the following day.

Key Points of Case

Should We Be Concerned About LD Pod Exposures?

In 2012, single-dose LD capsules emerged in the US market as a new, more convenient replacement for the liquid form. These colorful, attractive capsules can resemble candy or toys, likely playing an important role in the alarming number of pediatric exposures. From 2012 through 2103, poison control centers (PCC) in the US received over 17,000 calls reporting LD pod exposures in the pediatric population (Valdez et al. 2014). This astounding number represents less than 2 years of data collection and is likely an underrepresentation of the true exposure.

From 2012 through 2013, LD pod exposures required higher levels of care than pediatric exposures overall. (Valdez et al. 2014). Exposures in adults are much more uncommon. Pod exposures resulted in more than ve times the serious outcomes compared to the traditional liquids and powders (Forrester 2013). A study looking into data from PCC recorded 102 children requiring tracheal intubation and two pediatric deaths associated with LD pod exposures (Valdez et al. 2014).

How Are LD Pods Different from Traditional Laundry Products?

Typically, unintentional ingestions of traditional detergent powders and liquids result in minimal toxicity; primarily gastrointestinal effects of mild mouth irrita- tion and transient vomiting (Fulton 2011). The newer LD pod formulation has been available in Europe for a decade and has been associated with more signi cant morbidity. Although there are differences based on manufacturers, LD pods usu- ally contain primarily ethoxylated alcohols, propylene glycol, and linear alkylben- zene sulfonate enclosed within a water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol membrane (Buehler et al. 2013).

LD pod ingestions result in many of the same gastrointestinal ndings as their non-pod counterparts. However, pod ingestions appear to be associated with a greater degree of drowsiness/lethargy, coma, and loss of airway than ingestion of non-pod detergent formulations (Buehler et al. 2013; Forrester 2013). It is unclear

Key Points of Case 5

if these central effects are due to the ethoxylated alcohol or propylene glycol component, or both. It also remains unclear if exposed adults would share these similar neurologic ndings.

How Should Patients with LD Pod Exposures Be Managed?

The initial management of LD pod ingestions is primarily supportive care.
Patients may or may not exhibit oropharyngeal irritation and burns, but as with other caustic exposures, these ndings (or lack of) are not reliable predictors of esophageal and gastric injuries. Since there is no reliable relationship between oro- pharyngeal injuries and esophageal injuries, Crain et al. suggest that patients with a caustic exposure and two or more serious symptoms (vomiting, drooling, and stri-

dor) should undergo endoscopy (Crain et al. 1984).
Studies looking speci cally at esophageal injuries after LD pod ingestions are

limited. The few case series and reports have found only super cial injury and none have reported any cases of esophageal strictures (Smith et al. 2014; Bramuzzo et al. 2013; Williams et al. 2012). Although the viscosity of the LD pod ingredients should limit its ability to cause distal injury, the ease of consuming larger quantities and the mode of delivery make injury dif cult to predict. The decision to perform an EGD on patients who have ingested LD pods should depend on their presentation and progress.

What Is Being Done to Reduce Harm from LD Pod Exposures?

In May 2012, the American Association of Poison Control Centers sounded a nationwide alarm by issuing a release detailing safety precautions. Procter & Gamble (P&G), the maker of Tide Pods® LD pods, and other manufacturers responded with educational campaigns, appended warnings to its advertisements, and placed stickers on the container tubs to remind users to keep the products away from children. P&G has added latches to the lid of their product containers to make them harder to open (Ng 2013). They have also replaced the clear containers with opaque ones to decrease visibility to children.

The most recent data suggest that LD pod exposures may be on the decline; how- ever, it is not yet clear if the decline is a result of harm reduction strategies or a seasonal trend in the number of PCC calls reporting exposures (Valdez et al. 2014). It is unknown whether the pod containers of any brand are truly child-resistant, and currently, there are no standards for safe packaging. Further research is needed to determine which components of the LD pods are most toxic. Once the most danger- ous ingredients are determined, product reformulation may mitigate harm.

6 Case 1 Laundry Pod Ingestion in an Adult Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Emergency Medicine

• Exposure to LD pods results in more severe adverse effects than exposure to traditional LD powders/liquids.

• Symptoms associated with LD pod include:

–  Gastrointestinal
Vomiting
Nausea
Oropharyngeal irritation Abdominal pain Diarrhea

–  Neurologic
Drowsiness Lethargy Agitation/irritability Coma

–  Pulmonary
Coughing/choking Dyspnea
Respiratory depression Pneumonitis

• Management

–  Management for LD pod ingestions is largely supportive

–  EGD according to clinical picture

–  Tracheal intubation when needed
Public Health

• Exposure to LD pods requires more medical attention, hospitalizations, and intensive care than exposures to traditional LD products.

• Public health efforts have resulted in a recent decrease in LD pod exposures, but safety standards still need to be established.

• Non-English speaking patients are at particular risk of poisoning, as the warn- ings on packaging of pharmaceuticals and hazardous materials can be missed.

References 7

References

Bramuzzo M, Amaddeo A, Facchina G, Neri E, Martelossi S, Barbi E. Liquid detergent capsule ingestion: a new pediatric epidemic? Pediatr Emerg Care. 2013;29(3):410–1.

Buehler MC, Gala PK, Wolfe HA, Meaney PA, Henretig FM. Laundry detergent “pod” ingestions: a case series and discussion of recent literature. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2013;29(6):743–7.

Crain EF, Gershel JC, Mezey AP. Caustic ingestions; symptoms as predictors of esophageal injury. Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(9):863–5.

Forrester MB. Comparison of pediatric exposures to concentrated “pack” and traditional laundry detergents. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2013;29(4):482–6.

Fulton JA. Caustics. In: Nelson LS, Lewis NA, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Goldfrank LR, Flomenbaum NE, editors. Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies. 9th ed. New York: McGraw- Hill; 2011. p. 1364–73.

Ng S. Safety experts raise concern over popular laundry packs—new alarm bells over single-dose detergent capsules as risk to children. The Wall Street Journal. 2013. http://www.wsj.com. Assessed 30 Jan 2015.

Smith E, Liebelt E, Noguiera J. Laundry detergent pod ingestions: is there a need for endoscopy? J Med Toxicol. 2014;10(3):286–91.

Valdez AL, Casavant MJ, Spiller HA, Chounthirath T, Xiang H, Smith GA. Pediatric exposure to laundry detergent pods. Pediatrics. 2014;134(6):1–9.

Williams H, Bateman N, Thomas S, Thompson J, Scott R, Vale A. Exposure to liquid detergent capsules: a study undertaken by the UK National Poison Information Service. Clin Toxicol. 2012;50(8):776–80.

Case 2
Coma and Metabolic Acidosis

1. What common xenobiotics can cause metabolic acidosis?

2. What are common industrial settings or occupations that use the substance
identi ed?

3. What are common industrial settings or occupations that use the substance
identi ed?

4. What is the mechanism of action of the substance identi ed?

5. What is the role of laboratory testing for this substance?

6. What are the cardiovascular manifestations of the substance?

7. What are potential antidotes for this substance?

8. Which occupations use this substance routinely?

Abstract Cyanide is one of the few chemicals known as a “knock down” agent, owing to its short interval from ingestion until symptom onset. In this case, a 22-year-old female attempted suicide by consuming cyanide. This chapter discusses manifestations of cyanide, diagnostic clues, and management strategies for treating acute cyanide toxicity.

Keywords Suicide • Cyanide • Metabolic acidosis • Cyanide antidote • Hydroxycobalamin

History of Present Illness

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was called to the home of a 22-year-old female who was found unresponsive. The patient had texted a friend a suicide message 15 min prior. When the friend was not able to get in contact with the patient, the friend called EMS. EMS arrived and found the patient unresponsive.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 9 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_2

10

Case 2 Coma and Metabolic Acidosis

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Family History Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

80/40 mmHg

Depression
Fluoxetine
No known drug allergies Unknown
Unknown

O2 saturation

98% (room air)

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

120 bpm

24 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

A suicide note and a small canister of a product purchased on-line were found near the patient.

General: Unresponsive
Cardiovascular: Regular rhythm
Pulmonary: Lungs clear bilaterally
Neuro: Intact occulocephaic re ex with normal deep tendon re exes. Muscle tone

was normal, and there was no clonus. No response to pain.

Initial Treatment

The patient was placed on a non-rebreather mask and initial labs were obtained, including a blood gas. The patient was intubated, a head CT was obtained, and an antidote was administered.

Diagnostic Testing WBC

14 k/mm3

Na

140 mmol/L

AST

68 IU/L

Platelets

324 k/mm3

Hemoglobin

12.5 g/dL

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

5.5 mmol/L

105 mmol/L

8 mmol/L

14 mg/dL

1.0 mg/dL

Glucose

128 mg/dL

 

ALT

41 IU/L

Hospital Course 11

Acetaminophen, salicylates, and ethanol were undetectable Arterial blood gas (FiO2: 100%): pH 7.2; PCO2: 20; PO2: 270 CarboxyHgb: 2%; MetHtb: 1%
Venous blood gas (FiO2: 100%): pH 7.19; PCO2: 21; PO2: 267

Ancillary Testing

CT head: negative for hemorrhage or masses

What Common Xenobiotics Can Cause Metabolic Acidosis?

Common xenobiotics than can cause metabolic acidosis:

 

• Acetaminophen

• Acetazolamide

• Acetonitrile

• Azides

• Carbon monoxide

• Cyanide

• Didanosine

• Ethanol

• Ethylene glycol/diethylene glycol

• Ethylene glycol monobutyl ethers

• Formic acid

• Hydrogen cyanide

• Ketoacidosis (alcoholic, diabetic, etc.)

• Iron
• Isoniazid
• Metformin/phenformin • Methanol
• Nitroprusside
• Phenol
• Phosphorus
• Propylene glycol
• Salicylates
• Theophylline
• Toluene
• Topiramate
• Valproic acid

What Are Common Industrial Settings or Occupations That Use Cyanide?

Common settings and occupations that use cyanide

 

• Chemical manufacturing

• Electroplating

• Jewelry making

• Laboratory work

• Metal polishing
Hospital Course

• Metal plating
• Metal stripping
• Mirror manufacturing
• Nylon production
• Pesticide manufacturing

Following antidote administration, the patient’s hemodynamic status improved. The patient was admitted to the intensive care unit overnight and was discharged to inpatient psychiatry 2 days later.

12 Case 2 Coma and Metabolic Acidosis

What Is the Mechanism of Action of Cyanide?

Cyanide inhibits numerous enzymes, especially cytochrome oxidase (Ballantyne 1987). Other enzymes inhibited by cyanide include acetoacetate decarboxylase, car- bonic anhydrase, glutamic acid decarboxylase, 2-keto-4-hydroglutarate aldolase, nitrite reductase, succinate dehydrogenase, and xanthine oxidase (Curry and LoVecchio 2001). In the inner mitochondrial membrane, cyanide binds to the ferric ion in cytochrome oxidase, thereby inhibiting electron transport. As a result, ade- nosine triphosphate (ATP) production is profoundly inhibited. Seizures may be the result of inhibition of glutamate decarboxylase, with a subsequent decrease in GABA concentrations. In addition, cyanide stimulates the NMDA receptor (Arden et al. 1998) and increases intracellular calcium (Mathangi and Namasivayam 2004), ultimately leading to apoptosis (Mills et al. 1996).

What Is the Role of Laboratory Testing for Cyanide?

Cyanide levels can be obtained at some institutions, but are typically only performed in specialized laboratories. The levels are technically dif cult to run and rarely change management, owing to long time intervals between obtaining the test and the results. There are, however, several diagnostic clues that may facilitate the diag- nosis of cyanide. In the appropriate clinical setting, a lactic acid exceeding 8 mmol/L (Baud et al. 2002) (and possibly 10 mmol/L) (Huzar et al. 2013), in conjunction with a partial pressure of oxygen <10 mmHg between venous and arterial blood, may suggest the diagnosis (Gracia and Shepherd 2004).

What Are the Cardiovascular Manifestations of Cyanide?

Because the heart is particularly sensitive to ATP depletion, it is one of the most affected organs in the body. Tachycardia, with or without mild hypertension, are early ndings. Later, hypotension, bradycardia, and dysrhythmias may ensue. A shortening of the ST segment can occur, resulting in a “T on R” phenomenon (Brooks et al. 2011).

What Are Potential Antidotes for Cyanide?

There are two main potential treatments for cyanide toxicity.
Historically, treatment involves a commercially available cyanide antidote kit,

which contains a combination of nitrites and thiosulfate. Amyl nitrite (which is available in an inhalational ampule) and sodium nitrite (which is available intrave- nously as a 3% solution) can induce methemoglobinemia (Chen and Rose 1952).

Speciality-Speci c Guidance 13

The sodium nitrite is responsible for the vast majority of the nitrite production. Sodium thiosulfate serves as a sulfur donor to the enzyme rhodinase, which helps convert cyanide to thiosulfate. The typical dose of sodium nitrite is 300 mg (10 cc of a 3% solution) for adults, or 0.33 cc/kg for pediatrics. A lower dose may be uti- lized in anemic patients. Sodium thiosulfate is made as a 25% solution; the typical adult dose is 12.5 g (50 cc), whereas the typical pediatric dose is 1.65 cc/kg.

In cases where cyanide toxicity is felt to be present concomitantly with carbon monoxide, as may be the case in a re victim, nitrites should be avoided due to synergistic reduction in oxygen-carrying capacity between carboxyhemoglobin and methemoglobin (Levine and Spyres 2016).

Alternatively, hydroxocobalamin, a precursor to B12, can be utilized. The cobalt ion on hydroxocobalamin combines with cyanide to form cyanocobalamin (B12), which is renally eliminated. The typical starting dose of hydroxocobalamin is 5 g for adults; this dose can be repeated once. Because hydroxocobalamin can produce an intense red discoloration to body uids, laboratory parameters which rely on colormetric testing, including liver functions, creatinine, and magnesium, can be dif cult to interpret (Curry et al. 1994). There is some suggestion that administra- tion of hydroxocobalamin along with sodium thiosulfate produces synergistic effects (Rose et al. 1965).

Cobalt EDTA, which has been used in Australia and parts of Europe, chelates cyanide. The complex is then excreted in the urine (Holland and Kozlowski 1986). In addition to antidotal therapy, crystalloid uid boluses and direct acting vaso-

pressors can be utilized to treat hypotension.

Which Occupations Use Cyanide Routinely?

Jewelers and those involved with precious metal reclamation are some of the more common professions to utilize cyanide. Aqueous solutions of cyanide can combine with silver or gold to form soluble compounds. Copper mines frequently have large pools of aqueous, alkaline cyanide salts to facilitate the extraction of silver and gold from impure ore (Curry and LoVecchio 2001). Cyanide is also utilized in the pro- duction of paper, plastics, rubber, mirror making, and in electroplating operations. Historically, cyanide was commonly used in photography and fumigation. While re ghters do not typically work with cyanide directly, re ghters may be exposed from cyanide through smoke inhalation.

Speciality-Speci c Guidance

Prehospital

In the event of possible cyanide gas, rst responders should use appropriate per- sonal protective equipment.

14 Case 2 Coma and Metabolic Acidosis

Emergency Medicine

The diagnosis of cyanide toxicity should be entertained if the history suggests a rapid “knock down.”

The presence of similar PO2 between the venous and arterial blood, along with a markedly elevated lactic acid (usually greater than 10), suggests the diagnosis.

Patients with concurrent elevation of carboxyhemoglobin levels should not receive nitrites, as the simultaneous generation of methemoglobinemia can be dangerous.

References

Arden SR, Sinor JD, Potthoff WK, et al. Subunit-speci c interactions of cyanide with the N-methyl- D-aspartate receptor. J Biol Chem. 1998;273:21505–11.

Ballantyne B. Toxicology of cyanides. In: Ballantyne B, Marrs TC, editors. Clinical and experi- mental toxicology of cyanides. Bristol, England: IOP Publishing; 1987. p. 41–126.

Baud FJ, Borron SW, Megarbane B, et al. Value of lactic acidosis in the assessment of the severity of acute cyanide poisoning. Crit Care Med. 2002;30:2044–50.

Brooks DE, Levine M, O’Connor AD, et al. Toxicology in the ICU: part 2: speci c toxins. Chest. 2011;140:1072–85.

Chen KK, Rose C. Nitrite and thiosulfate therapy in cyanide poisoning. JAMA. 1952;149:113–9. Curry SC, LoVecchio FA. Hydrogen cyanide and inorganic cyanide salts. In: JB SJR, Krieger GR, editors. Clinical environmental health and toxic exposure. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott,

Williams & Wilkins; 2001. p. 705–16.
Curry SC, Connor DA, Raschke RA. Effect of the cyanide antidote hydroxocobalamin on com-

monly ordered serum chemistry studies. Ann Emerg Med. 1994;24:65–7.
Gracia R, Shepherd G. Cyanide poisoning and its treatment. Pharmacotherapy. 2004;24:1358–65. Holland MA, Kozlowski LM. Clinical features and management of cyanide poisoning. Clin

Pharm. 1986;5:731–41.
Huzar TF, George T, Cross JM. Carbon monoxide and cyanide toxicity: etiology, pathophysiology

and treatment in inhalation injury. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2013;7(2):159–70.
Levine M, Spyres M. In reply: smoke inhalation. N Engl J Med. 2016.
Mathangi DC, Namasivayam A. Calcium ions: its role in cyanide neurotoxicity. Food Chem

Toxicol. 2004;42:359–61.
Mills EM, Gunasekar PG, Pavlakovic G, et al. Cyanide-induced apoptosis and oxidative stress in

differentiated PC12 cells. J Neurochem. 1996;67:1039–46.
Rose CL, Worth RM, Chen KK. Hydroxo-cobalamine and acute cyanide poisoning in dogs. Life

Sci. 1965;4:1785–9.

Case 3
Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child

1. What speci c agents found in Mexican diet products would elicit concern for exposure?

2. Why is a diet product containing this substance concerning?

3. What is the mechanism of action of this substance?

4. What some other non-pharmaceuticals contain a substance with similar action?

5. Can you detect the presence of this non-pharmaceutical substance by obtaining
a standard laboratory test?

6. When do you treat non-pharmaceutical toxicity from this substance?

7. Does an antidote reverse this non-pharmaceutical substance?

8. Why is clenbuterol used as a diet agent?

9. What are the symptoms of clenbuterol toxicity?

10. What is the mechanism of action of dinitrophenol that causes weight loss and toxicity?

11. What are the signs of dinitrophenol toxicity?

Abstract A 3-year-old male ingested several tablets of his mother’s diet supple- ment, which had been obtained from Mexico. While he did not develop clinical signs of toxicity, exposure to this product was concerning based on the active ingre- dient it reportedly contained. This chapter reviews some of the agents found in “diet pills,” how they cause toxicity, and clinical symptoms associated with toxicity.

Keywords Cardioselectivesteroids•Digoxin•Thevetiaperuviana•Clenbuterol • Dinitrophenol

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 15 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_3

16 Case 3 Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child

History of Present Illness

A 3-year-old male was found with an open bottle of a weight loss product from Mexico. The patient’s mother found him chewing on several tablets, and several tablets were found on the ground around him. On pill count, approximately 19 tab- lets were missing. The active ingredient listed on the weight loss agent was “tron- comín 20 mg.” The patient was brought to the ED 30 min after ingestion.

  

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

Family History

None
None
NKDA
Lives at home with parents and two older siblings. Mom is primary caregiver during the day

       

Maternal grandmother with diabetes
Paternal grandfather and father with hypertension No other medical history in immediate family

Physical Examination Blood pressure

103/59 mmHg

Weight

15 kg

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

O2 saturation

120 bpm

16 breaths/min

37.2 °C (98.9 °F)

100% (room air)

General: Awake, alert, sitting on mother’s lap in no distress, playing and looking around room.

HEENT: Pupils were equal, round, and reactive to light. Mucus membranes were moist, normal dentition for age, no oropharyngeal erythema, edema, or ulcerations.

Cardiovascular: Regular rate; no murmurs, gallops, or rubs.
Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation bilaterally with no wheezes, rales, or rhonchi.

Normal respiratory effort without stridor or accessory muscle use.
Abdomen: Soft, non-tender with no distension. Abdomen without tenderness to pal-

pation and active bowel sounds auscultated.
Musculoskeletal: Extremities appear normal with no deformities, crepitus, or ten-

derness to palpation.
Skin: No clubbing or cyanosis. Warm to touch. Normal appearing skin pigment.

Moist axillae.
Neurologic: Alert and will interact during exam, following basic commands. Normal

muscular tone. Normal re exes. No clonus. Face symmetric, tongue midline, and extraocular movements intact without nystagmus on direct testing.

Hospital Course 17 What Speci c Agents Found in Mexican Diet Products Would

Elicit Concern for Exposure?

• There are several potential ingredients in Mexican diet products that are con- cerning. These include:

–  Yellow oleander nuts

–  Amphetamine

–  Thyroid medications

–  Dinitrophenol

–  Diuretics

–  Clenbuterol

• Commercial diet preparations from other countries may contain yellow oleander under other names: troncomín, capslim, gavafute, almendra quema grasa, Thevetia peruviana.

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

10 k/mm3

Na

141 mmol/L

Acetaminophen: negative Salicylic acid: negative Ethanol: negative

Ancillary Testing

Differential Glucose

103 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

Hematocrit

Platelets

12 g/dL

210 k/mm3

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

3.5 mmol/L

105 mmol/L

24 mmol/L

8/0.3 mg/dL

EKG demonstrated sinus tachycardia with normal intervals.
Serum digoxin level 0.1 ng/mL—drawn approximately 1 h after exposure

Hospital Course

• The product ingested by the patient contained yellow oleander.

• The patient was given 1 g/kg of activated charcoal, an IV was placed, and he was
transferred to a tertiary pediatric center.

• On arrival to tertiary pediatric center, his repeat vital signs were:

18

Case 3

Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

100 bpm

15 breaths/min

37.0 °C (98.6 °F)

Blood pressure

122/67 mmHg

O2 saturation

100% (room air)

• He was alert and exhibited age-appropriate behavior.

• A repeat digoxin level 4 h later was 0.5 ng/mL, potassium 3.7 mEq/L. His peak
potassium was 4.2 mEq/L.

• The patient was admitted overnight for observation. There were no signi cant
events on telemetry and no treatment required.

• He was discharged home the next day.
Why Is a Diet Product Containing Yellow Oleander Concerning?

• Yellow oleander contains eight different cardioactive steroids.

• Yellow oleander is a good example of a non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroid,
whereas digoxin is an example of a pharmaceutical cardioactive steroid.

• Non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids produce similar signs of toxicity as
digoxin.

• Patients frequently experience GI symptoms and AV conduction effects as signs
of toxicity after yellow oleander ingestion. However, in a large case series from Sri Lanka, very few patients developed ventricular ectopy or tachydysrhythmias (Eddleston et al. 2000a).
What Is the Mechanism of Action of Cardioactive Steroids?

• Inhibition of the Na+-K+-ATPase pump by cardioactive steroids ultimately leads to increased cytoplasmic calcium and enhances the release of calcium from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. This leads to increased strength of myocardial contrac- tion and increased inotropy.

• Cardioactive steroids also increase vagal tone.

• In excess, cardioactive steroids may cause nonspeci c symptoms such as nausea,
vomiting, and abdominal pain.

• Ultimately, patients can develop bradydysrhythmias and hyperkalemia.

• AV junctional blockade is the most common dysrhythmia, but patients can also
have ectopic beats and bidirectional ventricular tachycardia (Eddleston et al.
2000b)

• Hyperkalemia (>5 mEq/L) is a predictor of mortality in acute digoxin overdose.
(Bismuth et al. 1973)

Hospital Course 19

What Other Non-pharmaceuticals Contain Cardioactive Steroids?

• Foxglove (Digitalis spp)

• Oleander (Nerium oleander)

• Lilly of the valley (Convallaria majalis)

• Red squill (Urginea maritima)

• Bufo species of frogs
Can You Detect the Presence of Non-pharmaceutical Cardioactive Steroids by Obtaining a Standard Digoxin Level?

• Some immunoassays for digoxin cross-react with these compounds (Barrueto et al. 2003).

• Other assays are more speci c for pharmaceutical digoxin and may not cross- react. Speci cally, there are reports of monoclonal assays that do not detect non- pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids (Brubacher et al. 1996; Dasgupta 2004).

• Digoxin levels in these cases are helpful as a dichotomous positive/negative test, but actual levels do not predict degree of toxicity (Dasgupta 2006)
When Do You Treat Non-pharmaceutical Cardioactive Steroid Toxicity?

• It is reasonable to give patients with acute/accidental ingestions a single dose of acti- vated charcoal in an effort to prevent absorption of cardioactive steroids. Additionally, there is evidence of enterohepatic recirculation of these compounds and multi-dose activated charcoal may be warranted in some cases to enhance elimination.

• Initially, activated charcoal can be given, if warranted. IV access, cardiac moni- toring, and frequent electrolytes are warranted.

• The utility of repeating digoxin levels is unknown as these are not direct mea- sures of the circulating non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroid, but rather a cross-reaction between this and the digoxin assay (Dasgupta 2006).

• Consider digoxin-speci c Fab fragments (DigiBind or DigiFab) for patients with a potassium >5 mEq/L symptomatic bradycardia, increased automaticity and ectopy, or ventricular dysrhythmias (Lapostolle et al. 2008).

• Consider conservative observation for asymptomatic patients with non- pharmaceutical cardioactive steroid ingestion.

• The aggressiveness of the approach to treatment may be different with chronic toxicity/chronic use of these products—but ultimately will be patient-dependent.

20 Case 3 Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child Do Digoxin-Speci c Fab Fragments Work in the Reversal

of Non-pharmaceutical Cardioactive Steroid Toxicity?

• There are several studies and case reports that describe ef cacy of digoxin- speci c Fab fragments in the treatment of plant cardiac glycosides and bufadi- enolide toxicity (Cheung et al. 1991; Barrueto et al. 2003; Brubacher et al. 1996, 1999; Eddleston et al. 2000a; Safadi et al. 1995).

• Patients with toxicity from non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids may require much higher doses of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments and repeated dosing for stabilization (up to 37 vials has been described) due to decreased af nity of digoxin fab for non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids (Rich et al. 1993).

• 10–20 vials of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments are recommended as the initial starting dose for patients with clinical signs of digoxin-like toxicity from non- pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids. (Barrueto et al. 2003; Safadi et al. 1995)
Why Is Clenbuterol Used as a Diet Agent?

• Clenbuterol is a β2 agonist that increases causing muscle hypertrophy and the growth of fast-twitch muscle bers.

• It is used in cattle to increase the amount of muscle and decrease fat.
What Are Symptoms of Clenbuterol Toxicity?

• Tachycardia (Ramos et al. 2004)

• Nausea and diarrhea (Ramos et al. 2004)

• Tremors (Ramos et al. 2004)

• Hypertension (Ramos et al. 2004)

• Leukocytosis (Ramos et al. 2004)

• Hypokalemia (Ramos et al. 2004)
What Is the Mechanism of Action of Dinitrophenol That Causes Weight Loss and Toxicity?

• Dinitrophenol (2,4-dinitrophenol) increases metabolic activity by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation.

• By uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation, ATP cannot be synthesized in the mitochondria.

• The energy that normally goes into creating the bond between ADP and phos- phate is dissipated as heat causing profound hyperthermia.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 21

What Are Signs of Dinitrophenol Toxicity?

• Hyperthermia

• Agranulocytosis

• Diaphoresis

• Increased thirst

• Respiratory failure

• Malaise

• Skin rash

• Coma

• Death
Case Conclusion
In this case, a 3-year-old male was exposed to a Mexican diet aid, which contained yel- low oleander (Thevetia peruviana). Herbal and supplement-based diet aids have been associated with many different toxicities including clenbuterol, 2,4-dinitrophenol, and non-pharmaceutical cardiac glycoside toxicity. This patient was given activated charcoal and observed overnight. He required no additional treatment and did not develop signs of clinical toxicity even though exposure was likely, given the positive digoxin assay.
Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Digoxin levels may help detect exposure to non-pharmaceutical cardioactive ste- roids, but levels do not correlate with toxicity. As assays become more speci c for digoxin, there will be less cross-reactivity with other cardioactive steroids. A negative lab value does not rule out exposure, and the utility of repeated digoxin levels is unknown.

• Obtain electrolytes and initial EKG for all patients with suspected exposure.

• Most patients with accidental/intentional acute ingestions will require observa- tion, telemetry monitoring for signs of toxicity and consultation with a toxicolo-
gist or poison center.

• EKG ndings of bidirectional ventricular tachycardia are nearly diagnostic of
cardioactive steroid exposure, whether via digoxin or non-pharmaceutical car-
diac glycosides.

• Key features of toxicity include: hyperkalemia, symptomatic bradycardia, and a
variety of dysrhythmias.

• As with digoxin toxicity, repeat digoxin levels should not be obtained once Fab
fragments have been administered. Additional dosing of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments should be based on clinical symptoms.

22 Case 3 Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child

Pediatrics

• Digoxin levels may help detect exposure to non-pharmaceutical cardioactive ste- roids, but levels do not correlate with toxicity. As assays become more speci c for digoxin, there will be less cross-reactivity with other cardioactive steroids. A negative lab value does not rule out exposure, and the utility of repeated digoxin levels is unknown.

• Obtain electrolytes and initial EKG for all patients with suspected exposure.

• Most patients with accidental/intentional acute ingestions will require observa- tion, telemetry monitoring for signs of toxicity and consultation with a toxicolo-
gist or poison center.

• EKG ndings of bidirectional ventricular tachycardia are nearly diagnostic of
cardioactive steroid exposure, whether via digoxin or non-pharmaceutical car-
diac glycosides.

• Key features of toxicity include: hyperkalemia, symptomatic bradycardia, and a
variety of dysrhythmias.

• As with digoxin toxicity, repeat digoxin levels should not be obtained once Fab
fragments have been administered. Additional dosing of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments should be based on clinical symptoms.
Emergency Medicine

• Consider activated charcoal to prevent absorption of recently ingested cardioac- tive steroids, especially if the patient presents within 1 h of ingestion.

• There are some cases where multi-dose activated charcoal may be recommended as many cardioactive steroids (pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical) are reported to have enterohepatic recirculation.

• Digoxin levels may detect exposure to a non-pharmaceutical cardioactive ste- roid, but levels do not correlate with toxicity. As assays become more speci c for digoxin, there will be less cross-reactivity with other cardioactive steroids. A negative lab value does not mean a lack of exposure, and the utility of obtaining repeated digoxin levels is unknown.

• Obtain electrolytes and initial EKG for all patients with suspected exposure.

• Most patients with accidental/intentional acute ingestions will require observa- tion, telemetry monitoring for signs of toxicity, and consultation with a toxicolo-
gist or poison center.

• An EKG demonstrating bidirectional ventricular tachycardia is nearly diagnostic
of cardioactive steroid exposure, whether via digoxin or non-pharmaceutical car-
diac glycosides.

• Patients with toxicity from non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids may require
much higher doses of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments for stabilization due to decreased af nity of digoxin fab for non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids. An initial recommended dose is 10–20 vials.

References 23

• As with digoxin toxicity, repeat digoxin levels should not be obtained once Fab fragments have been administered. Additional dosing of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments should be based on the patient’s clinical symptoms.

Toxicology

• Consider activated charcoal to prevent absorption of recently ingested cardioac- tive steroids, especially if the patient presents within 1 h of ingestion.

• There are some cases where multi-dose activated charcoal may be recommended as many cardioactive steroids (pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical) are reported to have enterohepatic recirculation.

• Digoxin levels may detect exposure to a non-pharmaceutical cardioactive ste- roid, but levels do not correlate with toxicity. As assays become more speci c for digoxin, there will be less cross-reactivity with other cardioactive steroids. A negative lab value does not rule out exposure, and the utility of obtaining repeated digoxin levels is unknown.

• Obtain electrolytes and initial EKG for all patients with suspected exposure.

• Most patients with accidental/intentional acute ingestions will require observa-
tion and telemetry monitoring for signs of toxicity.

• An EKG demonstrating bidirectional ventricular tachycardia is nearly diagnostic
of cardioactive steroid exposure, whether via digoxin or non-pharmaceutical car-
diac glycosides.

• Patients with toxicity from non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids may require
much higher doses of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments for stabilization due to decreased af nity of digoxin fab for non-pharmaceutical cardioactive steroids. An initial recommended dose is 10–20 vials.

• As with digoxin toxicity, repeat digoxin levels should not be obtained once Fab fragments have been administered. Additional dosing of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments should be based on the patient’s clinical symptoms.
References
Bismuth C, Gaultier M, Conso F, Efthymiou M. Hyperkalemia in acute digitalis poisoning: prog- nostic signi cance and therapeutic implications. Clin Toxicol. 1973;6:153–62.
Barrueto F, Jortani S, Valdes R, Hoffman R, Nelson L. Cardioactive steroid poisoning from an herbal cleansing preparation. Ann Emerg Med. 2003;41:396–9.
Brubacher J, Hoffman R, Kile T. Toad venom poisoning: failure of a monoclonal digoxin immune assay to cross-react with the cardioactive steroids. Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(5):529–30.
Brubacher J, Lachmanen D, Ravikumar P, Hoffman R. Ef cacy of digoxin speci c Fab fragments (Digibind®) in the treatment of toad venom poisoning. Toxicon. 1999;37:931–42.
Cheung K, Urech R, Taylor L, Duffy P, Radford D. Plant cardiac glycosides and digoxine Fab antibody. J Paediatr Child Health. 1991;27(5):312–3.

24 Case 3 Diet Pill Ingestion in a Child

Dasgupta A. Therapeutic drug monitoring of digoxin: impact of endogenous and exogenous digoxin-like immunoreactive substances. Toxicol Rev. 2006;25:273–81.

Dasgupta A, Datta P. Rapid detection of oleander poisoning using digoxin immunoassays: com- parison of ve assays. Ther Drug Monit. 2004;26(6):658–63.

Eddleston M, Rajapakse S, Rajakanthan K, et al. Anti-digoxin Fab fragments in cardiotox- icity induced by ingestion of yellow oleander: a randomized controlled trial. Lancet. 2000a;355(9208):967–72.

Eddleston M, Ariaratnam C, Sjostrom L, et al. Acute yellow oleander (Thevetia peruviana) poison- ing: cardiac arrhythmias, electrolyte disturbances, and serum cardiac glycoside concentrations on presentation to hospital. Heart. 2000b;83:301–6.

Lapostolle F, et al. Digoxin-speci c Fab fragments as single rst-line therapy in digitalis poison- ing. Crit Care Med. 2008;36:3014–8.

Ramos F, Silveira I, Silva JM, et al. Proposed guidelines for clenbuterol food poisoning. Am J Med. 2004;117:362.

Rich SA, Libera JM, Locke RJ. Treatment of foxglove extract poisoning with digoxin-speci c Fab fragments. Ann Emerg Med. 1993;22:1904–7.

Safadi R, Levy I, Amitai Y, Caraco Y. Bene cial effect of digoxin-speci c Fab fragments in olean- der intoxication. Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:2121–5.

Case 4
Salicylate Ingestion

1. What are the sources of salicylates?

2. What are the signs and symptoms of acute salicylate toxicity?

3. What are the pharmacokinetics of salicylates?

4. What laboratory tests are useful in acute salicylate toxicity?

5. How are salicylate levels measured and reported?

6. What acid-base disturbances can be expected in acute salicylate toxicity?

7. What effects on coagulation are possible?

8. What is the role of activated charcoal?

9. What is the role of intravenous uid resuscitation?

10. What is the rationale for sodium bicarbonate therapy?

11. How can declining salicylate levels be interpreted?

12. What are the indications for extracorporeal removal (hemodialysis)?

13. How does chronic salicylate toxicity differ?

Abstract Salicylate, widely available and most commonly encountered as acetyl- salicylic acid (Aspirin®), may cause rapidly fatal toxicity. Clinical manifestations of salicylate poisoning include gastrointestinal symptoms, tinnitus, coagulopathy, severe metabolic disturbances, uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation, pulmo- nary edema, and central nervous system toxicity including encephalopathy, sei- zures, coma, cerebral edema, and death. We report a case of a 47-year-old man with intentional salicylate ingestion. Sources of salicylate, clinical effects of the drug, and diagnostic testing strategies are reviewed. We describe appropriate treatment options and the indications for treatment of salicylate poisoning, including gastro- intestinal decontamination, uid resuscitation, alkaline therapy with sodium bicar- bonate, and extracorporeal removal via hemodialysis.

Keywords Salicylate • Aspirin® • Poisoning • Ingestion • Toxicity • Acidosis • Alkalinization

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 25 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_4

26 Case 4 Salicylate Ingestion

Emergency Department

Chief Complaint: Tinnitus, nausea, vomiting.

History of Present Illness

A 47-year-old man was brought to the ED from his group home by EMS for ringing in the ears, nausea, and vomiting for approximately 16 h. He reported ingesting over 300 enteric-coated baby aspirin (81 mg) more than 24 h prior in a suicide attempt. He denied shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations, diarrhea, confusion, weak- ness, numbness, tingling, or urinary complaints.

What Are Sources of Salicylates?

The bark of the willow tree has historically been used for anti-in ammatory and analgesic properties. Willow bark extract (salicin) is marketed as an over-the- counter herbal alternative to aspirin. After oral absorption of salicin, some salicylic acid is produced as a metabolite, but typically not in suf cient quantity to be a source of toxicity (Schmid et al. 2001).

Due to the irritating effects of oral salicylic acid, research continued and led to the marketing of acetylsalicylic acid as Aspirin®. Salicylic acid is now primarily used topically as a keratolytic. Due to slower dermal absorption, toxicity is less common, although possible (Brubacher and Hoffman 1996). Currently, acetylsali- cylic acid is the most common source of salicylate and is available in multiple for- mulations including tablet, chewable, enteric-coated, controlled-release, suppository, and liquid forms.

Methyl salicylate is another form that is found in topical rubefacients like Bengay® or Icy Hot®, but transdermal toxicity is uncommon due to slow absorption. However, if a cream is ingested, absorption is greater and can pose a risk (Wolowich et al. 2003). From a toxicological standpoint, the most concerning source of methyl salicylate is oil of wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens). One milliliter of 98% oil of wintergreen contains the equivalent of a 1.4 g dose of aspirin, making a teaspoon more than enough to kill a toddler (Vandenberg et al. 1989). Many other methyl

Physical Examination 27

salicylate glycosides are found in a variety of plants and there is active research into potential uses (Mao et al. 2014).

Bismuth subsalicylate (active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol®) contains the equiva- lent of 8.7 mg of salicylic acid in 1 mL and can lead to salicylate toxicity as well, though typically with chronic use (Sainsbury 1991).

Emergency Department (Continued)

  

Past Medical History

Medications

Allergies Family History Social History

Mild Intellectual disability
Hypertension
Schizophrenia
Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Sertraline 100 mg PO daily
Clozapine 100 mg PO qHS
Buspirone 15 mg PO BID
Haloperidol 100 mg IM q 4 weeks
Lithium carbonate 300 mg PO qAM + 600 mg qPM Docusate 100 mg PO BID

NKDA
Reviewed and non-contributory

Smokes 1 pack per day, denies alcohol use, smokes marijuana weekly. Lives in a group setting with other behavioral health patients

        

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

122/83 mmHg 98% (room air)

General: Awake in bed. Cooperative with exam. Answering all questions appropriately.

HENT: Normocephalic. Moist mucous membranes.
Eyes: Pupils 4 mm and reactive bilaterally. Extra-ocular movements intact.
Resp: No respiratory distress, but tachypneic and hyperpneic. Lung sounds clear to

auscultation.
CV: Tachycardic without murmurs, rubs, or gallops.
GI/Abd: Soft, mild LUQ/epigastric tenderness. No rebound or guarding. Musculoskeletal: No swelling, tenderness, or deformity.
Skin: Warm and dry. No rashes.

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

122 bpm

22 (deep)

36.6 °C (97.88 °F)

28 Case 4 Salicylate Ingestion

Neuro: Alert and oriented to person, place, and time. Cranial nerves 2–12 intact except diminished hearing (to nger-rub) bilaterally. Moving all extremities. Grossly normal sensation. Normal muscle tone. No clonus.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of Acute Salicylate Toxicity?

Early manifestations of acute salicylate toxicity include nausea and vomiting, likely due to both direct irritation and chemoreceptor trigger zone stimulation. Epigastric discom- fort can occur from irritation and pylorospasm that, along with bezoar formation, can delay absorption. Hearing is commonly affected with both tinnitus (Puel 2007) and hearing loss (Kakehata and Santos-Sacchi 1996) via independent mechanisms. Finally, an important sign is a change in respiratory rate and depth because of direct stimulation of the central respiratory center, as well as increased carbon dioxide production second- ary to uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation. Uncoupling also leads to elevated body temperature as energy from cellular respiration is released as heat.

What Are the Pharmacokinetics of Salicylates?

Salicylates are well-absorbed orally. However, depending on the product type, absorption can be delayed, as suggested in this case, and kinetics can be erratic in overdose (Leonards and Levy 1965). Dermal absorption is slower, but can reach toxic levels under conditions that would be expected to increase skin absorption (non-intact skin, warm skin, etc.). Salicylates bind to albumin and increasing salicy- late levels will saturate protein binding causing free salicylate levels to increase.

Salicylates are metabolized by the liver to salicyluric acid and conjugated with glycine and glucuronide; these products are then renally eliminated in the urine. Normal metabolic pathways are saturable with ingestions as small as a single aspi- rin dose of 300 mg (Bedford et al. 1965). As normal metabolic pathways become saturated, salicylate elimination changes from rst-order to zero-order elimination. Importantly, the volume of distribution of salicylate also increases signi cantly with rising serum salicylate concentrations or falling blood pH, increasing the proportion of drug in the tissues, and thus, toxicity.

What Laboratory Tests Are Useful in Acute Salicylate Toxicity?

A basic metabolic panel (BMP) will provide information about electrolytes, meta- bolic acid-base balance, and renal function. A blood gas will help determine overall acid-base status and guide alkaline therapy. Serial serum salicylate levels help to guide ongoing therapy and termination of treatment.

Diagnostic Testing 29

How Are Salicylate Levels Measured and Reported?

Salicylate levels are commonly measured using Trinder’s colorimetric assay in which ferric (Fe3+) ions react with salicylates to form a purple compound. Using a spectrophotometer, the optical density is then measured at 540 nm (Trinder 1954). Not surprisingly, other substances that absorb at this wavelength can interfere with this assay. This includes medications such as di unisal (also known as 5-(2,4-di uorophenyl)salicylic acid), phenothiazines, and even acetylcysteine. Hyperbilirubinemia can also falsely elevate levels using this assay (Berkovitch et al. 2000). Immunoassays using uorescence polarization are not affected by bilirubin or phenothiazines.

In the United States, serum salicylate levels can be reported in a variety of units depending on the lab. Attention to units is crucial for appropriate management deci- sions (1 mg/dL = 10 μg/mL). Therapeutic levels are generally less than 20 mg/dL.

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

15.5 k/mm3

Na

140 mmol/L

Salicylate: 68.5 mg/dL (reference range: 4–20 mg/dL) Magnesium: 2.4 mg/dL (reference range: 1.7–2.4 mg/dL) Prothrombin Time: 17.2 s (reference range: 11.8–14.7 s) VBG: pH: 7.49, PCO2: 24, PO2: 31

Urine pH: 6.0

Platelets

336 k/mm3

Glucose

107 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

Hematocrit

15.5 g/dL

42.5%

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

3.8 mmol/L

117 mmol/L

18 mmol/L

10 mg/dL

1.1 mg/dL

What Acid-Base Disturbances Can Be Expected in Acute Salicylate Toxicity?

The increased minute ventilation discussed above leads to respiratory alkalosis as demonstrated in this patient. As toxicity progresses, an anion gap metabolic acidosis develops due to several factors:

(a) salicylic acid and its metabolites

30 Case 4 Salicylate Ingestion

(b) decreased aerobic metabolism leading to increased organic acids (e.g., pyruvic, lactic, and acetoacetic acids)

(c) decreased renal function leading to sulfuric and phosphoric acid build-up

What Effects on Coagulation Are Possible?

Acetylsalicylic acid irreversibly impairs platelet function (Schafer 1995). Salicylates can increase prothrombin time (PT); the proposed mechanism is inhibition of pro- duction of Vitamin K-dependent coagulation factors (Joss and LeBlond 2000).

Initial Treatment

The patient received bolus IV crystalloids during transport by EMS. In the ED, he received a bolus of 8.4% sodium bicarbonate 100 mEq IV and then was started on a sodium bicarbonate drip (sodium bicarbonate 150 mEq + KCl 40 mEq in 1 L of D5W) at 200 mL/h (~1.75 × calculated maintenance rate).

What Is the Role of Activated Charcoal?

Awake, alert, cooperative patients presenting within 1 h of ingestion may be given activated charcoal, if tolerated (Curtis et al. 1984). Multiple doses of activated char- coal have also been demonstrated to reduce the absorption of salicylate in experi- mental models (Barone et al. 1988). In cases with ongoing absorption despite appropriate management, more than one dose of activated charcoal may be consid- ered, but must be balanced against the risk of aspiration. However, no study has demonstrated an improvement in patient-centered outcomes with the use of single or multiple-dose activated charcoal in salicylate poisoning (American Academy of Clinical Toxicology 1999).

What Is the Role of Intravenous Fluid Resuscitation?

Patients with salicylate toxicity are generally volume-depleted due to a variety of factors including vomiting and increased insensible losses. Replenishing volume, as opposed to over-hydration, is the appropriate goal. Potassium replacement prevents renal resorption of potassium in exchange for protons and subsequent failure of urinary alkalinization.

Hospital Course 31

What Is the Rationale for Sodium Bicarbonate Therapy?

Acetylsalicylic acid is a weak acid with pKa = 3.5 at 25 °C (77 °F). Under alkaline conditions, the deprotonated, or ionized, form increases. This charged form crosses cell membranes less ef ciently and thus can accumulate in an alkaline environment. By alkalinizing serum, diffusion of acetylsalicylic acid out of blood can be decreased which in turn protects the brain. Alkalinization of urine attempts to trap ionized salicylate and enhance elimination. Typical goals for alkaline therapy are a serum pH between 7.5–7.55 and urine pH of 8. Aggressive ongoing replacement of potas- sium is critical to achieve urinary alkalinization, as renal acidi cation of urine will occur in a potassium-avid state.

Is It Safe to Intubate Patients with Salicylate Toxicity?

Anecdote and case reports have promulgated the idea that endotracheal intubation is, by nature, deleterious in patients with salicylate poisoning. Some authors have gone so far as to suggest that intubation be withheld until cardiopulmonary arrest has occurred (Greenberg et al. 2003). It is true that intubation is a potentially dan- gerous event in a salicylate-poisoned patient because decreasing pH increases the effective volume of distribution of salicylate and allows un-ionized salicylate into the central nervous system where lethal toxicity may occur. However, there is no evidence in the literature that intubation causes intrinsic harm, nor that it should be withheld in a patient who requires intubation based on accepted indications such as failure to oxygenate, failure to ventilate, or loss of airway protective re exes. Attention must be paid to accomplishing intubation as rapidly as possible, with the minimum reduction in minute ventilation and the shortest possible apnea time. Initial ventilator settings should attempt to match or exceed the patient’s minute ventilation at the time of induction and arterial blood gases rapidly obtained there- after so that ventilator settings and treatment can be appropriately titrated and aci- dosis prevented (Bora and Aaron 2010).

Hospital Course

The patient was admitted to the ICU by the inpatient toxicology service. His sodium bicarbonate drip was continued. A blood gas and urine pH were repeated to con rm appropriate alkalinization; serial BMP and salicylate levels were obtained to guide con- tinued therapy. Once the salicylate level decreased to less than 25 mg/dL, the bicarbon- ate drip was stopped, and the salicylate level rechecked 4 h later to verify continued decline. All of his symptoms resolved and he was discharged to behavioral health.

32 Case 4 Salicylate Ingestion

How Can Declining Salicylate Levels Be Interpreted?

Ideally, declining serum salicylate levels would indicate effective elimination and a decreasing body burden of the drug. However, it is important to consider the patient’s clinical condition because levels can also decline from redistribution out of blood and into body tissues, the most concerning of which would be accumulation in the central nervous system. In fact, serum salicylate levels among those who die of salicylate poisoning are similar to those among patients who recover (Chapman and Proudfoot 1989).

What Are the Indications for Extracorporeal Removal (Hemodialysis)?

The Extracorporeal Treatments in Poisoning (EXTRIP) working group recom- mends hemodialysis for clinical evidence of severe toxicity (central nervous system toxicity, acute respiratory distress syndrome, or refractory acid-base or electrolyte disturbances) on the basis of level 1D evidence. EXTRIP further recommends hemodialysis for all patients with salicylate level > 100 mg/dL, regardless of signs or symptoms, and for those with level > 90 mg/dL in the setting of renal impairment (Juurlink et al. 2015). Medical conditions that prevent adequate alkalinization due to limitations on volume administration (e.g., congestive heart failure) may also warrant hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is preferred over continuous renal replacement therapies because of the higher drug clearance that can be achieved through hemo- dialysis. Charcoal hemoperfusion is acceptable if hemodialysis is unavailable, but most facilities now lack the capacity to perform this treatment. Hemodialysis should also be considered in cases of chronic toxicity with concerning symptoms.

How Does Chronic Salicylate Toxicity Differ?

Patients have similar symptoms as in acute toxicity, but serum levels are often much lower. Recognition is often delayed because of the insidious onset of symptoms that may mimic other common conditions, such as diabetic ketoacidosis or delirium. Early recognition is critical, as in-hospital mortality of chronic salicylism has been reported to increase threefold if the diagnosis is delayed beyond the emergency department (O’Malley 2007). It is important to consider chronic salicylism and order a salicylate level, even in the absence of ingestion or overdose history, in an elderly patient without a clear cause for metabolic acidosis or neurologic deteriora- tion (Durnas and Cusack 1992).

References 33

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Prehospital

• Any claim of salicylate ingestion, especially if in an attempt at self-harm, should be taken seriously and transported for further evaluation.

• Fluid resuscitation is important to replace lost volume.

• If intubation is required, attempts should be made to preserve the patient’s minute
ventilation; avoid prolonged apnea and respiratory acidosis, which worsen toxicity.
Emergency Medicine

• As for prehospital.

• Sodium bicarbonate for serum and urine alkalinization to goal pH 7.5–7.55 and
8, respectively.

• Potassium must be replaced to permit adequate urinary alkalinization.

• Serial blood gases, salicylate levels, and metabolic panels help guide management.

• Hemodialysis is indicated for central nervous system toxicity, refractory acid-
base or electrolyte disturbances, or oliguric/anuric acute renal failure.
Critical Care Medicine

• Hyperthermia is a sign of uncoupling of oxidative phosphorylation and is associ- ated with a poor prognosis.

• Hemodialysis is indicated for central nervous system toxicity, refractory acid- base or electrolyte disturbances, or oliguric/anuric acute renal failure.

• Continue bicarbonate for alkalinization until serum salicylate level is less than 25 mg/dL.

• Monitor serial salicylate levels and electrolytes as well as blood gas and urine pH as necessary.

• Recheck salicylate level after alkalinization has stopped to ensure level continues to decline.
References
American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. Position statement and practice guidelines on the use of multi-dose activated charcoal in the treatment of acute poisoning. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1999;37(6):731–51.
Barone JA, Raia JJ, Huang YC. Evaluation of the effects of multiple-dose activated charcoal on the absorption of orally administered salicylate in a simulated toxic ingestion model. Ann Emerg Med. 1988;17(1):34–7.

34 Case 4 Salicylate Ingestion

Bedford C, Cummings AJ, Martin BK. A kinetic study of the elimination of salicylate in man. Br J Pharmacol Chemother. 1965;24:418–31.

Berkovitch M, Uziel Y, Greenberg R, Chen-Levy Z, Arcusin M, Marcus O, Pinto O, Evans S, Matias A, Lahat E. False-high blood salicylate levels in neonates with hyperbilirubinemia. Ther Drug Monit. 2000;22(6):757–61.

Bora K, Aaron C. Pitfalls in salicylate toxicity. Am J Emerg Med. 2010;28(3):383–4.
Brubacher JR, Hoffman RS. Salicylism from topical salicylates: review of the literature. J Toxicol

Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(4):431–6.
Chapman BJ, Proudfoot AT. Adult salicylate poisoning: deaths and outcome in patients with high

plasma salicylate concentrations. The Quarterly Journal of Medicine. 1989;72(268):699–707. Curtis RA, Barone J, Giacona N. Ef cacy of ipecac and activated charcoal/cathartic. Prevention of

salicylate absorption in a simulated overdose. Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(1):48–52.
Durnas C, Cusack BJ. Salicylate intoxication in the elderly. Recognition and recommendations on

how to prevent it. Drugs Aging. 1992;2(1):20–34.
Greenberg MI, Hendrickson RG, Hofman M. Deleterious effects of endotracheal intubation in

salicylate poisoning. Ann Emerg Med. 2003;41(4):583–4.
Joss JD, LeBlond RF. Potentiation of warfarin anticoagulation associated with topical methyl

salicylate. The Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2000;34(6):729–33.
Juurlink DN, Gosselin S, Kielstein JT, Ghannoum M, Lavergne V, Nolin TD, Hoffman

RS. Extracorporeal treatment for salicylate poisoning: systematic review and recommenda-

tions from the EXTRIP workgroup. Ann Emerg Med. 2015;66(2):165–81.
Kakehata S, Santos-Sacchi J. Effects of salicylate and lanthanides on outer hair cell motility and

associated gating charge. J Neurosci. 1996;16(16):4881–9.
Leonards JR, Levy G. Absorption and metabolism of aspirin administered in enteric-coated tab-

lets. JAMA. 1965;193:99–104.
Mao P, Liu Z, Xie M, Jiang R, Liu W, Wang X, Meng S, She G. Naturally occurring methyl salicy-

late glycosides. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2014;14(1):56–63.
O’Malley GF. Emergency department management of the salicylate-poisoned patient. Emerg Med

Clin North Am. 2007;25(2):333–46; abstract viii.
Puel JL. Cochlear NMDA receptor blockade prevents salicylate-induced tinnitus. B-ENT.

2007;3(Suppl 7):19–22.
Sainsbury SJ. Fatal salicylate toxicity from bismuth subsalicylate. West J Med. 1991;155(6):637–9. Schmid B, Kötter I, Heide L. Pharmacokinetics of salicin after oral administration of a standardised

willow bark extract. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2001;57(5):387–91.
Schafer AI. Effects of non steroidal antiin ammatory drugs on platelet function and systemic

hemostasis. J Clin Pharmacol. 1995;35(3):209–19.
Trinder P. Rapid determination of salicylate in biological uids. Biochem J. 1954;57(2):301–3. Vandenberg SA, Smolinske SC, Spoerke DG, Rumack BH. Non-aspirin salicylates: conversion

factors for estimating aspirin equivalency. Vet Hum Toxicol. 1989;31(1):49–50.
Wolowich WR, Hadley CM, Kelley MT, Walson PD, Casavant MJ. Plasma salicylate from methyl

salicylate cream compared to oil of wintergreen. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(4):355–8.

Case 5
Exotic Snake Envenomation

1. What is your differential diagnosis if this case takes place in the US?

2. How does the differential diagnosis change if this case takes place in Australia?

3. Which Australian snakes cause neurotoxicity or coagulopathy? Which snakes
cause both?

4. How does the coral snake venom cause neurotoxicity and how does the clinical
presentation differ between the two coral snakes found in the US?

5. How does botulism toxin produce neurologic symptoms?

6. What venoms are tested for with the Australian snake venom detection kit, also
called the CSLTM SVDK (CSL 2007)?

7. What specimens can be used to test for venom with the snake venom detection
kit, which can only be used for detecting Australian snake envenomations?

8. There are two types of antivenin (AV) available in Australia for envenomation by this snake, polyvalent and monovalent. What is the difference between the
two types of antivenin?

9. Why is monovalent antivenin a better choice for treatment of envenomation by
this snake?

10. When should antivenin (AV) be given in envenomations by this snake? What is
the recommended dose?

11. Why would neostigmine be considered for use in this patient?

12. Where do the toxins from the venom from this Australasia snake act?

13. What does this snake look like? What features distinguish it from other venom-
ous snakes in Australasia?

14. Whataretheindicationsforapressureimmobilizationbandage(PIB)?Howdoes
one apply it on a bitten patient? What are the potential pros and cons of PIB?

15. What are some of the acute and longer-term adverse effects of snake antivenin
administration?

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 35 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_5

36 Case 5 Exotic Snake Envenomation

Abstract In this case, a patient is envenomated by his friend’s exotic pet snake. The patient rapidly develops signs of neurotoxicity, including blurred vision, ptosis, and dif culty swallowing. He ultimately develops respiratory arrest and bradycar- dia. In this chapter, we review some of the toxins that can cause progressive neuro- logic symptoms including botulinum toxin, neurotoxic snakes in the US, and some of the exotic snakes that can cause neurologic effects.

Keywords Envenomation • Neurologic dysfunction • Respiratory depression • Coral snake • Death adder • Botulism

History of Present Illness

20-year-old male was housesitting for a friend and feeding his friend’s pet snake when the snake grabbed and bit his middle nger. He had nausea, vomited twice, and wrapped a constriction bandage around his right arm. He presented to the Emergency Department within 30 min of envenomation and complained of blurred vision on arrival.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

150/90 mmHg

Asthma
Salbutamol as needed
NKDA
Denies tobacco use
Occasional alcohol consumption No other drug use

O2 saturation

100% (room air)

   

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

113 bpm

18 breaths/min

General: The patient was awake and alert.
Cardiovascular: Tachycardia with normal distal pulses and no murmurs, gallops,

or rubs
Pulmonary: Normal respiratory rate without stridor or accessory muscle use noted.

No wheezing, rales, or rhonci
Skin: Local signs at the bite site included a double puncture wound with no swelling

or redness. There was no evidence of bleeding at bite site.
Neurologic: Examination was signi cant for ptosis, blurred vision, dif culty swal-

lowing, and loss of gag re ex. He had normal muscular tone, re exes, and strength on direct testing of his upper and lower limbs. No ophthalmoplegia was noted.

Physical Examination 37 What Is Your Differential Diagnosis If This Case Takes Place

in the US?

• Coral snake

• Mojave rattlesnake

• Imported snake envenomation with neurotoxic venom

• Consider other diagnoses unrelated to the snake bite

• Botulism

• Myasthenia gravis

• Buckthorn (Karwinskia humboldtiana) poisoning

• Paralytic shell sh poisoning

• Hypermagnesemia
How Does the Differential Diagnosis Change If This Case Takes Place in Australia?

• Need to consider Brown snake, Tiger snake, Taipan, and death adder envenom- ations if this case occurs in Australia.

Which Australian Snakes Cause Neurotoxicity or Coagulopathy? Which Snakes Cause Both?

Snake Neurotoxicity

Brown snake − Tiger snake ++ Taipan +++ Death adder +++

Note that this is a simpli ed table—a more comprehensive table can be found in Isbister et al. 2013

How Does the Coral Snake Venom Cause Neurotoxicity
and How Does the Clinical Presentation Differ Between the Two Coral Snakes Found in the US?

• Micrurus fulvius (Eastern coral snake) and Micrurus tener (Texas coral snake) are the two types of coral snakes found in the US with neurotoxic venom effects (Norris 2009).

• Effects from M. fulvius envenomation tend to be more severe than those noted with M. tener envenomation.

• M. fulvius venom has components that interfere with post-synaptic acetylcholine receptors causing neuromuscular blockade and paralysis (Weiss and McIsaac 1971; Snyder et al. 1973).

Coagulopathy

+++

+++

+++

38 Case 5 Exotic Snake Envenomation

• The onset of symptoms following M. fulvius envenomation occurs within min- utes to hours after the bite (Kitchens and Van Mierop 1987).

• Patients who sustain M. fulvius bites may develop ptosis, progressive weakness, hypersalivation, respiratory, and cardiac arrest. (Weiss and McIsaac 1971; Kitchens and Van Mierop 1987).

• M. tener bites in the US are associated with more local tissue effects than M. fulvius (Fernandez 2009).
How Does Botulism Toxin Produce Neurologic Symptoms?

• Botulinum toxin binds to the cell membrane of cholinergic nerve terminals in the peripheral nervous system. Once bound to the cell membrane, the botulinum toxin enters the nerve terminal through endocytosis and permanently incapaci- tates proteins in the presynaptic nerve terminal that assist with exocytosis of acetylcholine. The inability to release acetylcholine at peripheral nerve endings leads to weakness and paralysis. (Dressler et al. 2005; Shukla and Sharma 2005)

• Botulinum toxin does not cross blood brain barrier, and thus, does not affect central acteylcholine synapses.

• Ultimately, presynaptic nerve terminals must regenerate for patients to recover.

• Botulinum antitoxin only works on circulating toxin, not toxin that has bound to

the presynaptic nerve terminals.

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

10.8 k/mm3

Na

139 mmol/L

INR: 1.1
Fibrinogen: 2.3 g/L
CK: 143,174 IU/L
ABG: pH 7.35, pCO2 50 mmHg, pO2 95 mmHg

Platelets

205 k/mm3

Glucose

68 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

12.5 g/dL

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

4.1 mmol/L

109 mmol/L

23 mmol/L

8/0.95 mg/dL

Ancillary Testing Performed in an Australian Hospital

Australian Snake Venom detection kit was positive for Death Adder venom.

Hospital Course 39

What Venoms Are Tested for with the Australian Snake Venom Detection Kit, also Called the CSLTM SVDK (CSL 2007)?

• Death adder

• Tiger snake

• Brown snake

• Black snake

• Taipan snake
What Specimens Can Be Used to Test for Venom with the Snake Venom Detection Kit, Which Can Only Be Used for Detecting Australian Snake Envenomations?

• Urine if the patient is already experiencing systemic toxicity

• The bite site itself, even if washed

• A swab from fangs of a dead snake
Hospital Course
As antivenin was being drawn up, within 1 h of the envenomation, the patient dete- riorated with respiratory arrest and bradycardia. He was intubated without any medications and mechanically ventilated. He was hemodynamically stable, but profoundly paralyzed. Neurological exam revealed accid paralysis with unreac- tive pupils.
There Are Two Types of Antivenin (AV) Available in Australia for Death Adder Envenomations, Polyvalent and Monovalent. What Is the Difference Between the Two Types of Antivenin?
Monovalent AV, of which there are ve types of snake AV, contains at least one type of Australian snake AV. Polyvalent AV contains all ve types of AV, and hence, has the largest volume of AV per vial (Isbister et al. 2013). There is also a separate AV for sea snake.

40 Case 5 Exotic Snake Envenomation Why Is Monovalent Antivenin a Better Choice for Treatment

of a Known Death Adder Envenomation?

Polyvalent AV has a higher risk of anaphylactoid reactions due to its larger volume of foreign protein. Therefore, monovalent AV is preferable in clinical scenarios where envenomation can be narrowed down to a single snake group (Isbister et al. 2013).

When Should Antivenin (AV) Be Given in Death Adder Envenomations? What Is the Recommended Dose?

• AV should be commenced as soon as there are signs of ptosis and bulbar palsy with a positive VDK result.

• If there is a de nitive identi cation of the snake and signs of ptosis or bulbar palsy but no VDK available, give AV.

• Negative inspiratory force (NIF) measurements can be followed to detect impending respiratory failure/worsening respiratory muscle involvement

• Current practice is to give only 1 vial AV and repeat the dose if symptoms are progressing (Isbister et al. 2013)
Hospital Course Continued
By the end of the antivenin infusion, the patient was able to move his left ngers and within 15 min his entire left arm. Overnight, he could subsequently wiggle his toes, lift his left arm, and obey some commands. Neostigmine was given as a bolus and infusion on hospital day two. The patient had improved respiratory effort and was extubated on hospital day four. Ultimately, he was discharged home on hospi- tal day eight.
Why Would Neostigmine Be Considered for Use in This Patient?
Neostigmine is a peripheral cholinesterase inhibitor, thus promoting acetylcholine transmission at neuromuscular junctions. Much as it is used in postoperative recov- ery for reversal of muscle paralysis, it has been tried in death adder envenomation. There are mixed reports of improvement in neurotoxic symptoms related to death adder envenomation in patients receiving neostigmine (Currie et al. 1988; Flachsenberger and Mirtschin 1994; Johnston et al. 2012; Lalloo et al. 1996; Little and Pereira 2000).

Hospital Course Continued 41

Where Do the Toxins in Death Adder Venom from Australasia Act?

Both pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxins are found in the venom of death adders. These cause rapid profound muscular paralysis in systemic envenomation (Wickramaratna and Hodgson 2001).

What Does a Death Adder Look Like? What Features Distinguish It from Other Venomous Snakes in Australasia?

Death adders are elapid snakes with two upper fangs and powerful jaw muscles. They look different to other venomous snakes in Australia due to their short fat bod- ies, usually under 50 cm length, and diamond-shaped heads. The other distinguish- ing feature is their short wisp-like tail, which they use to attract prey.

What Are the Indications for Pressure Immobilization Bandage (PIB)? How Does One Apply It on a Bitten Patient? What Are the Potential Pros and Cons of PIB?

In Australia, the pressure bandage and immobilization technique are indicated for all snake bites, including sea snakes. Theoretically, the PIB reduces lymphatic ow of venom and provides time to reach medical care in a bitten patient. PIB is also indicated in funnel-web spider bite, blue-ringed octopus sting, and cone snail sting.

It is applied by using a crepe or elastic bandage to wrap the entire bitten limb, e.g., toes to groin or ngertips to axilla. Immobilization of the limb with a splint and keeping the patient still are also important aspects of preventing venom circulation. The PIB is not intended to act as a vascular tourniquet and care should be taken to prevent reduced blood ow to the bandaged limb.

PIB are not indicated in the management of native North American snakebites (O’Connor et al. 2011).

What Are Some of the Acute and Longer-Term Adverse Effects of Snake Antivenin Administration?

Acute (minutes to hours): anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions to foreign pro- tein. Anaphylaxis is an IgE-mediated event that requires previous sensitization/ exposure to antivenin, drug, or protein. Anaphylactoid reactions are dif cult to differentiate from anaphylactic reactions as the symptoms are identical. However,

42 Case 5 Exotic Snake Envenomation

anaphylactoid reactions are not mediated by IgE and occur without previous expo- sure to the antivenin, drug, or protein. Anaphylactoid reactions are often related to the rate of infusion when they occur with antidote administration. In both cases, antivenin administration should be halted and patients should receive a β-agonist, antihistamine, and corticosteroid. With anaphylaxis, if antivenin is needed, patients may need to be on concomitant epinephrine infusion. With anaphylactoid reac- tions, the infusion can be restarted at a slower rate with careful observation and frequent reassessment of the patient for signs of recurrent anaphylactoid symptoms (Pizon et al. 2011).

Sub-acute (days to weeks): serum sickness. Serum sickness is a delayed immu- nological response that occurs 7–10 days after exposure to antivenin or drug. Typical symptoms include myalgias, fever, rash, and joint pain. Treatment includes antihis- tamines and a 2–3 week steroid taper (Pizon et al. 2011).

Case Conclusion

In this case, the patient was bitten and envenomated by a death adder. He required intubation and supportive care for the neurotoxic effects of the venom, in addition to antivenin. As the Australian Snake Venom kit tested positive for death adder venom, he was given monovalent death adder antivenin with improvement in neurologic symp- toms. Ultimately, he recovered and was discharged after 8 days of hospitalization.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Pressure immobilization bandages may be applied at the time of envenomation to help prevent systemic circulation of venom. These are only bene cial for cer- tain types of envenomations outside the US.

• Onset of neurologic symptoms can be delayed up to 18–24 h after death adder envenomation.

• If you are treating a patient with a possible death adder envenomation, you should contact your local poison control center immediately for treatment guid- ance and assistance in identifying from where speci c antivenin can be obtained.

• AV should be commenced as soon as there are signs of ptosis and bulbar palsy with a positively identi ed snake or, if you have access to it, a positive VDK result.

• If there is a de nitive identi cation of the snake and signs of ptosis or bulbar
palsy but no VDK available, give AV.

• When AV is required, it is preferred to give monovalent AV to limit volume
infused and risk for allergic reaction.

• Negative inspiratory force (NIF) measurements can be followed to detect

impending respiratory failure/worsening respiratory muscle involvement.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 43

• Current practice is to give only 1 vial AV and repeat the dose if symptoms are progressing.

• AV should be administered under the direction of a medical toxicologist, when available.
Emergency Medicine

• Pressure immobilization bandages may be applied at the time of envenomation to help prevent systemic circulation of venom. These are only bene cial for cer- tain types of envenomations.

• Onset of neurologic symptoms can be delayed up to 18–24 h after death adder envenomation.

• If you are treating a patient with a possible death adder envenomation, you should contact your local poison control center immediately for treatment guid- ance and assistance in identifying from where speci c antivenin can be obtained.

• AV should be commenced as soon as there are signs of ptosis and bulbar palsy with a positively identi ed snake or, if you have access to it, a positive VDK result.

• If there is a de nitive identi cation of the snake and signs of ptosis or bulbar
palsy but no VDK available, give AV.

• When AV is required, it is preferred to give monovalent AV to limit volume
infused and risk for allergic reaction.

• Negative inspiratory force (NIF) measurements can be followed to detect
impending respiratory failure/worsening respiratory muscle involvement.

• Current practice is to give only 1 vial AV and repeat the dose if symptoms are
progressing.

• AV should be administered under the direction of a medical toxicologist, when
available.
Toxicology

• Pressure immobilization bandages may be applied at the time of envenomation to help prevent systemic circulation of venom. These are only bene cial for cer- tain types of envenomations.

• Onset of neurologic symptoms can be delayed up to 18–24 h after death adder envenomation.

• AV should be commenced as soon as there are signs of ptosis and bulbar palsy with a positively identi ed snake or, if you have access to it, a positive VDK result.

• If there is a de nitive identi cation of the snake and signs of ptosis or bulbar
palsy but no VDK available, give AV.

• When AV is required, it is preferred to give monovalent AV to limit volume
infused and risk for allergic reaction.

44 Case 5 Exotic Snake Envenomation

• Negative inspiratory force (NIF) measurements can be followed to detect impending respiratory failure/worsening respiratory muscle involvement.

• Current practice is to give only 1 vial AV and repeat the dose if symptoms are progressing.

Neurology

• Onset of neurologic symptoms can be delayed up to 18–24 h after death adder envenomation.

• Negative inspiratory force (NIF) measurements can be followed to detect impending respiratory failure/worsening respiratory muscle involvement.

References

CSL Snake Venom Detection Kit Product Lea et. 2007. http://www.csl.com.au/docs/92/398/ SVDK_Product_Lea et,0.pdf. Accessed 30 Dec 2015.

Currie B, Fitzmaurice M, Oakley J. Resolution of neurotoxicity with anticholinesterase therapy in death adder envenomation. Med J Aust. 1988;148(10):522–5.

Dressler D, Saberi F, Barbosa E. Botulinum toxin. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2005;63(1):180–5. Fernandez MC. Clinical and demographic aspects of coral snake envenomations in Texas. J Med

Toxicol. 2009;5(4):251.
Flachsenberger W, Mirtschin P. Anticholinesterases as antidotes to envenomation of rats by the

death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus). Toxicon. 1994;32(1):35–9.
Isbister G, Brown S, Page C, McCoubrie D, Greene S, Buckley N. Snakebite in Australia: a practi-

cal approach to diagnosis and treatment. Med J Aust. 2013;199:763–8.
Johnston CI, et al. Death adder envenoming causes neurotoxicity not reversed by Antivenom—

Australian Snakebite Project (ASP-16). PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(9):e1841.
Kitchens C, Van Mierop L. Envenomation by the eastern coral snake (Mircrurus fulvius fulvius): a

study of 39 victims. JAMA. 1987;258(12):1615–8.
Lalloo DG, et al. Neurotoxicity, anticoagulant activity and evidence of rhabdomyolysis in

patients bitten by death adders (Acanthophis sp.) in southern Papua New Guinea. Q J Med.

1996;89:25–35.
Little M, Pereira P. Successful treatment of presumed death-adder neurotoxicity using anticholin-

esterases. Emerg Med. 2000;12:241–5.
Norris R, Pfalzgraf R, Laing G. Death following coral snake bite in the United States – First documented

case (with ELISA con rmation of envenomation) in over 40 years. Toxicon. 2009;53:693–7. O’Connor A, Ruha A, Levine M. Pressure immobilization bandages not indicated in the pre-

hospital management of North American snakebites. J Med Toxicol. 2011;7(3):251.
Pizon A, Riley B, Ruha AM. Antivenom (Crotaline). In: Nelson LS, et al., editors. Goldfrank’s

Toxicologic Emergencies. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011. p. 1613.
Shukla H, Sharma S. Clostridium: botulinum: a bug with beauty and weapon. Crit Rev Microbiol.

2005;31(1):11–8.
Snyder G, Ramsey H, Taylor W, Chiou C. Neuromuscular blockade of chick biventer cervicis

nerve muscle preparation by a fraction from coral snake venom. Toxicon. 1973;11:505–8. Weiss R, McIsaac R. Cardiovascular and muscular effects of venom from coral snake, Micrurus

fulvius. Toxicon. 1971;9:219–28.
Wickramaratna JC, Hodgson WC. A pharmacological examination of venoms from three species

of death adder (Acanthophis antarcticus, Acanthophis praelongus and Acanthophis pyrrhus). Toxicon. 2001;39:209–16.

Case 6
Medication Error in the Delivery Room

1. What is given in the delivery room to cause the problem? 2. What is the pathophysiology?
3. How should this neonate be treated?
4. What is the long-term prognosis?

5. How can this medical error be avoided?

Abstract Neonatal medication errors occur in the delivery room, particularly when maternal medications are given in the same location by the same personnel. Ergot derivatives, given to control maternal postpartum hemorrhage, may cause seizures and vasoconstriction in the newborn. Treatment is directed at supportive manage- ment to reverse these effects. Other medications which may be involved in a deliv- ery room error are discussed.

Keywords Ergotism • Medication errors • Infant • Newborn • Postpartum hemorrhage

Case: A 1-day-old female becomes hypoxic in the delivery room History of Present Illness

A full-term, 2.75 kg girl is born after a normal gestation, via uncomplicated vaginal delivery. Apgar scores are 9 and 9. Standard medications are administered to the infant in the delivery room, after which she becomes ushed and cries. Shortly thereafter, her oxygen saturation falls to 85% on room air.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 45 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_6

46

Case 6

Medication Error in the Delivery Room

Physical Examination

Blood pressure

60/40 mmHg

O2 saturation

94% on 2 L NC

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

166 bpm

35 breaths/min

General: Newborn infant, crying
HEENT: Pupils dilated, sluggishly reactive to light, perioral cyanosis Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm, no murmurs
Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation, symmetric breath sounds Abdominal: Soft, non-tender, normal bowel sounds
Neurologic: Global hypotonia
Skin: Warm and well perfused; w/o excessive dryness or diaphoresis

About 1 h later, her oxygen saturation falls to 74%, and she develops shallow respirations. A medication error is suspected and the poison control center is con- tacted. Naloxone 0.1 mg/kg IV is administered with improvement in tone though no improvement in oxygenation. CPAP with 30% oxygen is applied, and the patient is admitted to the NICU where she develops oliguria and recurrent tonic seizure activity.

What Is Given in the Delivery Room?

The delivery room and perinatal period can be intense and hectic with multiple patients receiving treatment. These factors make this situation very prone to medi- cation errors (Fariello and Paul 2005). Medications available in the delivery room include analgesics, anti-infectives, corticosteroids, antihypertensives, antiepilep- tics, uterotonics, and tocolytics, in addition to medications used in adult and neo- natal resuscitation (Briggs and Wan 2006a; Briggs and Wan 2006b). Of these, fetal respiratory depression can result from magnesium sulfate and opioid analge- sics and vasopressin may result in diffuse vasoconstriction. Any of these medica- tions could have caused some of the symptoms initially seen in the neonate described in this case.

Uterotonics are used both in the induction of labor as well as the prophylaxis and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage and include oxytocin, prostaglandins, and ergot derivatives. Two ergots have been used, methylergonovine and ergometrine. Methylergonovine, typically administered intramuscularly, is recommended as the second-line uterotonic (after uterine massage and oxytocin) due to decreased post- partum hemorrhage-related morbidity, when compared to carboprost (Butwick et al. 2015). Ergometrine can also be administered intramuscularly and has been recommended as an adjunct to oxytocin for postpartum hemorrhage following cae- sarian section (Lourens and Paterson-Brown 2007). Additionally, ergometrine,

Physical Examination

47

Table 1 Obstetric medications used in the delivery room Agent

Opioid analgesics Magnesium sulfate

Vasopressin

Uterotonics: Oxytocin Methylergonovine Ergometrine

Adverse effects in neonate

Respiratory and CNS depression Respiratory and CNS depression

Vasoconstriction, seizures Vasoconstriction, seizures, respiratory failure, oliguria

Mechanism of action

Therapeutic use

Bind opioid receptors to alleviate pain

Treatment of pain, IV or epidural use

Smooth muscle relaxant

Treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia

Vasoconstriction

Treatment of hypotension

Vasoconstriction, smooth muscle contraction

Prevention of postpartum hemorrhage, treatment of uterine atony

combined with oxytocin, can be given intramuscularly and will cause decreased morbidity compared to oxytocin alone, but has higher rates of hypertension and stroke. Both ergots may also be administered orally and intravenously, but have greater variability in clinical effects and higher rates of adverse effects (Gizzo et al. 2013) (Table 1).

Shortly after administration, the delivery room staff discovered that the patient was given methylergonovine 0.2 mg IM, intended for the mother to reduce uterine bleed- ing. It was confused for vitamin K by the delivery room nurse. It appears that the syringes of vitamin K and methylergonovine were pre lled and stored nearby each other. It is unclear how the error was discovered, but the baby developed symptoms rather quickly and the poison control center was contacted from the delivery room.

What Is the Pathophysiology of Neonatal Ergotism?

The uterotonics cause vasoconstriction and smooth muscle contraction and are used to prevent postpartum hemorrhage and uterine atony. However, when given to a new- born infant, vasoconstriction is the dominant feature. Seizures, respiratory failure pro- gressing to arrest, and oliguria are reported (Donatini et al. 1993; Aeby et al. 2003).

How Should Neonatal Ergot Poisoning Be Treated?

Treatment is focused on inducing vasodilation and enhancing circulation. Nitroprusside has been effective in several case reports but other agents have been employed (Bangh et al. 2005). Intravenous uids will increase urine output. Anticonvulsants may be needed, as in this case. Additionally, there may be a bene t

48 Case 6 Medication Error in the Delivery Room

to naloxone. There is 60–70% structural similarity between methylergonovine and morphine suggesting that reversal of respiratory depression caused by the ergot may be due to naloxone’s antagonism at opioid receptors (Sullivan et al. 2013).

NICU Course

In the NICU, the patient was endotracheally intubated and treated with phenobarbi- tal and magnesium for seizures. There was improvement in hypertension and sei- zures ceased. In addition to maintenance uids, boluses of D10W were administered for oliguria with a resultant increase in urine output.

On the second day of life, the patient was evaluated with an EEG, showing no further seizure activity. A head ultrasound demonstrates no intracranial hemorrhage, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed no ischemic injuries. The patient was discharged home on hospital day 7 without focal neurological de cits and no appar- ent long-term sequelae.

What Is the Long-Term Prognosis After Neonatal Ergot Poisoning?

The long-term effects of the seizures and respiratory depression due to neonatal ergot toxicity are not well described. Neonatal mortality is noted in 6% of reported cases though these deaths occurred over 30 years ago and advances in neonatal intensive care may have improved more recent outcomes (Bangh et al. 2005).

How Can This Medical Error Be Avoided?

The cause of the patient’s symptoms in this case is a well-described medication error: the confusion between a syringe containing a uterotonic, such as methylergo- novine or oxytocin, intended for the mother, and vitamin K, intended for the neo- nate. While this speci c error has been described for over 40 years, reports actually increased in the 1990s (Bangh et al. 2005).

Preventing medical errors is a major challenge to healthcare providers. In neo- nates, dosing errors are the most common, with tenfold dosing errors making up a signi cant proportion of these (Connors et al. 2014). Although controlled studies have not been performed, strategies which may reduce the risk of mistaking an ergot for vitamin K include delaying the administration of vitamin K until the baby is transferred to the newborn nursery, utilizing two nurses, one solely responsible for administering medication to the mother and another responsible for treating the

References 49 neonate, and color coding medications or syringes to denote those meant for the

mother or child (Bangh et al. 2005).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Neonatology/Obstetrics

• In the neonate who develops unexpected decompensation after medication administration in the delivery room, consider a medication error.

• If respiratory depression is the predominant feature, consider opioid analgesics or magnesium sulfate.

• In the neonate with seizures and respiratory depression, consider neonatal ergot- ism from inadvertent administration of a uterotonic.
Toxicology

• Neonatal ergot poisoning is primarily characterized by hypertension and sei- zures, the consequence of uncontrolled vasoconstriction.

• Treatment options include:

–  Management of hypertension with vasodilating agents

–  Anticonvulsant therapy

–  IV uids to enhance urine output and improve perfusion

–  Naloxone, due to structural similarity of methylergonovine with morphine
References
Aeby A, Johansson AB, De Schuiteneer B, Blum D. Methylergometrine poisoning in children: review of 34 cases. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2003;41:249–53.
Bangh SA, Hughes KA, Roberts DJ, Kovarik SM. Neonatal ergot poisoning: a persistent iatrogenic illness. Am J Perinatol. 2005;22:239–43.
Briggs GG, Wan SR. Drug therapy during labor and delivery, part 1. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006a;63:1038–47.
Briggs GG, Wan SR. Drug therapy during labor and delivery, part 2. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2006b;63:1131–9.
Butwick AJ, Carvalho B, Blumenfeld YJ, El-Sayed YY, Nelson LM, Bateman BT. Second- line uterotonics and the risk of hemorrhage-related morbidity. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015;212(5):642.e1–7.

50 Case 6 Medication Error in the Delivery Room

Connors NJ, Nelson LS, Hoffman RS, Su MK. Neonatal medication errors reported to a poison control center. Clin Tox. 2014;52:326. (abstract).

Donatini B, Le Blaye I, Krupp P. Inadvertent administration of uterotonics to neonates. Lancet. 1993;341:839–40.

Fariello JY, Paul E. Patient safety issues in a tertiary care hospital’s labor and delivery unit. AWHONN Lifelines. 2005;9:321–3.

Gizzo S, Patrelli TS, Gangi SD, Carrozzini M, Saccardi C, Zambon A, Bertocco A, Fagherazzi S, D’antona D, Nardelli GB. Which uterotonic is better to prevent the postpartum hemor- rhage? Latest news in terms of clinical ef cacy, side effects, and contraindications: a system- atic review. Reprod Sci. 2013;20:1011–9.

Lourens R, Paterson-Brown S. Ergometrine given during caesarean section and incidence of delayed postpartum haemorrhage due to uterine atony. J Obstet Gynaecol. 2007;27:795–7. Sullivan R, Nelsen J, Duggineni S, Holland M. Management of methylergonovine induced respira-

tory depression in a newborn with naloxone. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2013;51:47–9.

Case 7
Delirium and Bradycardia Following Opioid Dependency Treatment

1. What are the suspected agent and its action?

2. Describe the pharmacokinetics of this agent.

3. What are contraindications to the use of this agent?

4. What are other complications seen with this agent?

5. How does naltrexone differ from naloxone?

6. How common is delirium with opioid withdrawal? How does precipitated opioid
withdrawal differ from withdrawal due to abstinence?

7. What are other treatment options for a patient experiencing acute withdrawal
following an injection of this agent?

8. What other agents are approved by the FDA for the management of the opioid
dependence?

Abstract This case involves a 69-year-old male who presented to the emergency department from the primary care provider with acute delirium and agitation fol- lowing the administration of a medication to treat opioid dependency. The patient was agitated and moved all extremities purposefully, but did not follow any com- mands. He was given benzodiazepines, but ultimately required intubation. He made a complete recovery. This case discusses various medications and regimens to treat opioid withdrawal. In addition, this case discusses treatment options for patients with acute pain who are concurrently taking medications to facilitate abstinence.

Keywords Delirium • Opioid detoxi cation • Vivitrol® • Delirium • Opioid dependence

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 51 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_7

52 Case 7 Delirium and Bradycardia Following Opioid Dependency Treatment

History of Present Illness

A 69-year-old male is transported to the Emergency Department (ED) by ambu- lance from a primary care clinic with acute delirium, agitation, vomiting, and incon- tinence. The symptoms began very shortly after the administration of an intramuscular medication used to treat opioid dependency. Prior to this injection, the patient was reportedly normal. During transport, the patient receives 2 mg intra- muscular naloxone, 4 mg intramuscular ondansetron, and 0.3 mg of subcutaneous epinephrine without any change in his clinical status.

  

Past Medical History Medications Allergies

Hypertension, chronic kidney disease, anxiety, depression, chronic pain syndrome, and substance abuse
Metoprolol, amlodipine, furosemide, duloxetine, and pantoprazole
No known drug allergies

    

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

110–130 bpm

24 breaths/min

37.4 °C (99.32 °F)

154/73 mmHg

General: Agitated, diaphoretic, and was thrashing in the gurney. HEENT: Pupils were mid-size and briskly reactive.
Neck: Supple without meningeal ndings.
Cardiovascular: Tachycardia rhythm.

99% (room air)

Pulmonary: Lungs clear bilaterally.
Neurologic: The patient exhibited purposeful movements of all extremities but did

not follow any commands. No clonus or rigidity.

Initial Treatment

A capillary glucose was obtained and was determined to be 199 mg/dL. Intravenous access was established and the patient received a total of 40 mg of intravenous diaz- epam over 20 min without any improvement in delirium or agitation. Ultimately, the patient required endotracheal intubation and escalating doses of propofol. He was ultimately admitted to the intensive care unit, on a continuous infusion of propofol at 50 ug/kg/min.

A call to the physician’s of ce revealed the patient had received an intramuscular injection of Vivitrol®.

Case Continuation

53

Diagnostic Testing

Na Glucose

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

3.3 mmol/L

102 mmol/L

25 mmol/L

27 mg/dL

2.0 mg/dL

143 mmol/L

Creatine kinase: 89 IU/L.
Serum ethanol, salicylate, and ethanol levels all non-detectable.

Ancillary Testing

180 mg/dL

CT head: negative for hemorrhage or masses.
An EKG revealed sinus tachycardia with normal intervals and no ischemic changes. Urine toxicology screen (immunoassay; Siemens EMIT) revealed the presence of opiates, phencyclidine, and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Amphetamines, barbitu- rates, benzodiazepines, and cocaine were not detected.

Case Continuation

In the ICU, he was maintained on propofol 50–60 mcg/kg/min overnight. He was tachycardic to 90–120 bpm and hypertensive with a mean arterial pressure between 90 and 120 mm Hg, despite propofol. His hypertension was treated with labetalol. After 18 h, the propofol infusion was tapered, and he was extubated without dif – culty 23 h following his initial presentation.

His hospital course was relatively uneventful after that. He was transitioned to his oral anti-hypertensives with improved blood pressure control. He received a total of 8 mg lorazepam over the next 7 days, mostly at night for insomnia and anxi- ety. He reported that he had recently been using methadone purchased from a friend to treat chronic pain. He was evaluated by psychiatry and refused counseling or any rehabilitation services.

What Is Vivitrol®?

Vivitrol® is a sustained release microsphere formulation of naltrexone administered by deep intramuscular (IM) injection every 4 weeks. Naltrexone is a potent com- petitive opioid receptor antagonist with a ve to sevenfold greater af nity for mu receptors than naloxone. It also exhibits greater af nity at delta and kappa receptors (Toll et al. 1998). Vivitrol® incorporates naltrexone into microspheres of a polylactide-co-glycolide polymer that slowly releases a dose of 380 mg naltrexone over weeks as the polymer is degraded. It received FDA approval for the treatment of alcohol dependence in 2006 and for the treatment of opioid dependence in 2010. Naltrexone is also available for oral administration as 50 mg tablets (Revia®).

54 Case 7 Delirium and Bradycardia Following Opioid Dependency Treatment

Describe the Pharmacokinetics of Naltrexone?

After oral administration naltrexone undergoes extensive rst pass metabolism to 6-β-naltrexol. 6-β-naltrexol, an active metabolite, is cleared more slowly than nal- trexone. After oral dosing, the apparent serum half-lives of naltrexone and 6-β-naltrexol are about 10 and 11 h respectively although a very prolonged termi- nal elimination phase for naltrexone of 96 h has been measured in adults (Verebey et al. 1976). With chronic dosing serum 6-β-naltrexol levels exceed those of nal- trexone, more so following oral administration. Although 6-β-naltrexol is a less potent antagonist and does not access the CNS as rapidly as naltrexone, 6-β-naltrexol likely contributes to the long duration of central opioid antagonism seen with nal- trexone (Yancey-Wrona et al. 2009; Porter et al. 2002). Both naltrexone and 6-β-naltrexol undergo glucuronidation and renal elimination.

After intramuscular administration of Vivitrol®, there is an early serum peak of naltrexone within hours followed by a second peak about 2 days later. After that there is sustained plateau concentration of naltrexone for several weeks followed by a slow decline. Naltrexone concentrations over 2 ng/mL are maintained for nearly 5 weeks after injection of 380 mg Vivitrol®. The elimination half-life of naltrexone administered as Vivitrol® is about 5 days, with the terminal elimination of naltrex- one dependent on the degradation of the microsphere polymer (Dunbar et al. 2006; Bigelow et al. 2012).

What Are Contraindications to the Use of Vivitrol®?

Contraindications to the use of this product include current opioid dependence or with- drawal. Because of the risk of precipitated withdrawal the manufacturer recommends patients be opioid free for 7–10 days, and up to 2 weeks following use of methadone or buprenorphine. An intramuscular or intranasal naloxone challenge can be considered.

An approach used by one addiction specialist prior to administration of Vivitrol® is to rst con rm the absence of opioids in urine (opiates, methadone, buprenorphine) and then administer a test dose of 0.1 mg naloxone intranasal (IN). If there is no reac- tion to this, an increased dose of 1 mg naloxone IN is administered. If the patient exhibits no withdrawal symptoms to this second dose, then Vivitrol® is administered.

What Are Other Complications Seen with Vivitrol®?

Other complications of Vivitrol® include local reactions at the injection site and depressed mood. The risk of opioid overdose following escalating doses of an opioid in an attempt to overcome naltrexone’s opioid antagonism is also a concern, as is height- ened opioid sensitivity after discontinuation of Vivitrol® (Product Insert 2014).

Case Continuation 55

How Does Naltrexone Differ from Naloxone?

Naltrexone has a higher af nity for mu opioid receptors compared to naloxone, along with a longer half-life and a longer duration of action. Both naltrexone and naloxone undergo hepatic rst pass metabolism. Although naltrexone undergoes extensive rst pass hepatic metabolism the dose used orally for abstinence treat- ment, 50 mg, is suf cient to allow adequate systemic bioavailability. Additionally, naltrexone has an active metabolite, 6-β-naltrexol.

How Common Is Delirium with Opioid Withdrawal? How Does Precipitated Opioid Withdrawal Differ from Withdrawal
Due to Abstinence?

The typical features of withdrawal from abstinence include malaise, anxiety, rest- lessness, insomnia, yawning, lacrimation, rhinorrhea, sweating, nausea, vomiting, myalgia, cramps, diarrhea, and piloerection. Alertness is typically preserved and delirium is not a usual feature.

Opioid antagonist precipitated withdrawal can present more dramatically and include agitation and delirium, as seen in this case. Other symptoms reported include posturing, incontinence, confusion, delusions, and hallucinations (Quigley and Boyce 2001; Singh et al. 2009; Boyce et al. 2003; Mannelli et al. 1999; Sheeram et al. 2001). In a small series of patients using naltrexone as part of rapid opioid detoxi cation nearly 25% of patients exhibited delirium (Golden and Sakhrani 2004). Other complications of rapid opioid detoxi cation include pulmonary edema, seizures, protracted vomiting with dehydration, esophageal tear, and medi- astinitis (Hamilton et al. 2002).

What Are Other Treatment Options for a Patient Experiencing Acute Withdrawal Following an Injection of Vivitrol®?

Treatment of a patient experiencing withdrawal after injection of Vivitrol® is chal- lenging. Previous cases that involved implantation of a naltrexone pellet afforded the option of surgical removal of the implant (Hamilton et al. 2002). As a depot given by deep IM injection, this option would be a more dif cult undertaking and likely pose a greater risk of complications.

There is limited experience describing the use of the partial mu agonist buprenorphine to treat precipitated withdrawal after oral naltrexone. A 44-year- old woman with acute opioid withdrawal after a 50 mg oral dose of naltrexone had relief of her withdrawal symptoms 45 min after a 4 mg sublingual dose of buprenorphine (Santos and Hernandez 2013). Buprenorphine has also been used

56 Case 7 Delirium and Bradycardia Following Opioid Dependency Treatment

in the outpatient setting to attenuate opioid withdrawal in methadone-dependent patients undergoing accelerated opioid detoxi cation with naltrexone (Urban and Sullivan 2008).

The use of GABAergic agents such as benzodiazepines can be used to achieve sedation in the acutely agitated, delirious patient from opioid withdrawal. Anti- emetics can be used to manage uncontrolled nausea.

Clonidine, an alpha-2 agonist, ameliorates symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal is associated with noradrenergic hyperactivity in several areas of the brain, including the locus coeruleus and caudal medulla neurons projecting to the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. Stimulation of presynaptic alpha-2 receptors in these regions reduces noradrenergic output by these neurons (Aghajanian 1978; Delfs et al. 2000). Dexmedetomidine, a short-acting parenteral centrally active alpha-2 agonist is a lesser studied alternative if enteral administra- tion of clonidine is not possible.

In this case, sedation was treated, rst with a benzodiazepine and then, after observing no effect with 40 mg diazepam, proceeding with escalating doses of pro- pofol until adequate sedation was achieved.

What Other Agents Are Approved by the FDA for the Management of the Opioid Dependence?

Besides abstinence-based programs, management of the opioid-dependent person may involve substitution treatment with methadone or buprenorphine.

Opioid substitution therapy has been a traditional approach to opioid addic- tion going back over a century. Methadone has been the standard opioid used as replacement therapy since the 1960s. First synthesized in Germany in the 1930s, studies at Rockefeller University in the 1960s demonstrated ef cacy in the man- agement of opioid addiction. Methadone has a long duration of action, allowing once daily or even less frequent dosing for treatment of dependency. At larger doses, it blocks the reinforcing euphoria from parenterally used opioids (Green et al. 2004). A reduction in the illicit use of opioids, a reduction in criminal behavior and incarceration, reduced rates of infectious complications from intra- venous drug abuse and reduced mortality are all attributed to methadone mainte- nance therapy (Farrell et al. 1994). Some detoxi cation programs use a tapering dose of methadone over days to weeks, with abstinence the goal at the comple- tion of detoxi cation.

Buprenorphine is a potent, partial mu agonist. It possesses a high af nity for the mu receptor but without full agonist activity. A ceiling analgesic effect is observed and a bell-shaped dose response curve suggests antagonist effects at higher doses (Orman and Gillian 2009; Johnson et al. 2003). A highly lipophilic drug, buprenor- phine has a plasma elimination half-life of about 3–5 h, but because of its very high af nity and slow dissociation from mu receptors its duration of action is prolonged,

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 57

with a terminal elimination half-life of over 24 h (National Institute on Drug Abuse 1992). Buprenorphine can block the effects of other pure opioid agonists, displacing full opioid agonists from the mu receptor and precipitating withdrawal (Orman and Gillian 2009; National Institute on Drug Abuse 1992; Lewis 1985). Because of this risk buprenorphine should always be initiated in a supervised medical setting.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• In addition to absence programs, pharmacologic treatment options to facilitate opioid dependence include naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine.

• Patients need to be opioid free for at least 7–10 days (or 2 weeks in the case of prior methadone or buprenorphine administration) prior to starting Vivitrol®.
Prehospital

• While patients in opiate withdrawal may be agitated, true delirium is very uncommon.

• Naloxone should not be administered in the absence of features consistent with opiate toxicity (e.g., bradypnea), as its administration may precipitate withdrawal.
Emergency Medicine

• The emergency physician may encounter dif culty adequately treating pain dur- ing an acute painful condition in a patient on an opiate antagonist.

• While simultaneously searching for alternative etiologies of delirium, the emer- gency physician should promptly administer benzodiazepines.

• Advanced airway management, including endotracheal intubation may be required for patients with refractory agitation.
Addiction Medicine

• It is imperative to ensure that the patient has no evidence of opiates remaining in the system prior to administering a long-acting narcotic analgesic.

• Some experts recommend a test dose of naloxone prior to administering Vivitrol®.

58 Case 7 Delirium and Bradycardia Following Opioid Dependency Treatment

References

Aghajanian GK. Tolerance of locus coeruleus neurones to morphine and suppression of with- drawal response by clonidine. Nature. 1978;276:186–8.

Bigelow GE, Preston KL, et al. Opioid challenge evaluation of blockade by extended-release naltrexone in opioid-abusing adults: dose-effects and time-course. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012;123:57–65.

Boyce SH, Armstrong PAR, et al. Effect of inappropriate naltrexone use in a heroin misuser. Emerg Med J. 2003;20:381–2.

Delfs JM, Zhu Y, et al. Noradrenaline in the ventral forebrain is critical for opiate withdrawal- induced aversion. Nature. 2000;403:430–4.

Dunbar JL, Turncliff RZ, et al. Single- and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of long-acting inject- able naltrexone. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2006;30:480–90.

Farrell M, Ward J, et al. Fortnightly review: methadone maintenance treatment in opioid depen- dence: a review. BMJ. 1994;309:997.

Golden SA, Sakhrani DL. Unexpected delirium during rapid opioid detoxi cation (ROD). J Addictive Diseases. 2004;23:65–75.

Green M, Kellogg S, Kreek MJ. Methadone: history, pharmacology, neurobiology, and use. In: Adelman G, Smith B, editors. Encyclopedia of neuroscience. 3rd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2004. Hamilton RJ, Olmedo RE, et al. Complications of ultrarapid opioid detoxi cation with subcutane-

ous naltrexone pellets. Acad Emerg Med. 2002;9:63–8.
Johnson RE, Strain EC, et al. Buprenorphine: how to use it right. Drug Alcohol Depend.

2003;70:S59–77.
Lewis JW. Buprenorphine. Drug Alcohol Depend. 1985;14:363–72.
Mannelli P, DeRisio S, et al. Serendipitous rapid detoxi cation from opiates: the importance of

time-dependent processes. Addiction. 1999;94:589–91.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. Buprenorphine: an alternative treatment for opioid dependence.

Research Monograph 121, U.S. Dept. Health and Human Services; 1992.
Orman JS, Gillian MK. Buprenorphine/naloxone. A review of its use in the treatment of opioid

dependence. Adis Drug Evaluation. 2009;69:577–607.
Porter SJ, Somogyi AA, et al. In vivo and in vitro potency studies of 6 beta-naltrexol, the major

human metabolite of naltrexone. Addict Biol. 2002;7:219–25.
Product Insert. Vivitrol. Alkermes, Inc. Waltham, MA. Accessed 22 Dec 2014.
Quigley MA, Boyce SH. Unintentional rapid opioid detoxi cation. Emerg Med J. 2001;18:494–5. Santos C, Hernandez SH. A case of unintentional naltrexone induced opioid withdrawal success-

fully treated with buprenorphine in an emergency department setting (abstract). Clin Toxicol.

2013:332–3.
Sheeram SS, McDonald T, et al. Psychosis after ultrarapid opiate detoxi cation (letter). Am

J Psychiatry. 2001;158:970.
Singh SM, Sharma B, et al. Unintentional rapid opioid detoxi cation: case report. Psychiatr

Danub. 2009;21:65–7.
Toll L, Berzetei-Gurske IP, et al. Standard binding and functional assays related to medications

development division testing for potential cocaine and opiate narcotic treatment medications.

NIDA Res Monogr. 1998;178:440–66.
Urban V, Sullivan R. Buprenorphine rescue from naltrexone-induced opioid withdrawal dur-

ing relatively rapid detoxi cation from high-dose methadone: a novel approach. Psychiatry

(Edgmont). 2008;5(4):56–8.
Verebey KV, Volavka J, et al. Naltrexone: disposition, metabolism, and effects after acute and

chronic dosing. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1976;20:315–28.
Yancey-Wrona JE, Raymond TJ, et al. 6-Beta-naltrexol preferentially antagonizes opioid effects

on gastrointetinal transit compared to antinociception in mice. Life Sci. 2009;85:413–20.

Case 8
Necrotic Skin Lesion

1. What is the differential diagnosis for a necrotic skin ulcer?

2. What is the difference between a bite and a sting?

3. What is the habitat of this spider?

4. What is the composition of the venom of this spider?

5. How is the diagnosis made?

6. Describe the different clinical presentations of envenomation by this spider.

7. What laboratory testing is should be obtained in suspected envenomation from
this spider?

8. What is the optimal management?

9. How can one avoid getting bitten by this spider?

Abstract A 41-year-old female presented to the emergency department with a lesion on her left forearm. The patient suspected she was bitten 3 days prior by something while cleaning her attic. She subsequently developed a fever (103 °F), chills and myalgias throughout the course of the day. This chapter reviews possible causes of this patient’s symptomatology, including a thorough discussion of spider envenomation with focus on Loxosceles reclusa, commonly known as the brown recluse spider.

Keywords Loxoscelism • Loxosceles • Loxosceles reclusa • Brown recluse • Necrotic arachnidism • Spider envenomation

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 59 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_8

60 Case 8 Necrotic Skin Lesion History of Present Illness
Day 1

A 41-year-old female was moving from a new home and, while she was cleaning the attic, she developed a burning pain in the left forearm. She was concerned that she may have spilled a cleaning uid on her arm, but also noticed several spiders in the area. She took a shower and applied aloe, but developed itching at the site that lasted all night.

Day 2

The patient woke up with a blister on her left forearm and noted a “bull’s eye” appearance. The area swelled progressively through the course of the day. She applied baking soda and meat tenderizer to the site without relief.

Day 3

By the third morning, the blister progressed to a severely pruritic, enlarged necrotic, pale lesion within an erythematous ring demarcating the lesion. She developed a fever and myalgia as the day progressed. She went to the emergency department (ED) .

  

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Social History

None
Daily multivitamin
Denies herbals and OTC drugs
Penicillin (rash)
Denies tobacco, ethanol or other drugs of abuse. Lives with her husband (a chemistry professor) and 2 children, ages 8 and 13 years old. She works part-time as a graphic designer

      

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

110 bpm

17 breaths/min

39.4 °C (102.92 °F)

110/70 mmHg

100% (room air)

General: Vital signs stable, febrile, and in mild distress
HEENT: Pupils equal and reactive. No congestion or rhinorrhea
Cardiovascular: Tachycardia but regular rhythm
Pulmonary: Chest clear to auscultation bilaterally without wheezes, rales, or rhonchi. Abdomen: Soft, non-tender
Neurologic: Alert and oriented, normal cognition, no tremor

ED Course 61

Skin: Indolent necrotic appearing lesion enclosed within an irregular, erythematous ring of ecchymosis on left forearm

EKG showed sinus tachycardia.

ED Course

Over a 6 h stay in the ED, the patient’s fever resolved with ibuprofen. Her vitals remained stable throughout her ED stay. She received a tetanus booster, wound debridement, and a wound culture was obtained. She was instructed to alternate between acetaminophen and ibuprofen for any pain. A diagnosis of suspected spider bite was made, and she was discharged with instructions to follow up with her pri- mary medical doctor (PMD) in a couple of days.

Day 5

She went to her PMD for follow-up. The necrotic lesion had enlarged since her ED visit. She was prescribed cephalexin and instructed to use triple antibiotic ointment along with topical corticosteroids as needed. The fever resolved, but she had persis- tent myalgia.

Day 30

The patient went to her PMD for a second follow-up. She completed the course of antibiotics and topical treatments. The wound ulceration was increased since her last visit but was noted to be healing. She had no complaints of pain or any systemic symptoms. She was no longer using topical treatments on the wound.

Year 1

The patient had a permanent scar on left forearm at the site of the necrotic lesion.

What Is the Differential Diagnosis for a Necrotic Skin Ulcer?

• Diabetic ulcer • Anthrax

• Chemical corrosive burns

• Viral skin infection (chronic herpes simplex)

62 Case 8 Necrotic Skin Lesion

• Bacterial skin infection (community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus MRSA)

• Fungal skin infection

• Steven–Johnsons syndrome

• Lyme disease

• Localized vasculitis

• Necrotic fasciitis

• Toxicodendron dermatitis (poison ivy, poison oak)

• Squamous cell carcinoma

• Erythema multiforme

• Brown recluse spider bite

• Syphilitic chancre

• Kissing bug (Triatoma genus) bites
What Is the Difference Between a Bite and a Sting?
Arachnids can bite or sting. A bite is de ned as the creation of a wound using the oral pole with the intention of envenomation, whereas a sting occurs from an ovi- positor at the aboral pole (also able to function in egg laying) (Hahn 2011). Spiders in ict bites. Nearly all spiders are venomous, but very few spiders are capable of envenomating humans because they cannot penetrate the skin.
Spider Facts
Many humans fear spiders evoking the term Arachnophobia. In reality, spiders rarely bite humans, but when they do, it is usually as a means of self-defense. Of the more than 41,000 species of spiders worldwide, there are an estimated 100 species of lox- osceles (Isbister and Fan 2011), and most of them live in S. America. In the United States, there are thought to be about 12 species of loxosceles. The Loxosceles reclusa, also known by the common name brown recluse, is the most prevalent spider, found predominantly in South-Central and the Midwest US. (Wilson et al. 2005). It is most active during the spring to fall months, and hibernates otherwise. The brown recluse spider’s venom has been found to contain both cytotoxic and hemotoxic properties.
Characteristics of a Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider when fully grown is about the size of a US quarter including the legs (Wilson et al. 2005). It is described as yellow, gray, orange, or brown in color ranging in size from 6–20 mm (Hahn 2011). Contrary to other spider species with eight eyes, the brown recluse has three pairs of eyes (dyads), one in front and two pairs on the side of its cephalothorax, arranged in a semicircle formation (Andersen et al. 2011).

Characteristics of a Brown Recluse Spider 63

The brown recluse has a large leg to body ratio (~5:1), and the female is relatively larger and more dangerous compared to the male. They are heat tolerant, forming uneven, small, occulent, adhesive webs for laying eggs or sleeping (Rhoads 2007). The brown recluse has a brownish violin-shaped (“ ddle back spider”) mark on its dorsum of the cephalothorax. It has a life span of approximately 2 years and is a noc- turnal hunter, preferring warm, dark, dry places. They are typically nonaggressive, pre- ferring quiet environments (hence the name recluse), but will bite when threatened. Most bites are reported at nighttime, but early morning bites occur more commonly in the summer months. They are purported to be capable of surviving up to 6 months without a food source or water and can tolerate extremes in temperature (Hahn 2011).

What Is the Habitat of a Brown Recluse Spider?

Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal foragers, with at bodies, that facilitate their ease of adaptation to their environment. They are most commonly found in dark places where they can easily hide such as rocks or basements.

What Is the Composition of Brown Recluse Venom?

The amount of venom imparted with each bite will vary, with some bites deliver- ing up to 0.5 cc (Rhoads 2007). The venom of the brown recluse spider is com- posed of many different enzymes—the most problematic constituents of the venom include sphingomyelinase-D (necrosis) and hyaluronidase (spreading factor) although other subcomponents, including deoxyribonuclease, ribonucle- ase, esterase, proteases, collagenase, alkaline phosphatase, and lipase contribute to morbidity (Hahn 2011). Collectively, the venom constituents have cytotoxic and hemotoxic properties.

Mechanism of destruction: Once envenomed, sphingomyelinase-D causes red blood cell hemolysis and causes the platelets to release serotonin (Hahn 2011). Next, hyaluronidase functions as a spreading factor, facilitating further penetration of venom and destruction. The downstream release of in ammatory mediators leads to vessel thrombosis, low platelet counts, ischemia of the tissue, and renal failure (Rhoads 2007). Coagulation and vascular occlusion ultimately lead to a necrotic ulcer (Hahn 2011).

How Is the Diagnosis Made?

The only de nitive way to identify a brown recluse bite is to have it identi ed by an entomologist or arachnologist although it is often unavailable. There is presently no lab test to con rm a suspected brown recluse spider bite. Several techniques have been used in research (but none are useful in clinical practice):

64 Case 8 Necrotic Skin Lesion

• Lymphocyte transformation test (measures lymphocytes that have undergone blast transformation up to 1 month post envenomation) (Hahn 2011).

• Passive hemagglutination inhibition test in guinea pigs (venom inhibits antiserum- induced agglutination of venom-coated erythrocytes) (Hahn 2011).

• Enzyme-linked immunoassay(ELISA) in rabbits (Found to con rm venom up to 4 days post envenomation, and antigen up to 21 days post envenomation) (Hahn 2011).
Describe the Different Clinical Presentations of Loxosceles Envenomation
The clinical manifestations of a brown recluse spider bites are divided into three categories (Hahn 2011):

• Cutaneous loxoscelism
When a minute amount of venom is delivered, skin destruction is minimal to absent. The initial reaction often consists of erythema, pain, and/or pruritus. A small vesicle may form at the area of the bite, and the vesicle develops into a lesion that takes on a “bull’s eye” appearance—a central vesicle surrounded by blanching enveloped by an erythematous, ecchymotic area (can be delayed in onset-hours to days). When the vesicle ruptures, it exposes an ulcer. The size of the ulcer and amount of venom will determine the time of healing.

• Necrotic arachnidism
In severe envenomation, necrosis of the blister can occur 3–4 days post enven- omation, with eschar formation between 5 and 7 days. In 7–14 days, the wound becomes indurated and the eschar can slough. The ulceration heals by secondary wound closure (Hahn 2011). Local necrosis tends to be more severe over fatty areas (Hahn 2011). Large lesions can take weeks or months to heal and leave permanent scars.

• Systemic loxoscelism
Systemic effects develop rarely in 24–48 h after envenomation. Mild effects include fever, chills, myalgias, arthralgias, and generalized rash. Severe systemic effects occur rarely and may include hemolysis, jaundice, renal failure, and shock (Hahn 2011).
What Laboratory Testing Is Obtained in Suspected Brown Recluse Envenomation?

• Complete blood count (CBC), PT/INR.

• Markers for hemolytic anemia (haptoglobin).

• Creatine phosphokinase to detect rhabdomyolysis.

• Potassium should be obtained in patients with hemolysis.

• Renal function to screen for renal insuf ciency.

Characteristics of a Brown Recluse Spider 65

Any suspected brown recluse spider bite warrants careful scrutiny of the extent of skin integrity and destruction. It is important to note that systemic reactions are related to the degree of envenomation and is not predictive of the cutaneous reac- tion. Fatalities from brown recluse spider bites have been reported and most have occurred in children <7 years of age from subsequent massive hemolysis (Rhoads 2007). Fatalities from renal failure secondary to hemoglobinuria, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, and disseminated intravascular coagulation have also been reported (Rhoads 2007).

What Is the Optimal Management?

Management of necrotic arachnidism is controversial, but the mainstay is proper wound care, tetanus prophylaxis, analgesia/antipruritic as needed. Slow wound healing is classically observed with severe brown recluse envenomation; therefore, continued follow-up to monitor the progression of symptomatology and providing supportive care is prudent. Multiple treatment modalities have been tried and are discussed below, but it is important to note that the ef cacy has not been proven and many are controversial.

• Analgesia—used supportively and symptomatically

• Antipruritic—commonly used

• Cold packs (purported to decrease venom enzymatic activity and pain), avoid
heat (may spread venom activity)

• Dapsone in early studies found to inhibit local in ltration of the wound by poly-
morphonuclear leukocytes, but carries the risk of potential methemoglobinemia (particularly in G6PD patients), hemolysis, or hepatitis

– Now is generally avoided (Hahn 2011)

• Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (promotes angiogenesis, but results are not conclu- sive and not recommended) (Andersen et al. 2011)

• Steroids may decrease red cell destruction, but also healing (Mold and Thompson 2004) and should be avoided

• Antibiotics—useful for secondary infections

• Antivenom—South American countries—Brazil, Peru, Mexico, and Argentina
may use horse-derived F(ab) which may reduce cutaneous and prevent systemic loxoscelism. Usually not used if >72 h have passed since envenomation. Brazil has two antivenoms available from the Brazilian ministry of health: antiloxosce- lic serum and anti-arachnidic serum.

• Surgical debridement—early surgery ( rst 2 months post bite) may cause in am- mation and potentially worsen the chances of healing and is usually avoided (Andersen et al. 2011).
(Hahn 2011; Wright et al. 1997; Mold and Thompson 2004; Micromedex 2016)

66 Case 8 Necrotic Skin Lesion

How Can One Avoid Getting Bitten by a Brown Recluse Spider?

Preventing contact with a brown recluse spider via chemical control pesticides, insect repellants, and wearing long sleeves is the best way to avoid envenomation. Most brown recluse spider bite envenomation cases resolve largely without incident.

Case Conclusion

In this case, the patient presented with evidence of necrotic arachnidism. Her symp- toms were managed with tetanus prophylaxis, wound care, analgesia, and an empiric course of oral antibiotic. Her wound culture resulted negative. Many conditions may mimic brown recluse spider bites and many tried treatments have shown little prom- ise and are largely controversial. Improper diagnosis may lead to amputation, acute renal failure, and death.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Many spiders bite, and many are brown, but most of those bites are unlikely to be a brown recluse spider bite.

• Prevention of brown recluse spider bites in at-risk populations (disabled elderly, crawling children) is important.

• The use of safe and effective pesticides and insect repellants should be encour- aged during at-risk months in South-central and Midwest US.

• Educating patients to wear long sleeves while outdoors is important during active brown recluse spider months.

• Thorough follow-up is imperative for any suspected spider bite to monitor for progression of symptoms.

• Discussion of the potential for slow healing and proper wound care should be communicated to the patient or caregiver.
Pediatrics

• Crawling and inquisitive infants are at risk for spider bites.

• The pediatric population has been found to be most at risk for fatalities in the
literature.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 67

• Caregivers need to be vigilant with proper wound care measures in the home setting.

• Discuss the need for proper and safe insect control in at-risk social settings.
Emergency Medicine

• It is important to note that alleged spider bites may in reality be infections, espe- cially community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

• There is currently no available antivenom in the United States for brown recluse
spider bites.

• The mainstay of treatment is supportive and symptomatic care, including tetanus
prophylaxis and proper wound care.

• Recognize that patients may return with worsening symptoms since brown
recluse spider bites may worsen before improving.

• Encourage follow-up with the PMD for monitoring progression of symptoms
over weeks/months.
Toxicology

• Annually, a number of spider bites are reported to the 55 poison control centers nationwide. Most of these bites tend to be fairly innocuous.

• There is no effective antidote in the United States for Loxosceles reclusa spi- der bites.

• Obtain a thorough history of the exposure to rule out other causes of symptomatology.

• There is no speci c lab or test that can de nitively diagnose a brown recluse bite.
Nephrology

• Acute renal failure is a rare but grave consequence of brown recluse spider bites.

• In addition, rhabdomyolysis and hemoglobinuria have been reported.

• Thorough monitoring of renal labs and supportive care is important in cases of
systemic loxoscelism
Infectious Disease

• Patients who are initially diagnosed as having community-acquired MRSA may instead have been bitten by a brown recluse spider bite.

68 •

Case 8 Necrotic Skin Lesion

Note that clostridium perfringens have been cultured from the fangs and venom of the brown recluse spider and may lead to secondary infection (Mold and Thompson 2004).
Secondary infection is uncommon even with extensive necrotic lesions.

References

Andersen RJ, Campoli J, Johar SK, Schumacher KA, Jr JA, E. Suspected brown recluse envenomation: a case report and review of differential treatment modalities. J Emerg Med. 2011;41(2):e31–7.

Hahn I. Arthropods. In: Nelson LS, Lewis NA, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Goldfrank LR, Flomenbaum NE, editors. Goldfrank’s Toxicologic Emergencies. 9th ed. New York: McGraw- Hill; 2011. p. 1564–7.

Isbister GK, Fan HW. Spider bite. Lancet. 2011;378:2039–47.
Micromedex. Brown recluse spider bites. Accessed Apr 3 2016.
Mold JW, Thompson DM. Management of brown recluse spider bites in primary care. JABFP.

2004;17(5):347–52.
Rhoads J. Epidemiology of the brown recluse spider bite. J Am Acad Nurse Pract. 2007;19:79–85. Wilson JR, Hagood CO, Prather ID. Brown recluse spider bites: a complex problem wound. A

brief review and case study. Ostomy Wound Management. 2005;51(3):59–66.
Wright SW, Wrenn KD, Murray L, Seger D. Clinical presentation and outcome of brown recluse

spider bite. Ann Emerg Med. 1997;30(1):28–32.

Case 9
Isoniazid Ingestion

1. What are the typical characteristics of seizures associated with isoniazid overdose?

2. Was the dose of isoniazid in this case suf cient to cause a seizure?

3. What is the mechanism by which isoniazid overdose causes seizures?

4. What is pyridoxine’s mechanism as an antidote in isoniazid poisoning?

5. How is pyridoxine dosed when treating isoniazid overdose?

6. Is oral pyridoxine equivalent to intravenous pyridoxine for seizure prophylaxis
in isoniazid poisoning?

7. What is the mechanism of lactic acidosis associated with isoniazid toxicity?

8. What general treatment should be initiated?

9. What other treatment(s) may be helpful?

10. What are the other toxic effects of isoniazid?

11. Has toxicity ever been associated with pyridoxine administration?

Abstract Isoniazid is commonly used in treatment of latent Mycobacterium tuber- culosis infections. We report a case of a 6-year-old boy that had a seizure following an accidental overdose of isoniazid. The pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, evaluation, and treatment of isoniazid toxicity are discussed. The mechanism of action and use of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) as an antidote to isoniazid and hydrazine poisoning is reviewed.

Keywords Isoniazid • Pyridoxine • Hydrazine • Tuberculosis • Overdose • Status epilepticus

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 69 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_9

70 Case 9 Isoniazid Ingestion

History of Present Illness

A 6-year-old boy inadvertently received an extra dose of his own isoniazid. He had been on the medication for about 1 week for treatment of latent tuberculosis and the error occurred due to a miscommunication between his parents. Each parent had given the boy his usual daily isoniazid dose, about 2 h apart. The total amount of isoniazid received was 450 mg. The regional poison center was contacted and cal- culated the dose he received as 38 mg/kg. They recommended immediate evaluation at the nearest emergency department. The child was brought to the emergency department by his parents and appeared well with no symptoms at the time of his initial evaluation.

Past Medical History

Medications Allergies Family History Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

130/70 mmHg

Microcephaly
Cerebral Palsy
No prior history of seizure disorder Latent tuberculosis
Isoniazid
NKDA
Adopted, unknown
Lives with both adoptive parents

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

104 bpm

24 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

O2 saturation

98% (room air)

General: Well appearing, under-developed for age
HEENT: Normocephalic, atraumatic, and extraocular movements intact; pupils are

equal, round, and reactive to light
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm, normal S1 and S2. Extremities are warm

and well perfused
Pulmonary: Unlabored respirations, symmetric chest expansion, clear breath

sounds
Abdominal: Bowel sounds normal. Soft, non-tender, and nondistended Neurologic: Alert, oriented, mild cognitive delay for age (at baseline), normal

re exes, normal tone, and no focal de cits

Hospital Course, Day One

71

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

10 k/mcL

Na

138 mEq/L

AST: 28 U/L (reference range: <42 U/L) ALT: 6 U/L (reference range: <35 U/L)

Differential

N/A

Glucose

110 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

Hematocrit

Platelets

13.5 gm/dL

35%

200 k/mm3

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

4.2 mEq/L

102 mEq/L

25 mEq/L

18 mg/dL

0.7 mg/dL

The consulting toxicologist recommended the child be admitted to the hospital overnight for observation.

Hospital Course, Day One

The poison center recommended prophylactic pyridoxine administration. The treat- ing hospital did not have intravenous pyridoxine available, so 450 mg of oral pyri- doxine was administered approximately 3 h after the isoniazid ingestion.

Seven hours after the ingestion, the child had normal vital signs and no symp- toms. Nine hours after the ingestion, the boy had a single, generalized, tonic-clonic seizure that lasted several seconds. He was given 1 mg of lorazepam and the convul- sive activity stopped. Following the episode, the child was drowsy but returned to baseline mental status within 30 min following the incident. Neurology was con- sulted. There were no focal de cits on neurologic exam. No further pyridoxine or benzodiazepines were administered. There were no further seizure-like episodes and the patient was not placed on prophylactic anticonvulsants.

What Are the Typical Characteristics of Seizures Associated with Isoniazid Overdose?

Seizures may occur as early as 30 min following isoniazid overdose and are expected to be refractory to conventional antiepileptic drugs (White eld and Klein 1971). In patients who remain asymptomatic during observation in the emergency depart- ment, seizures or other signs of acute toxicity are unlikely to occur more than 6 h after acute isoniazid ingestion or overdose.

72 Case 9 Isoniazid Ingestion Was the Dose of Isoniazid in This Case Suf cient to Cause

a Seizure?

Seizures may occur at isoniazid doses greater than 20 mg/kg. Doses greater than 35 mg/kg are very likely to cause seizures, as in this case, where an estimated 38 mg/ kg was ingested (Alvarez and Guntupalli 1995). Seizures associated with therapeu- tic doses of isoniazid have been very rarely reported (Tsubouchi et al. 2014).

What Is the Mechanism by Which Isoniazid Overdose Causes Seizures?

Ultimately, isoniazid (INH) leads to depletion of the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The subsequent lack of inhibitory neurotransmission allows seizures to occur unchecked. Isoniazid leads to GABA depletion by altering the metabolism of pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), a coenzyme in a number of key bio- transformation reactions (Biehl and Vilter 1954). Isoniazid metabolites cause a functional pyridoxine de ciency by inhibiting pyridoxine phosphokinase, an enzyme responsible for converting pyridoxine to its active form, pyridoxal-5′- phosphate (PLP). In addition, active pyridoxine is complexed with isoniazid metab- olites and renally excreted, depleting pyridoxine levels. Finally, isoniazid inhibits glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), which catalyzes the synthesis of GABA from glutamate. The combined relative excess of glutamate and GABA de ciency leads to the seizures for which isoniazid is well known (Fig. 1). Hydrazine and methylated hydrazines, as found in rocket fuels and Gyromitra esculenta (False morel) mush- rooms cause seizures by a similar mechanism (Leathem and Dorran 2007).

Fig. 1 Isoniazid effects on pyridoxine metabolism and GABA synthesis

Hospital Course, Day One 73

What Is Pyridoxine’s Mechanism as an Antidote in Isoniazid Poisoning?

Pyridoxine has been demonstrated to terminate seizures and reverse persistent coma in isoniazid poisoning (Brent et al. 1990; Brown et al. 1984; Wason et al. 1981). Replacing pyridoxine permits catalysis of the conversion of glutamate to GABA, increasing inhibitory neurotransmission. Of note, in addition to the rare genetic disorder pyridox- ine-dependent epilepsy, a retrospective review of adults hospitalized with status epi- lepticus found pyridoxine de ciency in 94%, compared to 39.4% in outpatient historical controls (Dave et al. 2015). Therefore, termination of seizures in response to pyridoxine administration should not be considered diagnostic of isoniazid toxicity.

How Is Pyridoxine Dosed When Treating Isoniazid Overdose?

It is recommended that asymptomatic patients who have ingested potentially toxic amounts of isoniazid within 2 h of presentation receive prophylactic pyridoxine admin- istration. This is based on the time to peak concentration of isoniazid, which is less than 2 h under varied conditions (Peloquin et al. 1999). Dosing of pyridoxine for prophylac- tic and antidotal use is identical. If the dose of isoniazid is known, the dose of pyridox- ine should be equal to the dose of isoniazid ingested on a gram-per-gram basis (Wason et al. 1981). If the dose is unknown, empiric dosing of 5 g of intravenous pyridoxine for adults and 70 mg/kg up to a maximum of 5 g for children has been recommended, infused at 0.5 g/min until seizures terminate or the maximum dose has been given (Lheureux et al. 2005). A volunteer study of intravenous pyridoxine pharmacokinetics demonstrated a short plasma elimination half-life of 0.12 h (Zempleni and Kubler 1994). Some sources have suggested administering any remainder of the pyridoxine dose after seizure termination over 4–6 h (Lheureux et al. 2005) or giving total doses over 4 g as serial 1 g intramuscular injections (APP Pharmaceuticals 2008).

Is Oral Pyridoxine Equivalent to Intravenous Pyridoxine for Seizure Prophylaxis in Isoniazid Poisoning?

There are no published data comparing the use of oral versus intravenous pyridox- ine in acute isoniazid poisoning. The oral bioavailability of pyridoxine is estimated at 60–80%, so it is reasonable to consider giving additional pyridoxine or simply doubling the dose if oral pyridoxine must be used (Tarr et al. 1981; Zempleni 1995). Intravenous pyridoxine is preferred due to the lower risk of airway complications/ aspiration, should seizure occur, but is not readily available at all facilities.

74 Case 9 Isoniazid Ingestion What Is the Mechanism of Lactic Acidosis Associated

with Isoniazid Toxicity?

The classic triad of acute isoniazid poisoning consists of seizures, coma, and severe metabolic acidosis (Watkins et al. 1990). Metabolic acidosis associated with isoniazid toxicity is usually high anion-gap metabolic acidosis with elevated lactate. In ani- mal models of isoniazid poisoning, administration of a neuromuscular blocking agent prevented the development of metabolic acidosis, suggesting that it results from convul- sive activity, and is not a drug effect independent from seizures (Chin et al. 1978).

What General Treatment Should Be Initiated?

While preparing and administering antidotal treatment with pyridoxine, airway management should be undertaken as clinically indicated and supportive manage- ment of seizures should be provided to prevent secondary injuries. Activated char- coal has been demonstrated to bind isoniazid and prevent absorption when given immediately following ingestion (Siefkin et al. 1987). However, when given 1 h after experimental ingestion there was no signi cant reduction in the area under the concentration-time curve or the half-life of isoniazid (Scolding et al. 1986). Early (less than 1 h post-ingestion) administration of activated charcoal should therefore be weighed carefully against the risk of aspiration and seizure.

What Other Treatment(s) May Be Helpful?

Benzodiazepines may be ineffective alone until GABA is replenished (Campo-Soria et al. 2006) but have synergistic antiepileptic effects when given with pyridoxine (Chin et al. 1978). Barbiturates and other GABA-agonists would be expected to have similar synergistic effects. Current evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of status epilepticus do not address the use of pyridoxine (Glauser et al. 2016). However, because conventional antiepileptics without GABA-agonism, such as phenytoin, are ineffective in treating isoniazid toxicity and most other drug-induced seizures, empiric administration of pyridoxine in known or suspected isoniazid poisoning has been recommended (Wills and Erickson 2005; Chen et al. 2016).

A study of chronic hemodialysis patients suggested minimal recovery (median = 9%) of an isoniazid dose in dialysate (Malone et al. 1999). A recent phar- macokinetic analysis of one overdose case treated with continuous venovenous hemodia ltration (CVVHDF) suggested signi cant isoniazid clearance was possi- ble with hemodialysis if started as early as possible (Skinner et al. 2015). Given the rapid elimination of isoniazid and that most patients can be treated with benzodiaz- epines and pyridoxine, more human evidence is needed before the use of hemodi- alysis can be recommended.

Hospital Course, Day Two 75

Hospital Course, Day Two

The child was seen by the neurology service. It remained unclear whether or not isoniazid toxicity was primarily responsible for the seizure in this case. It was sus- pected that his outpatient dose was based on confusion of his weight in kilograms for a weight in pounds, since he was unusually small for his age. Given the child’s underlying cerebral palsy and chronic illness, it was postulated that he may have an underlying predisposition to seizures but it was dif cult to attribute the seizure to a new epileptiform disorder given the temporal association with isoniazid administra- tion. The child was scheduled for neurology follow-up and an electroencephalo- gram (EEG). He had no further seizures and was discharged to home in stable condition on hospital day two.

What Are the Other Toxic Effects of Isoniazid?

Isoniazid-induced coma is reported in severe acute poisoning and may be prolonged up to 72 h (Brown et al. 1984). The exact mechanism of coma is unknown, but its reversal has been reported with repeated doses of pyridoxine (Brent et al. 1990).

In chronic use, the most common adverse effect of isoniazid therapy is peripheral neuropathy, typically in a stocking-glove distribution. It is recommended that patients at high risk of developing isoniazid-induced peripheral neuropathy, such as those with HIV infection, malnutrition, alcoholism, and diabetes, receive pyridox- ine supplementation with isoniazid therapy (Cilliers et al. 2010; van der Watt et al. 2011). Isoniazid is also associated with both idiopathic autoimmune hepatitis and direct hepatocellular injury and has resulted in hepatic failure when the drug was continued after development of transaminase elevation (Goldman and Braman 1972). Though animal models demonstrate that hepatic steatosis can be prevented by concomitant pyridoxine administration (Whitehouse et al. 1983), there is no human evidence supporting its use to reverse isoniazid-induced hepatotoxicity. Current understanding of isoniazid-induced hepatic injury does not suggest a mech- anism for pyridoxine as an antidote (Hassan et al. 2016).

Has Toxicity Ever Been Associated with Pyridoxine Administration?

Though pyridoxine has a wide therapeutic window, it is neurotoxic in chronic and acute overdose. Small and large ber ataxic neuropathy has occurred in chronic overuse of pyridoxine supplementation (Cohen and Bendich 1986). Inadvertent overdose of antidotal pyridoxine has also been reported, with two patients, each of whom received greater than 2 g/kg of parenteral pyridoxine over a 3-day period, developing severe sensory neuropathy and persistent inability to ambulate 1 year after the event (Albin et al. 1987).

76 Case 9 Isoniazid Ingestion Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Isoniazid may cause peripheral neuropathy and hepatitis in chronic use.

• Pyridoxine supplementation is recommended for patients taking isoniazid at
high risk for developing neuropathy.

• Fulminant liver failure may result if unrecognized.

• Acute isoniazid poisoning results in neurotoxicity (seizures, coma) due to GABA
depletion.

• Pyridoxine is antidotal for isoniazid neurotoxicity but does not treat
hepatotoxicity.

• Accidental ingestions by children may be potentially toxic and merit emergency
department observation and prophylactic pyridoxine administration.

• When in doubt, obtain medical toxicology consultation (In the United States,
1-800-222-1222).
Emergency Medicine

• Seizures due to isoniazid toxicity result from GABA depletion and are refractory to antiepileptics such as phenytoin.

• The antidote for isoniazid neurotoxicity (seizures, coma) is pyridoxine.

• Benzodiazepines may be synergistic with pyridoxine but may not work alone.

• Consider isoniazid toxicity in patients with refractory seizures and supporting or
unknown history.

• Pyridoxine is unlikely to cause harm when dosed appropriately and may be con-
sidered for refractory seizures or status epilepticus of unknown cause.

• When in doubt, obtain medical toxicology consultation (In the United States,
1-800-222-1222).
Toxicology

• Isoniazid causes both functional and true pyridoxine depletion.

• In the absence of pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP), glutamic acid decarboxylase
(GAD) cannot convert glutamate to GABA, resulting in seizures.

• Lactic acidosis secondary to isoniazid overdose appears to result from convul-
sive activity and may be prevented by neuromuscular blockade.

• Pyridoxine has been demonstrated to reverse both acute seizures and protracted
coma resulting from isoniazid ingestion.

• Benzodiazepines may be synergistic with pyridoxine but may not work alone.

• Pyridoxine itself may cause small and large ber neuropathy in chronic overuse

or acute manifold overdose.

References 77

References

Albin RL, Albers JW, Greenberg HS, Townsend JB, Lynn RB, Burke JM Jr, Alessi AG. Acute sen- sory neuropathy-neuronopathy from pyridoxine overdose. Neurology. 1987;37(11):1729–32.

Alvarez FG, Guntupalli KK. Isoniazid overdose: four case reports and review of the literature. Intensive care medicine. 1995;21(8):641–4.

APP Pharmaceuticals, L. Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Injection, USP [package insert]. 2008. http:// editor.fresenius-kabi.us/PIs/Pyridoxine_Inj_45817E_Apr_08.pdf. Accessed 30 July 2015. Biehl JP, Vilter RW. Effects of isoniazid on pyridoxine metabolism. J Am Med Assoc.

1954;156(17):1549–52.
Brent J, Vo N, Kulig K, Rumack BH. Reversal of prolonged isoniazid-induced coma by pyridox-

ine. Arch Intern Med. 1990;150(8):1751–3.
Brown A, Mallett M, Fiser D, Arnold WC. Acute isoniazid intoxication: reversal of CNS symp-

toms with large doses of pyridoxine. Pediatr Pharmacol (New York). 1984;4(3):199–202. Campo-Soria C, Chang Y, Weiss DS. Mechanism of action of benzodiazepines on GABAA recep-

tors. Br J Pharmacol. 2006;148(7):984–90.
Chen HY, Albertson TE, Olson KR. Treatment of drug-induced seizures. Br J Clin Pharmacol.

2016;81(3):412–9.
Chin L, Sievers ML, Laird HE, Herrier RN, Picchioni AL. Evaluation of diazepam and pyri-

doxine as antidotes to isoniazid intoxication in rats and dogs. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol.

1978;45(3):713–22.
Cilliers K, Labadarios D, Schaaf HS, Willemse M, Maritz JS, Werely CJ, Hussey G, Donald

PR. Pyridoxal-5-phosphate plasma concentrations in children receiving tuberculosis chemo-

therapy including isoniazid. Acta Paediatr. 2010;99(5):705–10.
Cohen M, Bendich A. Safety of pyridoxine–a review of human and animal studies. Toxicol Lett.

1986;34(2–3):129–39.
Dave HN, Eugene Ramsay R, Khan F, Sabharwal V, Irland M. Pyridoxine de ciency in adult

patients with status epilepticus. Epilepsy Behav. 2015;52(Pt A):154–8.
Glauser T, Shinnar S, Gloss D, Alldredge B, Arya R, Bainbridge J, Bare M, Bleck T, Dodson WE, Garrity L, Jagoda A, Lowenstein D, Pellock J, Riviello J, Sloan E, Treiman DM. Evidence- based guideline: treatment of convulsive status epilepticus in children and adults: report of

the guideline committee of the American Epilepsy Society. Epilepsy Curr. 2016;16(1):48–61. Goldman AL, Braman SS. Isoniazid: a review with emphasis on adverse effects. Chest.

1972;62(1):71–7.
Hassan HM, Guo HL, Yousef BA, Luyong Z, Zhenzhou J. Hepatotoxicity mechanisms of isonia-

zid: a mini-review. J Appl Toxicol. 2016;35(12):1427–32.
Leathem AM, Dorran TJ. Poisoning due to raw Gyromitra esculenta (false morels) west of the

Rockies. CJEM. 2007;9(2):127–30.
Lheureux P, Penaloza A, Gris M. Pyridoxine in clinical toxicology: a review. Eur J Emerg Med.

2005;12(2):78–85.
Malone RS, Fish DN, Spiegel DM, Childs JM, Peloquin CA. The effect of hemodialysis on iso-

niazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1999;159(5 Pt

1):1580–4.
Peloquin CA, Namdar R, Dodge AA, Nix DE. Pharmacokinetics of isoniazid under fasting condi-

tions, with food, and with antacids. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 1999;3(8):703–10.
Scolding N, Ward MJ, Hutchings A, Routledge PA. Charcoal and isoniazid pharmacokinetics.

Hum Toxicol. 1986;5(4):285–6.
Siefkin AD, Albertson TE, Corbett MG. Isoniazid overdose: pharmacokinetics and effects of oral

charcoal in treatment. Hum Toxicol. 1987;6(6):497–501.
Skinner K, Saiao A, Mostafa A, Soderstrom J, Medley G, Roberts MS, Isbister GK. Isoniazid

poisoning: pharmacokinetics and effect of hemodialysis in a massive ingestion. Hemodial Int. 2015;19(4):E37–40.

78 Case 9 Isoniazid Ingestion

Tarr JB, Tamura T, Stokstad EL. Availability of vitamin B6 and pantothenate in an average American diet in man. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981;34(7):1328–37.

Tsubouchi K, Ikematsu Y, Hashisako M, Harada E, Miyagi H, Fujisawa N. Convulsive seizures with a therapeutic dose of isoniazid. Intern Med. 2014;53(3):239–42.

van der Watt JJ, Harrison TB, Benatar M, Heckmann JM. Polyneuropathy, anti-tuberculosis treat- ment and the role of pyridoxine in the HIV/AIDS era: a systematic review. Int J Tuberc Lung Dis. 2011;15(6):722–8.

Wason S, Lacouture PG, Lovejoy FH Jr. Single high-dose pyridoxine treatment for isoniazid over- dose. JAMA. 1981;246(10):1102–4.

Watkins RC, Hambrick EL, Benjamin G, Chavda SN. Isoniazid toxicity presenting as seizures and metabolic acidosis. J Natl Med Assoc. 82(1):57, 62, 64.

White eld CL, Klein RG. Isoniazid overdose: report of 40 patients, with a critical analysis of treat- ment and suggestions for prevention. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1971;103:887.

Whitehouse LW, Tryphonas L, Paul CJ, Solomonraj G, Thomas BH, Wong LT. Isoniazid-induced hepatic steatosis in rabbits: an explanation for susceptibility and its antagonism by pyridoxine hydrochloride. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1983;61(5):478–87.

Wills B, Erickson T. Drug- and toxin-associated seizures. Med Clin North Am. 2005;89(6):1297–321. Zempleni J. Pharmacokinetics of vitamin B6 supplements in humans. J Am Coll Nutr.

1995;14(6):579–86.
Zempleni J, Kubler W. The utilization of intravenously infused pyridoxine in humans. Clin Chim

Acta. 1994;229(1–2):27–36.

Case 10
Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug Insuf ation

1. What is your differential diagnosis?

2. What is this agent?

3. On what receptors does this agent act?

4. Does the patient’s report of drug used accurately re ect the active ingredient
involved?

5. What are the symptoms of toxicity from this agent?

6. What are the symptoms of serotonin syndrome/toxicity?

7. How does cyproheptadine play a role in the management of serotonin
syndrome?

8. What are the symptoms of anticholinergic toxicity?

9. What are the symptoms of stimulant toxicity?

10. What other common drugs of abuse cause seizures?

11. Why are bupropion and pregabalin on the differential?

Abstract A 21-year-old male presented to the emergency department in status epi- lepticus. He was hyperthermic, tachycardic, and hypertensive with hyperre exia and clonus. Laboratory workup revealed a metabolic acidosis with associated hyperlactatemia. He was admitted to the intensive care unit where he was sedated, mechanically ventilated, and externally cooled. His hospital course was compli- cated by an aspiration pneumonia and rhabdomyolysis but he fully recovered.

Keywords 25i • N-BOMe • Serotonin syndrome • Seizures • Designer drugs • Phenylethylamine

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 79 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_10

80 Case 10 Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug Insuf ation

History of Present Illness

A 21-year-old male presented to the Emergency Department (ED) in status epilep- ticus after insuf ating a while at a party. The powder had been purchased online. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was called to the scene after he began seizing. Bystanders initially reported the patient used only mescaline, LSD, and marijuana. The patient received 10 mg of diazepam and was nasally intubated by EMS.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Family History Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

140/80 mmHg

Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

130 bpm

14 breaths/min (intubated)

38.1 °C (105.0 °F)

O2 saturation

100%

General: Patient was intubated and manual ventilated with bag valve mask. HEENT: Normocephalic and atraumatic. Pupils were equal, round, and reactive to

light. Mucus membranes were moist.
Cardiovascular: Cardiac exam was signi cant for tachycardia but otherwise normal. Pulmonary: Chest was clear to auscultation bilaterally.
Neurologic: The patient had ve beats of clonus bilaterally. There was no rigidity

but some diffuse extremity hyperre exia. Skin: Sweat was present in the axilla.

What Is Your Differential Diagnosis?

• Serotonin syndrome

• Neuroleptic malignant syndrome

• Anticholinergic toxicity

• Cathinone abuse (bath salts, K2, etc.)

• Synthetic stimulant/drug use (e.g., cocaine, amphetamine)

• Pregabalin insuf ation

• Bupropion insuf ation

• Synthetic marijuana use (spice, K2, etc.)

Hospital Course

81

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

14.8 k/mm3

Na

145 mmol/L

Platelets

421 k/mm3

Glucose

85 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

16.5 g/dL

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

4.0 mmol/L

102 mmol/L

5 mmol/L

20/2.2 mg/dL

Acetaminophen: negative
Salicylic acid: negative
Ethanol: negative
Urine drug screen: negative for amphetamine, benzodiazepines, cocaine, metha-

done, and opiates
CK: 403 U/L
ABG: pH: 6.5/ pCO2 82/ pO2 412 Lactate: 22.6 mmol/L
AST: 25 U/L, ALT: 32 U/L
INR: 1.96, PT: 22 s, PTT: 47.6 s

Ancillary Testing

EKG: NSR rate of 95, QRS 110, QTc 500. No acute ischemic changes. CXR: lungs clear without pneumothorax or effusion
CT Head: no acute abnormality

Hospital Course

Initially in the ED, the patient had a brief period of bradycardia of 40 beats/min. The bradycardia resolved after he was re-intubated orally and given atropine 0.5 mg intravenously. He continued to have intermittent clinically evident seizures in the ED for which he was given a bolus of 2 mg lorazepam and 4 mg midazolam with subsequent resolution. Ultimately, a propofol infusion was started and he was trans- ferred to the MICU.

In the medical ICU, the patient’s clinical course was complicated by a right- sided pneumothorax attributed to barotrauma and a chest tube placed. He also developed an aspiration pneumonia. No further seizures were noted once admitted, but the patient continued to have hyperre exia and clonus. His acidosis resolved within 4 h of mechanical ventilation and uid resuscitation, but he remained intu- bated and sedated for 3 days due to persistent agitation, tachycardia, and hyperther- mia with trials of decreased sedation. He received infusions of propofol (50 mg/h) and fentanyl (100 mcg/h), and Lactated Ringers at 300 mL/h while intubated.

82 Case 10 Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug Insuf ation

An external cooling blanket was applied, but he remained febrile and tachycardic for the rst 4 days of admission. His creatinine peaked at 2.3 mg/dL on hospital day 2; creatinine kinase peaked at 64,000 U/L, AST 873 U/L, and ALT 295 U/L on hos- pital day 3, all of which declined prior to discharge. He was extubated on hospital day 3 and made a full recovery.

Upon extubation, the patient reported he insuf ated a substance called “N-BOMB” prior to becoming ill.

What Is N-BOMB?

• N-BOMB and N-BOMe are slang terms that refer to any one of several substi- tuted phenylethylamines. The most commonly identi ed drugs in this group are 25I-NBOMe, 25C-NOBMe, and 25B-NBOMe (Laskowski 2014a; Papoutsis et al. 2015; Poklis et al. 2014; Poklis et al. 2015; Zuba D and Sekula K 2013a; Zuba et al. 2013b).

• These drugs are modi ed hallucinogens from a class of drugs called the 2C-X family or considered phenylethylamine derivatives.

• N-BOMB and N-BOMe are often marketed as “legal LSD” or psychedelic phenylethylamines (Laskowski 2014; Suzuki 2014).

• N-BOMB is used in microgram doses as a powder or on blotter paper and has been insuf ated, ingested, and injected (Lawn et al. 2014).
On What Receptors Does N-BOMB Act On?

• This group of phenylethylamines was initially developed as radioligands for sero- tonin receptors. They have a high af nity for 5HT2A, but as different groups are substituted on the drug; there are different receptor af nities. Several analogs exist including: 25B-, 25C, 25D-, 25H-, 25I-. They may also have peripheral alpha ago- nist properties (Laskowski et al. 2014; Johnson et al. 2014; Tang et al. 2014).

• Symptoms of intoxication share similar traits with stimulant and serotonin toxic- ity (Forrester 2014; Hill et al. 2013; Rose et al. 2013).

• There have been multiple case reports relating intractable seizure activity and death in conjunction with using N-BOMB (Forrester 2014; Hill et al. 2013; Rose et al. 2013).
What Are the Major Hepatic Cytochrome p450 Enzymes Involved in the Metabolism of N-BOMB?
• CYP3A4 • CYP2D6

Hospital Course 83

• This is important information for providers as patients may develop signi cant drug reactions if they are on a CYP3A4 inhibitor (ex: protease inhibitors or anti- biotics like erythromycin) at the time they take N-BOMB (Nielsen et al. 2017).

Does the Patient’s Report of Drug Used Accurately Re ect the Active Ingredient Involved?

• It is dif cult without con rmation to identify the speci c drug abused, and there are private laboratories that can perform con rmatory testing on the parent com- pound, urine, and blood/serum.

• Con rmatory testing is expensive but warranted in certain cases, such as differ- entiating between new onset psychosis and drug effect, for epidemiologic track- ing, and in any case of suspected child neglect/abuse.

• Con rmatory testing can be obtained from urine or blood using liquid chroma- tography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), but may not detect all analogs and will not return in a timely manner to affect clinical care (Lawn et al. 2014; Poklis et al. 2014a, b; Stellp ug et al. 2014).

• There are several analogs that exist for all the designer drugs including N-BOMB, synthetic cathinones, amphetamines, and synthetic marijuana products. They often are sold under one name and may contain a different derivative or different drug all together. For example, the drug “Molly” is being sold on the Internet. “Molly” has traditionally been coined as a street name for ecstasy but in recent years some of the synthetic cathinones are being sold as “Molly” for reported similar highs as those experienced with ecstasy.
What Are the Symptoms and Clinical Effects of Synthetic Phenylethylamine Toxicity?

• Hyperthermia

• Agitation and confusion

• Hallucinations

• Tachycardia

• Rhabdomyolysis

• Seizures

• Excited delirium states

• Serotonin toxicity

• Acute kidney injury

• Metabolic acidosis

• Leukocytosis

• Death

84 Case 10 Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug Insuf ation

What Are the Symptoms of Serotonin Syndrome/Toxicity?

• Autonomic instability (tachycardia, hypertension, hyperthermia)

• Altered mental status (agitation, delirium)

• Neuromuscular ndings (hyperre exia, clonus, tremor, increased muscle tone)

• Diaphoresis and diarrhea have also been reported
How Does Cyproheptadine Play a Role in the Management of Serotonin Syndrome?

• Cyproheptadine has been used in the treatment of serotonin syndrome because of its 5HT (serotonin) receptor antagonism.

• It is believed cyproheptadine counteracts the effects of serotonin excess by blocking the serotonin receptor.

• While the literature describes some success controlling symptoms of serotonin syndrome, cyproheptadine is an adjunctive therapy to other supportive measures such as benzodiazepines, cooling, and hydration.
What Are the Symptoms of Anticholinergic Toxicity?

• Delirium

• Dry skin (notable in groin and axilla) and dry mucous membranes

• Mydriasis

• Urinary retention

• Hyperthermia

• Flushed and warm skin

• Tachycardia

• Decreased gut motility

• Seizures
What Are the Symptoms of Stimulant Toxicity?
• Tachycardia
• Hypertension • Mydriasis
• Diaphoresis
• Agitation
• Seizures
• Hyperthermia • Diarrhea

Case Conclusion 85

What Other Common Drugs of Abuse Cause Seizures?

• Cathinones (“bath salts”)

• Synthetic marijuana (K2, spice)

• Amphetamines (methamphetamines, ecstasy)

• Cocaine

• Alcohol withdrawal

• Benzodiazepine or barbiturate withdrawal

• Opiates/opioids (respiratory depression can lead to hypoxia and seziures related
to hypoxia)

• Phencyclidine
Why Are Bupropion and Pregabalin on the Differential?

• Bupropion is a substituted cathinone that is structurally similar to other phenyl- ethylamines or “bath salts” like mephedrone.

• Bupropion use is associated with decreasing the seizure threshold (Davidson 1989).

• Seizures and QRS prolongation have been reported with both accidental and intentional overdose of buproprion (Curry et al. 2005; Kim and Steinhart 2010; Storrow 1994).

• There are reports of buproprion insuf ation as a means of getting high resulting in seizures (Hill et al. 2007; Kim and Steinhart 2010).

• Pregabalin has also been insuf ated in effort to get high and has been reported to cause seizures in overdose—both insuf ation and ingestion (Reedy 2010; Reedy and Schwartz 2010; Gorodetsky et al. 2012; Schifano et al. 2011).

• There is a case report suggesting AV block after large pregabalin overdose (Aksakal et al. 2012).
Case Conclusion
In this case, a 21-year-old male used a synthetic drug called N-BOMB at a party and developed status epilepticus. The care team provided aggressive supportive care such as intubation, sedation, hydration, and cooling. Ultimately, the patient fully recovered and was discharged home. This case demonstrates the misconception by the public regarding the safety of synthetic drugs, like N-BOMB, but gives provid- ers good insight into some of clinical effects associated with newer synthetic drugs.

86 Case 10 Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug Insuf ation Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Be aware that newer recreational drugs of abuse have varying degrees of stimu- lant, dopaminergic, and serotonergic properties.

• Consider these drugs, especially N-BOMB and its derivatives in young patients with new onset of status epilepticus.

• Council patients on the dangers of using such designer drugs.

• Look for signs of serotonin toxicity and if present, be cognizant of avoiding other
serotonergic agents during hospitalization (e.g., fentanyl, SSRI).

• Standard urine drug screens will not detect the use of newer designer drugs.

• Aggressive supportive care including high dose benzodiazepines, cooling mea-
sures, and occasionally intubation with sedation/paralysis is required to control both agitation and hyperthermia.
Pediatrics

• Be aware that newer recreational drugs of abuse have varying degrees of stimu- lant, dopaminergic, and serotonergic properties.

• Consider these drugs, especially N-BOMB and its derivatives in young patients with new onset of status epilepticus.

• Council pre-teens and adolescents on the dangers of using such designer drugs.

• Look for signs of serotonin toxicity and if present, be cognizant of avoiding other
serotonergic agents during hospitalization (e.g., fentanyl, SSRI).

• Standard urine drug screens will not detect the use of newer designer drugs.

• Aggressive supportive care including high dose benzodiazepines, cooling mea-
sures, and occasionally intubation with sedation/paralysis is required to control both agitation and hyperthermia.
Emergency Medicine

• Aggressive supportive care including high dose benzodiazepines, cooling mea- sures, and occasionally intubation with sedation/paralysis is required to control both agitation and hyperthermia.

• IV uids are important as often these patients have dehydration, hyperthermia, and rhabdomyolysis. For patients with hyperthermia, cold uids are preferred.

• Standard urine drug screens will not detect the use of newer designer drugs.

• Look for signs of serotonin toxicity and if present, be cognizant of avoiding other
serotonergic agents during hospitalization (e.g., fentanyl, SSRI).

• Sometimes, a cluster of similar cases will occur surrounding a festival or other

event.

References 87

Toxicology

• Be aware that newer recreational drugs of abuse have varying degrees of stimu- lant, dopaminergic, and serotonergic properties.

• Sometimes, a cluster of similar cases will occur surrounding a festival or other event.

• Consider these drugs, especially N-BOMB in young patients with new onset of status epilepticus.

• Aggressive supportive care including high dose benzodiazepines, cooling mea- sures, and occasionally intubation with sedation/paralysis is required to control both agitation and hyperthermia.

• IV uids are important as often these patients have dehydration, hyperthermia, and rhabdomyolysis. For patients with hyperthermia, cold uids are preferred.

• Look for signs of serotonin toxicity and if present, be cognizant of avoiding other serotonergic agents during hospitalization (e.g., fentanyl, SSRI).

• Cyproheptadine has been used with varying success in patients with symptoms of serotonin syndrome/toxicity.

• Con rmatory testing can be obtained from urine or blood using liquid chroma- tography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS), but may not detect all analogs and will not return in a timely manner to affect clinical care.
Neurology

• Be aware that newer recreational drugs of abuse have varying degrees of stimu- lant, dopaminergic, and serotonergic properties.

• Consider these designer drugs, especially N-BOMB in young patients with new onset of status epilepticus.

• Standard urine drug screens will not detect the use of newer designer drugs but send out testing is available for many of these agents.

• Aggressive supportive care including high dose benzodiazepines, IV uids, cool- ing measures, and occasionally intubation with sedation/paralysis is required.

• Cyproheptadine has been used with varying success in patients with symptoms
of serotonin syndrome/toxicity.
References
Aksakal E, Bakirci EM, Emet M, Uzkeser M. Complete atroventricular block due to overdose of pregabalin. Am J Emerg Med. 2012;30(9):2101.
Curry SC, Kashani JS, LoVecchio F, Holubek W. Intraventricular conduction delay after bupropion overdose. J Emerg Med. 2005;29(3):299–305.
Davidson J. Seizures and bupropion: a review. J Clin Psychiatry. 1989;50(7):256–61.

88 Case 10 Status Epilepticus Following Recreational Drug Insuf ation

Forrester MB. NBOMe designer drug exposures reported to texas poison centers. J Addict Dis. 2014;33(3):196–201.

Gorodetsky RM, Wiegand TJ, Kamali M. Seizures in the setting of large Pregabalin overdose. Clin Toxicol. 2012;50(4):322.

Hill S, Sikand H, Lee J. A case report of seizure induced by bupropion nasal insuf ation. J Clin Psychiatry. 2007;9(1):67–9.

Hill SL, Doris T, Gurung S, Katabe S, Lomas A, et al. Severe clinical toxicity associated with analytically con rmed recreational use of 25I-NBOMe: case series. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2013;51(6):487–92.

Johnson RD, Botch-Jones SR, Flowers T, Lewis CA. An evaluation of 25B-, 25C, 25D-, 25H-, 25I and 25T2-NBOMe via LC-MS-MS: method validation and analyte stability. J Anal Toxicol. 2014;38(9):479–84.

Kim D, Steinhart B. Seizures induced by recreational abuse of bupropion tablets via nasal insuf- ation. CJEM. 2010;12(2):158.

Laskowski LK, Elbakoush F, Calvo J, Exantus-Bernard G, Fong J, et al. Evolution of the NBOMes: 25C- and 25B- Sold as 25I-NBOMe. J Med Toxicol. 2014;11(2):237–41.

Lawn W, Barratt WM, Horne A, Winstock A. The NBOMe hallucinogenic drug series: pat- ters of use, characteristics of users and self-reported effects in a large international sample. J Psychopharmacol. 2014;28(2):780–8.

Nielsen LM, Holm NB, Leth-Petersen S, Kristensen JL, Olsen L, Linnet K. Characterization of the hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes involved in the metabolism of 25I-NBOMe and 25I-NBOH. Drug Test Anal. 2017;9(5):671–9.

Papoutsis I, Nikolaou P, Stefanidou M. 25B-NBOMe and its precursor 2C-B: modern trends and hidden dangers. Forensic Toxicol. 2015;33:1–11.

Poklis JL, Clay DJ, Poklis A. High-performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spec- trometry for the determination of nine hallucinogenic 25-NBOMe designer drugs in urine specimens. J Anal Toxicol. 2014a;38(3):113–21.

Poklis JL, Nanco CR, Troendle MM, Wolfe CE, Poklis A. Determination of 4-bromo-2,5- dimethoxy-N-[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]-benzeneethanamine (25B-NBOMe) in serum and urine by high performance liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry in a case of severe intoxication. Drug Test Anal. 2014b;6(7–8):764–9.

Poklis JL, Raso SA, Alford KN, Poklis A, Peace MR. Analysis of 25I-NBOMe, 25B-NBOMe, 25C-NBOMe and other dimethoxyphenyl-N-[(2-methoxyphenyl)methyl]ethanamine deriva- tives on blotter paper. J Anal Toxicol. 2015;39(8):617–23.

Reedy SJ. Pregabalin overdose. Reactions Weekly. 2010;1328(1):37.
Reedy S, Schwartz M. A case series of recreational pregabalin overdose resulting in generalized

seizures. Clin Toxicol. 2010;48(6):616–7.
Rose SR, Poklis JL, Poklis A. A case of 25I-NBOMe (25-I) intoxication: a new potent 5-HT2A

agonist designer drug. Clin Toxicol(Phila). 2013;51(3):174–7.
Schifano F, D’Of zi S, Piccione M, Corazza O, Deluca P, et al. Is there a recreational misuse

potential for pregabalin? Analysis of anecdotal online reports in comparison with related gaba-

pentin and clonazepam data. Psychother Psychosom. 2011;80(2):118–22.
Stellp ug SJ, Kealey SE, Hegarty CB, Janis GC. 2-(4-Iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-[(2- methoxypheyl)methyl]ethanamine (25I-NBOMe): clinical case with unique con rmatory test-

ing. J Med Toxicol. 2014;10(1):45–50.
Suzuki J, Poklis JL, Polkis A. “My friend said it was good LSD.” A suicide attempt following ana-

lytically con rmed 25I-NBOMe Ingestion. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014;46(5):379–82. Storrow AB. Bupropion overdose and seizure. Am J Emerg Med. 1994;12(2):183–4.
Tang MH, Ching CK, Tsui MS, Chu FK, Mak TW. Two cases of severe intoxication with analyti-

cally con rmed use of the novel psychoactive substances 25B-NBOMe and 25C-NBOMe. Clin

Toxicol (Phila). 2014;52(5):561–5.
Zuba D, Sekula K. Analytical characterization of three hallucinogenic N-(2-methoxy)benzyl deriv-

atives of the 2C-series of phenylethylamine drugs. Drug Test Anal. 2013a;5:634–45.
Zuba D, Sekula K, Buczek A. 25C-NBOMe-new potent hallucinogenic substance identi ed on the

drug market. Forensic Sci Internl. 2013b;227:7–14.

Case 11
An Acute Medical Condition in a Patient with Opiate Dependence

1. What are the currently available treatment options for long-term management of opiate dependence?

2. What treatment options exist to treat opioid withdrawal while in the hospital?

3. What is the difference between a pure opiate agonist, an antagonist, and a partial
agonist/partial antagonist?

4. What treatment options are available for the patient with acute pain who is on
buprenorphine or methadone maintenance?

Abstract Buprenorphine is a partial opiate agonist, which is commonly used for the long-term management of opiate dependence. The timing of when to start buprenorphine, as well as how to treat acute pain crises in individuals on buprenor- phine can be dif cult. This case highlights some of the challenges in treating patients with acute painful conditions, who are chronically on buprenorphine. In addition, a discussion on other outpatient management strategies and opiate withdrawal ensues.

Keywords Buprenorphine • Opiate dependence • Pain management History of Present Illness

A 43-year-old male presented to the emergency department with a 1-day history of left lower extremity pain, edema, and shortness of breath. He also complained of chest pain. He was recently diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis in his left leg and had been on warfarin for this, but ran out of his medications approximately 10 days prior to coming to the ED. He had a history of opioid dependence with previous intranasal heroin abuse, and a prior deep vein thrombosis, diagnosed approximately 3 months prior.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 89 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_11

90 Case 11 An Acute Medical Condition in a Patient with Opiate Dependence

The patient reported that he had been using 2–3 buprenorphine/naloxone tablets daily, which had been purchased illicitly, on the street. He was non-compliant with his Coumadin regimen.

The patient rated his pain as a 7 on a 1–10 scale, pleuritic, and it was centered in his chest and in his left leg.

  

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Family History Social History

Deep vein thrombosis, L leg
Non-compliant with warfarin. Illicitly purchasing buprenorphine/ naloxone 8/2 mg tablets; 2–3 tablets daily
No known drug allergies
“Catastrophic Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome”
Past intranasal heroin

        

Physical Examination Blood pressure

108/69 mmHg

General: uncomfortable, anxious, and ushed Skin: pink, warm, asymmetric left lower extremity

Diagnostic Testing Na

135 mmol/L

PT PTT

13.8 s 29.2

Ancillary Testing

O2 saturation

97% on 2 L NC

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

106–131 bpm

22 breaths/min

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

3.8 mmol/L

104 mmol/L

18 mmol/L

21 mg/ dL

1.1 mg/ dL

Glucose

143 mg/dL

INR

1.1

• Urine drug screen: positive for THC. Negative for opiates, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and amphetamines

• Lower extremity duplex ultrasound: Extensive deep venous thrombus involving the common iliac vein to the popliteal vein, which is unchanged from the prior study.

Hospital Course 91

• CT Angiogram of the chest: Multiple bilateral pulmonary emboli (PE), including the right and left main pulmonary artery; the clot burden has increased since the previous angiogram. There is extension of the pulmonary emboli into the seg- mental branches of the left upper lobe, right middle lobe, and right upper lobe. There is straightening of the intraventricular septum which indicates some right heart strain.

Initial Treatment

The patient received 18,000 units of subcutaneous dalteparin and 8 mg of warfarin while in the Emergency Department. He was also seen by Medical Toxicology and assessed for opioid withdrawal and dependence and given a buprenorphine/nalox- one tablet (8 mg/2 mg) sublingually while in the emergency department.

Hospital Course

The patient was admitted and treated with dalteparin and warfarin for his acute on chronic venous thromboembolism and pulmonary emboli. He was given SuboxoneTM (buprenorphine/naloxone). The buprenorphine/naloxone was continued using 4/1 mg dose increments every 6 h while he was experiencing pain from his PE and DVT. He also received intravenous toradol and oral acetaminophen for his pain. On the third hospital day, the patient was switched to a twice daily buprenorphine/nal- oxone regimen using an 8/2 mg dose.

The patient agreed to follow-up in an outpatient chemical dependency (CD) pro- gram and also signed a pain management contract for follow-up in the buprenor- phine clinic, which stipulated he would take the buprenorphine appropriately, not divert any buprenorphine, not take additional opiates, and attend the chemical dependency program. He was given a bridge prescription of 14 days of an 8/2 mg dose of buprenorphine/naloxone for twice daily dosing.

What Are the Currently Available Treatment Options for Long- Term Management of Opiate Dependence?

Methadone and buprenorphine are available for opioid treatment of opioid use dis- order, and naltrexone is available in both tablet and intramuscular depot form (VivitrolTM) as an antagonist therapy. Methadone is available through federally sanctioned Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP). An OTP can also provide buprenor- phine but the vast majority of OTPs provide only methadone. While buprenorphine

92 Case 11 An Acute Medical Condition in a Patient with Opiate Dependence

is available in certain OTPs, most of it is prescribed by individual physician provid- ers, who have obtained a special certi cation to use it to treat opioid dependence, out of their clinics. The certi cation is called an “X-waiver certi cation,” and it is an additional DEA number for use when prescribing opioids for the treatment of opioid dependence. To obtain an X-waiver, a physician must take an 8 h training course on opioid dependence and buprenorphine and pass a test related to this mate- rial. After this, a Noti cation of Intent is submitted to the Centers for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). The X-waiver certi cation is sent to the physician fol- lowing the Noti cation submission to CSAT. Individual physicians are limited to 30 unique patients at any given time for their rst year of treating opioid dependence, after which they can submit a second noti cation and attestation in order increase this limit to 100 patients. Physicians who have an X-waiver can apply to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to increase the patient limits. Naltrexone can be prescribed by any physician without requiring X-waiver or other certi cation. VivitrolTM is provided in monthly depot injections. In addition, there is now a buprenorphine implant available, for patients on stable doses of 8 mg per day or less. The implant is designed to remain in the body for 6 months.

In a hospital setting, when a patient has opioid use disorder in addition to a pri- mary medical condition, the X-waiver certi cation is not required to provide either buprenorphine or methadone for the treatment of opioid dependence (Laes and Wiegand 2016).

What Treatment Options Exist to Treat Opioid Withdrawal While in the Hospital?

Opioid withdrawal can be treated using supportive medications or it can be treated using opioid agonists. Opioid agonists may be more appropriate if the patient is severely dependent and has a medical comorbidity that requires attention (e.g., pneumonia or cellulitis).

Some supportive medications include clonidine, diphenhydramine or hydroxy- zine, and nonsteroidal anti-in ammatory medications. Clonidine can be adminis- tered at a dose of 0.1–0.2 mg orally every 6–8 h. If the patient develops orthostatic symptoms or bradycardia, the clonidine should be held. Dehydration may increase the risk of untoward symptoms from the clonidine. Clonidine has been shown to shorten the duration and severity of opioid withdrawal symptoms when used for this purpose. Additional medications including diphenhydramine (50 mg tabs) or hydroxyzine (50–100 mg tabs) can be used adjunctively with clonidine for anxiety or for the mitigation of allergy-type symptoms sometimes experienced with with- drawal. Nausea can be treated with ondansetron or another antiemetic and myalgias can be treated with a nonsteroidal anti-in ammatory medication (NSAID) such as naproxen or ibuprofen. Speci c regimens depend upon which symptoms the patient

Hospital Course 93

is experiencing. Loperamide may be administered to help control diarrhea, and dicyclomine (10 mg every 6 h) can be used to help with abdominal cramping.

Besides supportive care using non-opioid agonists, the ED and hospital provider are able to use opioid agonists in an emergency setting or during the hospital treat- ment of other medical conditions to treat opioid withdrawal. Both buprenorphine and methadone can be used for this purpose. The use of opioid agonists to treat withdrawal may facilitate better compliance and facilitate treatment of a primary medical condition (D’Onofrio et al. 2015; Laes 2016; Liebschutz et al. 2014; Wiegand 2016; Suzuki et al. 2015). Patient satisfaction is often higher with this method. Methadone for this purpose should be started at 5–20 mg depending on the level of severity of opioid withdrawal. A withdrawal scoring system such as the Clinical Opioid Withdrawal score (COWs) can be used for this purpose. For mild withdrawal 5–10 mg of methadone should be effective; for more moderate with- drawal 10–15 mg and for severe withdrawal, 20 mg used. If the withdrawal symp- toms are still present 4 h after the methadone dose an additional 5–10 mg (maximum) can be administered up to a total dose of 30 mg/day. Some clinicians recommend that a small intramuscular methadone dose (10 mg) be administered to treat opioid withdrawal instead of an oral dose.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that can also be used to treat withdrawal and then continued to prevent craving in the hospital setting (Liebschutz et al. 2014). Depending on the availability and community resources, it may be easier to link patients to of ce-based opioid treatment programs that provide buprenorphine than it is to link a patient to a methadone program from the Emergency Department or hospital setting. Buprenorphine must be administered when a patient is in active withdrawal in order to avoid an abstinence syndrome or precipitated withdrawal (Laes and Wiegand 2016).

If the patient was using a long-acting opioid agonist (e.g., oxymorphone), at least 24 h should elapse before starting buprenorphine. Similarly, for doses of methadone exceeding 40 mg, additional time must elapse before starting buprenorphine due to the risk of precipitating withdrawal.

A test dose of 2 mg can be used 12–24 h after the patient’s last use of a short-acting opioid agonist such as heroin. If methadone or a sustained release or other long-acting opioid agonist (e.g., oxymorphone) was used, at least 24 h should elapse before the use of buprenorphine (Rosado et al. 2007). For doses >40 mg of methadone, additional time must elapse before starting buprenorphine due to the long-acting nature of metha- done and risk for precipitating withdrawal which increases with the higher doses of methadone. If the patient tolerates a 2 mg dose of buprenorphine, it can be continued up to 8 mg sublingually twice daily in the hospital setting. If any sedation develops to buprenorphine, or any other opioid agonist, the doses should be held and the patient re-evaluated. The sedation and risk for overdose is much less when using buprenor- phine than when using methadone. Buprenorphine has fewer overall side effects than methadone, including less effect on libido. Also, the of ce-based opioid treatment set- ting offers fewer rules and regulations for buprenorphine than methadone maintenance (Laes and Wiegand 2016; Mattock et al. 2014; Donaher and Welsch 2006).

94 Case 11 An Acute Medical Condition in a Patient with Opiate Dependence What Is the Difference Between a Pure Opiate Agonist,

an Antagonist, and a Partial Agonist/Partial Antagonist?

Methadone is a full agonist, buprenorphine a partial agonist, and naltrexone is an antagonist. Opioid substitution is accomplished using either a partial agonist or full agonist. Naltrexone is used only to block the effects of opioids during relapse; however, it doesn’t provide the opioid agonist effect which mitigates craving and withdrawal. Use of naltrexone for long-term treatment of opioid dependence is not effective unless used as a depot injection, which eliminates the need for daily dos- ing, in order to continue the opioid receptor blockade. Both methadone and buprenorphine prevent craving and withdrawal and create tolerance to the effects of opioid activation, limiting the effects of other opioids when they are added to either drug (Mattock et al. 2014). Compared to full agonists such as morphine, methadone, or oxycodone, which have somewhat linear dose-dependent effects at the mu-receptor, buprenorphine only partially activates the mu-receptor. As the buprenorphine concentration at the receptor increases, activation starts to plateau with the drug behaving more like an antagonist. This creates a “ceiling” effect with regard to activity and subsequent clinical effects, including CNS and respiratory depression. Buprenorphine also has a very high af nity for the mu-receptor along with a very slow dissociation from it. These properties allow for blockade when other opioid agonists are administered (Donaher and Welsch 2006; Sporer 2004).

What Treatment Options Are Available for the Patient with Acute Pain Who Is on Buprenorphine or Methadone Maintenance?

There are several different options to treat acute pain in the patient maintained on opioid agonist therapy. The speci c treatment depends on the type and location of pain and the familiarity of the clinician with the speci c and nuanced pharmacology of methadone or buprenorphine and the particular type of opioid agonist therapy a patient is receiving.

For all patients, non-opioid analgesic options should be maximized including use of nonsteroidal anti-in ammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as intravenous ketorolac or use of naproxen or ibuprofen by mouth. Acetaminophen can also be used for acute pain. If the pain is in a digit or extremity, it may be amendable to a nerve block using local anesthetic agents. For severe pain, non-opioid drugs such as ketamine or even general anesthetics such as propofol can provide immediate relief. For less severe pain, muscle relaxants, like benzodiazepines or baclofen, can be added to non- opioid medications. In the methadone-maintained patient, either fentanyl or hydro- morphone can be used on top of the patient’s maintenance dose of methadone (Laes 2016). The patient’s tolerance will limit the effect and duration of the short-acting opioid; however, more frequent dosing and higher dosing amounts can provide

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 95

effective pain control (Laes and Wiegand 2016; Wiegand 2016). When buprenor- phine is being used, it can be switched to more frequent dosing to provide better analgesic coverage. In a patient maintained on 8/2 mg SuboxoneTM every 12 h, switching to 4/1 mg sublingual every 6 h will provide better pain control. High doses of potent opioid agonists such as fentanyl, sufentanyl, or hydromorphone can also be used to overcome the “blockade” of buprenorphine. If the pain is transient and self-limited, the doses of buprenorphine can be continued after the short-acting opioid is used. If the pain is severe and is expected to persist, buprenorphine should be discontinued. Patients should be monitored closely for signs of respiratory depression when high doses of full opioid agonists are used in an attempt to over- come the blockade of buprenorphine. Noti cation of the patient’s addiction pro- vider or of ce-based opioid treatment provider during this time is important to facilitate safe transition, without relapse or other complication, back into their sta- ble maintenance dosing program or regimen (Laes 2016).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

–  Commonly used agents for long-term management of opioid dependence include methadone and buprenorphine.

–  In order to prescribe buprenorphine, a special “X-waiver certi cation” is needed from the DEA
Pain Management

–  Options for treatment of opioid dependence involving long-acting medications include an extended release naltrexone (VivitrolTM) and a buprenorphine implant.

–  The addition of naloxone to buprenorphine (SuboxoneTM) reduces the desire of
crushing the pills with subsequent parenteral administration.
Critical Care Medicine

– Patients with acute pain who are on buprenorphine daily can receive high doses of potent opioid agonists, such as fentanyl, hydromorphone, or sufentanyl. However, careful monitoring for respiratory depression is needed of such an approach is utilized (Laes 2016; Wiegand 2016).

96 Case 11 An Acute Medical Condition in a Patient with Opiate Dependence

References

D’Onofrio G, O’Connor PG, Pantalon MV, Chawarski MC, Busch SH, Owens PH, Bernstein SL, Fiellin DA. Emergency department-initiated buprenorphine/naloxone treatment for opioid dependence: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2015;313(16):1636–44.

Donaher PA, Welsch C. Managing opioid addiction with buprenorphine. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(9):1573–8.

Laes JR. The integration of medical toxicology and addiction medicine: a new era in patient care. J Med Toxicol. 2016;12(1):79–81.

Laes JR, Wiegand TJ. Case presentations from the addiction academy. J Med Toxicol. 2016;12(1):82–94.

Liebschutz JM, Crooks D, Herman D, Anderson B, Tsui J, Meshesha LZ, Dossabhoy S, Stein M. Buprenorphine treatment for hospitalized, opioid-dependent patients: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(8):1369–76.

Mattock RP, Breen C, Kimber J, Davoli M. Buprenorphine maintenance versus placebo or metha- done maintenance for opioid dependence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;2:CD002207. Rosado J, Walsh SL, Bigelow GE, Strain EC. Sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone precipitated

withdrawal in subjects maintained on 100mg of daily methadone. Drug Alcohol Depend.

2007;90(2–3):261–9.
Sporer KA. Buprenorphine: a primer for emergency physicians. Ann Emerg Med. 2004;43(5):580–4. Suzuki J, DeVido J, Kalra I, Mittal L, Shah S, Zinser J, Weiss RD. Initiating buprenorphine treatment

for hospitalized patients with opioid dependence: a case series. Am J Addict. 2015;24(1):10–4. Wiegand TJ. The new kid on the block-incorporating buprenorphine into a medical toxicology

practice. J Med Toxicol. 2016;12(1):64–70.

Case 12
Acute Hepatitis

1. Based on the patient’s symptoms and a review of his previous laboratory stud- ies, what hepatic processes are you concerned about?

2. What is the difference between hepatitis and fulminant hepatic failure?

3. What is cholestatic hepatitis?

4. What agents (pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, chemi-
cals) are associated with hepatocellular necrosis?

5. What herbal agents or supplements are associated with the development of
hepatic necrosis?

6. Which of the patient’s herbal supplements was likely the cause of his
symptoms?

7. What is the treatment for patients with hepatotoxicity from Chinese skullcap?

8. What is Germander used for and what are some of the signs and symptoms of
Germander-related toxicity?

9. Are other species of Teucrium associated with similar hepatic effects or are the
effects speci c to T. chamaedrys?

10. What tool can be used for the establishment of causation?

11. What other herbal supplements are associated with hepatotoxicity?

12. What type of injury occurs from pyrrolizidine alkaloids?

Abstract Many exposures can cause liver injury. This case involves a 46-year-old patient with fever, nausea, vomiting, and signs of hepatic injury. In this chapter, we review pharmaceutical and supplement causes of hepatitis and hepatocellular necrosis.

Keywords Cholestatic jaundice • Hepatitis • Herbal products • Supplements • Chinese skullcap

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 97 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_12

98 Case 12 Acute Hepatitis

History of Present Illness

A 46-year-old male presents to the ED after 5 weeks of intermittent episodes of fever, nausea, and vomiting, that resumed the morning of presentation. His maximal temperature during his illness was 40.3 °C (104.5 °F). The patient reports episodes of symptoms that last about 2–3 days and have resulted in multiple ED visits, as well as two previous hospital admissions. He was most recently discharged from the hospital 5 days ago.

During his rst admission, he was tested for mononucleosis (negative hetero- phile antibody test) and blood cultures were drawn with no bacterial growth noted. He was discharged with the diagnosis of a mononucleosis-like illness.

On his second admission, a more extensive workup included testing for human immunode ciency virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein–Barr virus, Borrelia hermseii, Bartonella henselae, malaria, Leptospira, and viral hepatitis. None of these tests yielded positive ndings. Blood cultures were again repeated, and stool cultures were checked with no abnormalities found. At that time, he was diagnosed with presumptive Rickettsia and was started on doxycycline.

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Social History

Family History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

119/72 mmHg

Arthritis
Gout
Move Free® Advanced Montmorency tart cherry capsules Acetaminophen as needed
NKDA
Denies tobacco use
Occasional alcohol consumption No other drug use
Unknown, patient was adopted

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

104 bpm

28 breaths/min

39 °C (102.2 °F)

O2 saturation

93% (room air)

General: No acute distress. Well-appearing, well-nourished middle age gentleman Skin: Warm, dry. No rash
Eyes: Pupils equal, round and reactive to light bilaterally 4 mm to 2 mm
Neck: No meningismus

Cardiovascular: Tachycardic. Normal distal pulses. Normal S1–S2 Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation bilaterally. No tenderness to palpation Abdomen: Soft, non-tender, non-distended. Present bowel sounds Extremities: Atraumatic, no edema

Physical Examination 99 Neuro: Awake, alert, and oriented to person, place, time, and situation. Strength 5/5

all extremities. Grossly intact sensation. No tremor

Past Laboratory Studies Available

Liver function tests from second hospitalization:

Baseline

Day 1 (am)

Day 1 (pm)

Day 2

Day 3

37

121

75

64

47

71

131

96

91

70

1

4

2.7

1.9

1.5

85

215

155

151

166

Day 4

AST (U/L) 36 ALT (U/L) 58 T Bili (mg/dL) 1.4 Alk phos (U/L) 146

Based on the Patient’s Symptoms and a Review of His Previous Laboratory Studies, What Hepatic Processes Are You Concerned About?

• Viral hepatitis

• Cholestatic hepatitis

• Hepatocellular necrosis

• Drug-induced hepatitis

• Autoimmune hepatitis
What Is the Difference Between Hepatitis and Fulminant Hepatic Failure?

• Hepatitis

–  Simply put, this is an in ammation of the liver.

–  Hepatitis can result in elevation of aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine
transaminase (ALT), which indicates hepatic injury

• Fulminant hepatic failure, also called acute liver failure

–  Liver injury that progresses to decreased protein synthesis, coagulopathy, and encephalopathy.

–  This term refers to the onset of liver failure with rapid deterioration from the development of jaundice to encephalopathy over days to 2 weeks.

• Some authors report the deterioration that occurs over 8 weeks while others have de ned this 8-week time course as late onset hepatic failure.

100 Case 12 Acute Hepatitis

What Is Cholestatic Hepatitis?

• Cholestatic hepatitis is the impairment of bile synthesis and ow.

–  In this case, cholestatic hepatitis was toxin-induced.

–  This occurs from direct toxin damage to canalicular cells but doesn’t always
affect hepatocytes (AST and ALT may be normal).

–  Alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels are elevated.

• Symptoms and clinical ndings often include dark urine, pruritus.

• There is often a period of 2–24 weeks between initial exposure and onset of
symptoms.
What Agents (Pharmaceuticals, Over-the-Counter Drugs, Supplements, Chemicals) Are Associated with Hepatocellular Necrosis?

Acetaminophen Amatoxin Arsenic–contamination Allopurinol Carbamazepine Carbon tetrachloride Chlordecone Hydralazine

Iron
Methotrexate Methyldopa Nitrofurantoin Phenytoin
Yellow phosphorus Procainamide Propylthiouracil

Quinine Sulfonamides Tetrachloroethane Tetracycline Trinitrotoluene Troglitazone Vinyl Chloride

What Herbal Agents or Supplements Are Associated with the Development of Hepatic Necrosis?

• Jin bu wan—tetrahydrapalmatine

• Polar bear livers—vitamin A excess/toxicity

• Chinese skull cap

• Black catechu
Diagnostic Testing
Laboratory Studies from Current Hospitalization

WBC Platelets
8.5 k/mm3 155 k/mm3

Hemoglobin

15.2 g/dL

Hospital Course

101

K

Cl

CO2

4.2 mmol/L

102 mmol/L

28 mmol/L

Na BUN/Cr

139 mmol/L

Urinalysis: within normal limits
Liver function tests from current hospitalization:

AST (U/L) ALT (U/L)
T Bili (mg/dL) Alk phos (U/L)

Ancillary Testing

10/1.04 mg/dL

Day 4

66 102 1.9 124

Day 1

Day 2 (am)

Day 2 (pm)

Day 3

137

89

99

87

55

91

94

120

4

2.4

2.9

4.1

83

84

86

98

EKG: Normal sinus rhythm with a rate of 96 beats per min, QRS 86 ms, QTc 459 ms.

Hospital Course

Following his second admission, the patient questioned a correlation of his symp- toms with the use of herbal supplements. The supplements were the only medica- tions not continued during his admissions and symptoms improved while hospitalized. Additionally, his symptoms recurred after about 2–3 doses of supple- ment between his rst and second admission. On the day of presentation, he noted recurrence of symptoms after only one dose of the supplement. He was again admit- ted to the hospital and had resolution of symptoms in 3 days. His supplements were discontinued and his liver function tests improved.

Which of the Patient’s Herbal Supplements Was Likely the Cause of His Symptoms?

• Move Free® Advanced contains glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, Chinese skullcap, and black catechu.

• There are several cases reported in the literature describing hepatotoxicity from Move Free® Advanced arthritis supplements. These cases link the development of hepatotoxicity with Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis). (Dhanasekaran et al. 2013; Linnebur et al. 2010; Yang et al. 2012).

• American skullcap containing products have been contaminated with Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), a known hepatotoxin which is very similar in appear- ance to American skullcap.

102 Case 12 Acute Hepatitis

• There are some concerns that Germander may be a contaminant in Move Free® Advanced but there was no con rmation of the presence of Germander or Chinese skullcap in this product.

• Montmorency tart cherry capsules are made from concentrated Montmorency cher- ries, a sour cherry. There are multiple reported health bene ts (natural treatment for gout, antioxidant properties, etc.) but no case reports documenting adverse effects.

• It is most likely this patient’s hepatotoxicity was related to the Move Free® Advanced arthritis supplements he was taking and it is possible Chinese skullcap was responsible for this.
What Is the Treatment for Patients with Hepatotoxicity from Chinese Skullcap?

• In the cases reported in the literature, discontinuation of the product resulted in resolution of symptoms and normalization of transaminases.

• The time to recovery varies from patient to patient and can be days, weeks, or months.
What Is Germander Used for and What Are Some of the Signs and Symptoms of Germander-Related Toxicity?

• Plants in the genus Teucrium are often referred to as germanders. The one spe- ci cally named Germander is Teucrium chamaedrys.

• Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) is a plant that was sold as a weight loss aid in France.

• It was withdrawn from the market after causing hepatitis in a large number of patients taking this medication for its slimming properties (Gori 2011).

• Due to physical similarities to American skullcap, Germander has been an acci- dental contaminant in herbal products reported to contain skullcap.

• Hepatitis is the biggest symptom of Germander-related toxicity. Cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, and fulminant hepatic failure have also been reported (Larrey et al. 1992).

• Recurrence of hepatitis or worse has been noted with re-exposure to Germander
(Gori 2011; Larrey et al. 1992; Larrey 1995; Loeper et al. 1994).

• Other more ambiguous symptoms include nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and
abdominal pain.
Are Other Species of Teucrium Associated with Similar Hepatic Effects or Are the Effects Speci c to T. chamaedrys?

• Hepatic dysfunction has been associated with T. polium, T. capitatum, and T. viscidium

Hospital Course 103

• Teucrium polium

–  Used as an herbal medication to treat diabetes mellitus and fever, cases of cholestatic hepatitis and hepatocellular injury have been reported with T. polium (Mazokopakis et al. 2004; Starakis et al. 2006)

–  There is a case report documenting fulminant hepatic failure requiring trans- plant (Mattei et al. 1995)

• Teucrium capitatum (Dourakis 2002)
– In this case, the patient had been drinking a tea of T. capitatum daily for
4 months to treat hyperglycemia

• Teucrium viscidum

–  Used in Chinese herbal medicine to treat low back pain, one patient developed cholestatic hepatitis (Poon 2008).

–  Gas chromatography of the herb used identi ed the presence of teucvin, a furoano neoclerodane diterpnoid found in T. viscidum. Teucvin is structurally similar to teucrin, the neoclerodane diterpenoid thought to be responsible for hepatotoxicity caused by T. chamaedrys.
What Tool Can Be Used for the Establishment of Causation?
The Bradford-Hills Criteria was published in 1965 as a list of nine measures that aid in determining whether there is causality to an association. These include:

• Strength of Association
– A strong association as determined by risk, more likely suggests a causal relationship.

• Consistency

– Relationship between events is observed repeatedly.

• Speci city
– Degree to which an exposure leads to an outcome.

• Temporality
– Exposure must occur prior to the development of the expected outcome.

• Biological gradient
– The higher the exposure the more the outcome is likely.

• Plausibility
– The association has a biologically plausible mechanism.

104 Case 12 Acute Hepatitis

• Coherence
– The association does not contradict previously established knowledge.

• Experiment
– Causation is more likely if supported by randomized controlled trials.

• Analogy
– It is reasonable to consider similar exposures leading to similar effects.

Although these considerations were not meant to be criteria in determining causa- tion, over time, they have been used as such in multiple studies (Hö er 2005).

What Other Herbal Supplements Are Associated with Hepatotoxicity?

• Pennyroyal oil (Hedeoma pulegioides; Mentha pulegium)

• Chaparral (Larrea tridentate)

• Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)

• Kava kava (Piper methysticum)

• Pyrrolizidine alkaloids

–  Borage aka: Borago of cinalis

–  Comfrey aka: Symphytum of cinale
What Type of Injury Occurs from Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids?

• Veno-occlusive disease occurs from pyrrolizidine alkaloids (Ridker and McDermott 1989).

• Veno-occlusive disease results from intimal thickening of the terminal hepatic venules from toxin-induced injury to the endothelium. This results in edema and nonthrombotic obstruction.

• Fibrosis can develop in the central and sublobular veins.

• Sinusoidal dilation in the centrilobular areas is associated with hepatic necrosis
and cellular injury.
Case Conclusion
This patient had cholestatic hepatitis, the development of which was associated with use of Move Free® Advanced arthritis supplements. Move Free® Advanced arthritis supplements have been associated with the development of cholestatic hepatitis due

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 105

to Chinese skullcap. With discontinuation of the product and supportive care, this patient’s symptoms resolved, his transaminases returned to baseline, and he was ultimately discharged home.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Consider obtaining liver function testing in the setting of fever with nausea and vomiting of unknown etiology, especially if patient returning to your of ce with symptoms for a second or third time.

• In patients with signs of hepatic injury of unknown etiology consider pharma- ceuticals, herbal supplements, and over-the-counter medications.

–  Obtain a complete history of all medicines in the home, including over-the- counter agents, supplements, and herbals medications/remedies.

–  This should include all products taken in the previous three months as there may be prolonged latency with some agents.

–  If pharmaceuticals are suspected, ensure that liver function testing occurs, as it may provide supporting evidence for toxin-induced reactions.

–  Recommend a period of abstinence of non-prescribed medications and/or herbals/supplements until re-evaluated by primary provider or evaluated by specialist.

• Different pharmaceutical, herbal, and over-the-counter agents cause varying degrees of hepatic injury. Early consultation with your local poison control cen- ter or toxicologist and thorough medication/supplement history will help iden- tify products may be causing adverse effects. Treatment options will vary depending upon the potential exposure and severity of illness.
Emergency Medicine

• Consider obtaining liver function testing in the setting of fever with nausea and vomiting of unknown etiology.

• Gather a complete history of all medicines in the home that includes over-the- counter agents, supplements, and herbal medications/remedies over the last three months.

• Recommend a period of abstinence of non-prescribed medications or herbals/ supplements until evaluated by primary provider or specialist.

• Supportive care and abstinence from the offending agent is the mainstay of treat- ment for herbal-induced hepatitis.

106 Case 12 Acute Hepatitis

• Different pharmaceutical, herbal, and over-the-counter agents cause varying degrees of hepatic injury. Early consultation with your local poison center or toxicologist and thorough medication/supplement history will help identify products may be causing adverse effects. Treatment options will vary depending upon the potential exposure and severity of illness. The diagnosis of herbal product-induced hepatitis is a diagnosis of exclusion.

Toxicology

• Evaluate all the available medications, supplements, and over-the-counters avail- able to the patient.

– Consider potential contamination of herbal supplements or over-the-counter medications as a cause for the presenting symptoms.

– Explore the literature to evaluate similar case presentations with similar agents.

• If possible, try and obtain some of the product taken by the patient for testing. This may assist in identifying product contamination or ingredient misidenti cation.

• The diagnosis of herbal product-induced hepatitis is a diagnosis of exclusion.

• Different pharmaceutical, herbal, and over-the-counter agents cause varying degrees of hepatic injury. Treatment options will vary depending upon the poten-
tial exposure and severity of illness.
References
Dhanasekaran R, Owens V, Sanchez W. Chinese skullcap in move free arthritis supplement causes drug induced liver injury and pulmonary in ltrates. Case Rep Hepatol. 2013;2013:1–4.
Dourakis SP, et al. Acute hepatitis associated with herb (Teucrium capitatum L.) administration. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002;14:693–5.
Gori L, Galluzzi P, Mascherini V, et al. Two contemporary cases of hepatitis associated with Teucurium chamaedrys L. decoction use: case reports and review of the literature. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2011;109:521–6.
Hö er M. The Bradford Hill considerations on causality: a counterfactual perspective. Emerg Themes Epidemiol. 2005;2:11.
Larrey D, Vial T, Pauwels A, et al. Hepatitis after Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys) administra- tion: another instance of herbal medicine hepatotoxicity. Ann Intern Med. 1992;117:129–32. Larrey D. Hepatotoxicity of herbal remedies and mushrooms. Semin Liver Dis. 1995;15:183–8.
Loeper J, Descatoire V, Letteron P, Moulis C, Degott C, Dansette P, et al. Hepatotoxicity of Germander in mice. Gastroenterology. 1994;106:464–72.
Linnebur SA, Rapacchietta OC, Vejar M. Hepatotoxicity associated with Chinese skullcap con- tained in Move Free Advanced dietary supplement: two case reports and review of the litera- ture. Pharmacotherapy. 2010;30:258e–62e.

References 107

Mattei A, Rucay P, Samuel D, Feray C, Reyenes M, Bismuth H. Liver transplantation for severe acute liver failure after herbal medicine (Teucrium polium) administration. J Hepatol. 1995;22:597.

Mazokopakis E, Lazarido S, Tzardi M, Mixaki J, Diamantis I, Ganotakis E. Acute cholestatic hepatitis caused by Teucrium polium L. Phytomedicine. 2004;11:83–4.

Poon WT, et al. Hepatitis induced by Teucrium viscidum. Clin Toxicol. 2008;46:819–22. Ridker P, McDermott W. Comfrey herb tea and hepatic veno-occlusive disease. Lancet.

1989;1(8639):657–8.
Starakis I, Siagris D, Leonidou L, Mazokopakis E, Tsamandas A, Karatza C. Heptatitis caused by

the herbal remedy Teucrium polium L. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006;18:681–3.
Yang L, Aronsohn A, Hart J, Jensen D. Herbal hepatotoxicity from Chinese skullcap: a case report.

World J Hepatol. 2012;4(7):231–3.

Case 13
Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

1. What are the symptoms of thyrotoxicosis?

2. How is thyrotoxicosis different from thyroid storm?

3. How do you differentiate between new onset thyroid disease and exogenous
thyroid ingestion/misuse?

4. Are there any similarities between thyroid medication and lithium overdose?

5. Is activated charcoal an option to prevent drug absorption with thyroid hor-
mone ingestions?

6. What is the general time frame from ingestion of levothyroxine (T4) to devel-

opment of symptoms?

7. Is there any role for early laboratory evaluation of acute levothyroxine (T4) or
T3 ingestions?

8. What is the standard treatment for chronic or acute ingestion of thyroid hor-
mone resulting in thyrotoxicosis?

9. Why don’t we use other medications typically used to treat naturally occurring
thyrotoxicosis to treat overdoses?

10. Whyisuseofpropranololbene cial?

11. Whatcanyouuseifabeta-blockeriscontraindicated(patientisasthmatic)?

12. Whataresideeffectsofpropranololuseinchildrenshouldprovidersbeawareof?

13. How is disposition determined after an ingestion of thyroid medication?

14. How do you follow these patients in the hospital and after discharge to ensure
improvement?

Abstract Thiscaseinvolvesa2-year-oldfemalewhoingestedsomeofherfather’spre- scribed medication. She presented early to the emergency department where she received activated charcoal. On a follow-up call from the local poison control center 3 days later, she had developed vomiting, agitation, and appeared to have increased work of breath- ing. We review possible causes for the patient’s symptoms including thyroid hormone toxicity, lithium toxicity, and management guidelines for her speci c overdose.

Keywords Pediatric • Thyroid supplement ingestion • Thyroxine • Propranolol

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 109 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_13

110 Case 13 Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

History of Present Illness

• A 2-year-old female was brought to the ED within a couple of hours of ingesting her father’s medication. An estimated 30–60 tablets were missing.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Family History Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

88/55 mmHg

None
None
NKDA
None
Lives with parents

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

105 bpm

28 breaths/min

Weight

10 kg

General: Alert, playful child
Cardiovascular: Normal heart rate with no murmurs, gallops, or rubs noted Skin: Warm and dry
Neurologic: Normal behavior for age

Hospital Course

• She was given a dose of 1 g/kg AC and discharged home after a 2-h observation period with no changes in vital signs or behavior.

Post-hospital Follow-up

• On routine poison center follow-up 3 days later, the patient’s family reported the patient had developed nausea, vomiting with 6–7 episodes of emesis, decreased oral intake, and agitation.

• She seemed to have increased work of breathing over last 6–8 h.

• The patient was sent back to ED for repeat evaluation.

Diagnostic Testing 111 Second Hospital Visit: (3 days After Initial Presentation)

Physical Examination

Blood pressure Temperature

Not recorded 36.7 °C (98 °F)

General: The patient was alert and interactive.
HEENT: No pupillary changes.
Pulmonary: Breath sounds clear on auscultation bilaterally.
Neurologic: There was no tremor and she was sitting up playing with toys, moving all four extremities.

Differential Diagnosis

• Thyroid medication ingestion

• Sustained release lithium ingestion

• Possible ingestion of something else since time of original evaluation

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

180 bpm

26 breaths/min

– Stimulant
– Caffeine
– Cocaine
– Liquid nicotine

• Intestinal obstruction from activated charcoal

• Concurrent viral illness

Diagnostic Testing Na

139 mmol/L

Glucose

97 mg/dL

BUN/Cr

12/0.3 mg/dL

K

Cl

CO2

4.2 mmol/L

103 mmol/L

26 mmol/L

 

Phosphorous

2.9 (4.5–5.5 mg/dL)

112

Case 13

Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

Ancillary Testing

TSH

0.04 (0.27–4.2 mIU/L)
EKG demonstrated sinus tachycardia with normal axis and intervals.

Hospital Course

• This patient was admitted and placed on telemetry.

• Due to persistent tachycardia the next morning, she was started on 2 mg of oral
propranolol every 8 h.

• Her pulse decreased to 100–110 beats/min, she was eating well, never developed
tremor or seizures.

• Propranolol was given for 2 days and she was discharged home without a taper.

• Repeat T3 the next day was 9.7 pcg/mL.

• On follow-up remained without symptoms and with continued decrease of T3.
What Are the Symptoms of Thyrotoxicosis?

• Endogenous and exogenous thyroid hormone excess can cause very similar symptoms.

• Increased metabolism resulting in fever, diaphoresis, and weight loss.

• GI symptoms include diarrhea and weight loss despite an increased appetite (although many of reports deal with Graves Disease, rather than acute thyroid medication overdose, where decreased appetite has been reported) (Ho et al.
2011; Lazar et al. 2000).

• Central nervous system effects include agitation and tremor.

• Cardiac effects include tachycardia, dysrhythmias, and high output heart
failure.
How Is Thyrotoxicosis Different from Thyroid Storm?

• In thyrotoxicosis, the patient is demonstrating signs of toxicity from excess T3 and T4, i.e., hyperthyroidism.

• In thyroid storm, patients have typically had symptoms of hyperthyroidism that are then worsened by some new stressor, like an acute illness.

• When stressed or the hyperthyroidism progresses, patients may develop altered mental status, seizures, coma, and hypotension.

• Endogenous and exogenous thyroid hormone excess can cause very similar symptoms.

Free T4

T3

>5.7 (0.8–1.9 ng/dL)

274 (80–200 ng/dL)

Free T3

11.29 (2.44–4.4 pcg/mL)

Hospital Course 113

How Do You Differentiate Between New Onset Thyroid Disease and Exogenous Thyroid Ingestion/Misuse?

• Patients with thyrotoxicosis and high levels of T3 and T4 with suppressed TSH and low levels of thyroid-binding globulin are likely to have symptoms related to exogenous thyroid hormone ingestion/misuse (Mariotti et al. 1982).

Are There Any Similarities Between Thyroid Medication and Lithium Overdose?

• GI symptoms may be seen in both (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)

• Course tremor is a prominent nding of lithium toxicity, while a ne tremor is
more typical of thyroid hormone excess.

• Neurologic ndings such as altered mental status, coma, and seizures are seen
within 1–2 days after an acute lithium overdose or as a late feature of chronic excess.

• Cardiac conduction abnormalities are more typical of lithium than thyroid hor- mone overdose; tachycardia may be seen in both, but would be more pronounced
and associated with other sympathomimetic symptoms in thyroid excess.
Is Activated Charcoal an Option to Prevent Drug Absorption with Thyroid Hormone Ingestions?

• Activated charcoal is an option for thyroid hormone ingestions and can be given within 1 h from time of ingestion for maximal effect.

• Thyroid hormone binds to activated charcoal.

• It is easy to reach a 10:1 ratio of activated charcoal: thyroid hormone ingested
due to mcg sized tablets

• There are varying recommendations for the administration of activated charcoal
for thyroid hormone ingestions. One example is as follows:

– Age > 12 months and
– Thyroid hormone ingestion >3 mg should receive ❤ mg ingestions should

not need as low likelihood of delayed symptoms.

What Is the General Time Frame from Ingestion
of Levothyroxine (T4) to Development of Symptoms?

• Most patients do not demonstrate symptoms for 7–10 days after ingestion.

• Case reports do suggest some patients develop symptoms within 2–3 days after large ingestions (Ho et al. 2011; Lewander et al. 1989; Litovitz and White 1985;

Mandel et al. 1989).

114 •

Case 13 Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

In those who develop symptoms, initially mild gastrointestinal symptoms may increase and be associated with irritability. These patients should be evaluated for tachycardia. Those with abnormal vital signs (including any elevated tempera- ture) should be monitored for symptom progression, and treatment considered. Patients that have ingested T3 containing products, and not levothyroxine, may develop symptoms within hours of ingestion (P zer 2014).

Is There Any Role for Early Laboratory Evaluation of Acute Levothyroxine (T4) or T3 Ingestions?

• Although relatively rapidly absorbed from the GI tract (within a few hours), quantitative T4 measurements do not correlate with symptoms, because of the feedback mechanisms noted below which limit conversion to the active T3 (Kaiserman et al. 1995).

• If there is uncertainty as to the nature of the product (or if a mixture has been ingested—e.g., desiccated thyroid), serial measurements of T3 over a day or two may provide information regarding treatment duration (as noted below).

• If it is unclear that an ingestion has occurred, a T4 in the normal range several hours after the possible ingestion could be reassuring. However, this is not usual clinical practice.
What Is the Standard Treatment for Chronic or Acute Ingestion of Thyroid Hormone Resulting in Thyrotoxicosis?

• Supportive care.

• IV uids.

• Benzodiazepines for agitation or anxiety (antipsychotics may worsen condition).

• Active cooling, benzodiazepines, and possibly intubation for hyperthermia.

• Beta-blockers (typically propranolol) for tachycardia.

• Acetaminophen for fever can be considered if diagnosis in doubt, however would
not be effective for thyrotoxicosis.
Why Don’t We Use Other Medications Typically Used to Treat Naturally Occurring Thyrotoxicosis to Treat Overdoses?

• The symptom course is typically short and resolves with ongoing elimination of active thyroid hormone; negative feedback is normally operative, resulting in cessation of endogenous thyroid hormone release.

• In addition, conversion of T4 to “reverseT3” (rT3) can minimize some of the effects of T3 as rT3 binds to thyroid receptors but does not activate them.

Hospital Course 115

Why Is Use of Propranolol Bene cial?

• Propranolol can be used for symptom control (tachycardia and tremor).

• It also decreases peripheral conversion of T4 to T3.

• Propranolol may provide protection from seizures.
What Can You Use If a Beta-Blocker Is Contraindicated (i.e., the Patient Is Asthmatic)?

• Calcium channel blockers can be used (Milner and Goldman 1989).

• While diltiazem has been the focus of most research in thyroxicosis, it has been used for chronic management of thyrotoxic patients. Caution should be used in the acute setting with intravenous calcium channel blockers due to the possibility of excessive peripheral vasodilation (particularly with the dihydropyridine class)
(Milner and Goldman 1989).

• Do NOT combine diltiazem (or any calcium channel blocker) with propranolol
(or other beta-blocker).
What Are Side Effects of Propranolol Use in Children Should Providers Be Aware of?

• Providers should be very cautious of children who receive propanolol subse- quently developing hypoglycemia. This is a direct effect of the propranolol (loss of beta-receptor-mediated glycogenolysis, lipolysis, and gluconeogenesis) and may be exacerbated by decreased oral intake while in hospital setting (Holland et al. 2010).

• Patients should be on cardiac monitoring to ensure no development of signi cant bradycardia.
How Is Disposition Determined After an Ingestion of Thyroid Medication?

• Accidental ingestions of T4 containing agents in otherwise healthy patients with reliable access to health care can be sent home with strict return precautions.

• If a patient arrives less than an hour after isolated levothyroxine ingestion, it is
reasonable to give them activated charcoal and discharge them home.

116

Case 13 Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

• •

Admit any patients with intentional ingestions, or ingestions of combination T3/ T4 products for monitoring.
This guidance also applies to patients on thyroid medication chronically with an acute accidental or intentional overdose.

How Do You Follow These Patients in the Hospital and After Discharge to Ensure Improvement?

• Continuous telemetry should be used for those with signi cant tachycardia and while assessing the impact of propranolol therapy.

• There is no need for frequent T4 testing once a decreasing trend is documented.

• There is some suggestion that following free T3 levels is a better way of deter-
mining improvement (Mandel 1989; Majlesi et al. 2010).

• If free T3 levels are decreasing, then the rate of conversion from T4 to T3 has
decreased and is exceeded by the conversion to reverse T3 (RT3) and or endog-
enous T3 clearance.

• Thus, symptoms should be subsiding and treatment can be discontinued.

• If the patient is discharged the same day, as beta-blocker therapy is discontinued,
a follow-up visit in 1–2 days to document weight stability, assess for any recru- descent symptoms, and to document vital signs is reasonable.
Case Conclusion
In this case, the patient ingested her father’s levothyroxine and despite receiving acti- vated charcoal shortly after presentation to the ED, developed symptoms of thyroid toxicity. The patient was admitted for observation once symptomatic and T3 levels followed. She did well and was discharged home without noted complication.
Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• In general, patients who accidentally or intentionally overdose on thyroid hor- mone do well.

• Unless T3 is ingested, there is generally a lag time between ingestion and onset of symptoms. In most cases, this is 5–7 days but has been seen as early as 24 h after ingestion.

• Although relatively rapidly absorbed from the GI tract (within a few hours), quantitative T4 measurements do not correlate with symptoms because of the feedback mechanisms noted below which limit conversion to the active T3.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 117

• If there is uncertainty as to the nature of the product (or if a mixture has been ingested—e.g., desiccated thyroid), serial measurements of T3 over a day or two may provide information regarding treatment duration (as noted below).

• If it is unclear that an ingestion has occurred, a T4 in the normal range several hours after the possible ingestion could be reassuring. However, this is not usual clinical practice.

• Follow-up calls 1–2 days and 5–7 days after ingestion seeking any symptoms of vomiting, change in appetite, irritability, or tremor should be followed by an assessment of vital signs in those with symptoms.

• Measurement of serum T4 is not useful in asymptomatic individuals, unless used to document or rule-out ingestion when there is an unclear history.

• General supportive care is the mainstay of treatment and includes propranolol for clinically signi cant tachycardia, benzodiazepines for agitation, and aggressive cooling measures for hyperthermia.

• Known thyroid hormone overdose or accidental ingestion is the one time where you should NOT use routine therapies (PTU, methimazole, iodine) other than propranolol for thyroid storm or thyrotoxicosis.
Pediatrics

• In general, patients who accidentally or intentionally overdose on thyroid hor- mone do well.

• Unless T3 is ingested, there is generally a lag time between ingestion and onset of symptoms. In most cases, this is 5–7 days but has been seen as early as 24 h after ingestion.

• Although relatively rapidly absorbed from the GI tract (within a few hours), quantitative T4 measurements do not correlate with symptoms because of the feedback mechanisms noted below which limit conversion to the active T3.

• If there is uncertainty as to the nature of the product (or if a mixture has been ingested—e.g., desiccated thyroid), serial measurements of T3 over a day or two may provide information regarding treatment duration (as noted below).

• If it is unclear that an ingestion has occurred, a T4 in the normal range several hours after the possible ingestion could be reassuring. However, this is not usual clinical practice.

• Follow-up calls 1–2 days and 5–7 days after ingestion seeking any symptoms of vomiting, change in appetite, irritability, or tremor should be followed by an assessment of vital signs in those with symptoms.

• Measurement of serum T4 is not useful in asymptomatic individuals, unless used to document or rule-out ingestion when there is an unclear history.

• General supportive care is the mainstay of treatment and includes propranolol for clinically signi cant tachycardia, benzodiazepines for agitation, and aggressive cooling measures for hyperthermia.

118 Case 13 Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

Emergency Medicine

• In general, patients who accidentally or intentionally overdose on thyroid hor- mone do well.

• Unless T3 is ingested, there is generally a lag time between ingestion and onset of symptoms. In most cases, this is 5–7 days but has been seen as early as 24 h after ingestion.

• Although relatively rapidly absorbed from the GI tract (within a few hours), quantitative T4 measurements do not correlate with symptoms because of the feedback mechanisms noted below which limit conversion to the active T3.

• If there is uncertainty as to the nature of the product (or if a mixture has been ingested—e.g., desiccated thyroid), serial measurements of T3 over a day or two may provide information regarding treatment duration (as noted below).

• If it is unclear that an ingestion has occurred, a T4 in the normal range several hours after the possible ingestion could be reassuring. However, this is not usual clinical practice.

• Good supportive care is the mainstay of therapy for symptomatic patients.

• Avoid antipsychotics and preferentially use benzodiazepines for agitation if thy-
roid hormone overdose suspected

• Be aggressive with cooling measures for hyperthermia. This includes cool saline,
cool packs, benzodiazepines to decrease agitation, and intubation with paralysis,
as well as sedation if necessary.

• Propranolol is the drug of choice for clinically signi cant tachycardia. Starting
doses of 1–2 mg IV every 10–15 min until desired effect achieved have been used in cases of endogenous thyroid storm in adults. Titration in children can begin at lower doses (e.g., 0.1 mg/kg), monitoring for effect over 10 min before repeating or escalating the dose. Amounts approaching 0.7 mg/kg IV have been used in burn patients (Das and Krieger 1969).

• Known thyroid hormone overdose or accidental ingestion is the one time where you should NOT use routine therapies (PTU, methimazole, iodine) other than propranolol for thyroid storm or thyrotoxicosis.
Toxicology

• In general, patients who accidentally or intentionally overdose on thyroid hor- mone do well.

• Unless T3 is ingested, there is generally a lag time between ingestion and onset of symptoms. In most cases, this is 5–7 days but has been seen as early as 24 h after ingestion.

• Asymptomatic patients with small accidental ingestions of levothyroxine or other T4 only preparations can be managed at home in the correct situation (easy access to care, reliable parents/caregiver). In this group of patients, symptoms are unlikely or likely to be minor; laboratory investigations are not necessary.

References 119

• Although relatively rapidly absorbed from the GI tract (within a few hours), quantitative T4 measurements do not correlate with symptoms because of the feedback mechanisms noted below which limit conversion to the active T3.

• If there is uncertainty as to the nature of the product (or if a mixture has been ingested—e.g., desiccated thyroid), serial measurements of T3 over a day or two may provide information regarding treatment duration (as noted below).

• If it is unclear that an ingestion has occurred, a T4 in the normal range several hours after the possible ingestion could be reassuring. However, this is not usual clinical practice.

• Good supportive care is the mainstay of therapy for symptomatic patients.

• Avoid antipsychotics and preferentially use benzodiazepines for agitation if thy-
roid hormone overdose suspected.

• Be aggressive with cooling measures for hyperthermia. This includes cool saline,
cool packs, benzodiazepines to decrease agitation, and intubation with paralysis,
as well as sedation if necessary.

• Propranolol is the drug of choice for clinically signi cant tachycardia. Starting
doses of 1–2 mg IV every 10–15 min until desired effect achieved have been cases of endogenous thyroid storm in adults. Titration in children can begin at lower doses (e.g., 0.1 mg/kg), monitoring for effect over 10 min before repeating or escalating the dose. Amounts approaching 0.7 mg/kg IV have been used in burn patients (Das and Krieger 1969).

• Known thyroid hormone overdose or accidental ingestion is the one time where you should NOT use routine therapies (PTU, methimazole, iodine) other than propranolol for thyroid storm or thyrotoxicosis.
References
Cytomel [package insert]. P zer, New York. 2014. http://labeling.p zer.com/ShowLabeling. aspx?id=703. Accessed 28 Apr 2015.
Das G, Krieger M. Treatment of thyrotoxic storm with intravenous administration of propranolol. Ann Int Med. 1969;70:985–8.
Ho J, Jackson R, Johnson D. Massive levothyroxine ingestion in a pediatric patient: a case report and discussion. CEJM. 2011;13(3):165–8.
Holland KE, Frieden IJ, Frommelt PC, Mancini AJ, Wyatt D, Drolet BA. Hypoglycemia in children taking propranolol for the treatment of infantile hemangioma. Arch Dermatol. 2010;146(7):775–8.
Kaiserman I, Avni M, Sack J. Kinetics of the pituitary-thyroid axis and the peripheral thyroid hor- mones in 2 children with thyroxine intoxication. Horm Res. 1995;44(5):229–37.
Lazar I, Kalter-Leibovici O, Pertzelan A, Weintrob N, Josefsberg Z, Phillip M. Thyrotoxicosis in prepubertal children compared with pubertal and postpubertal patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000;85:3678–82.
Lewander WJ, Lacouture PG, Silva JE, Lovejoy FH. Acute thyroxine ingestion in pediatric patients. Pediatrics. 1989;84(2):262–5.
Litovitz TL, White JD. Levothyroxine ingestions in children: an analysis of 78 cases. Am J Emerg Med. 1985;3(4):297–300.

120 Case 13 Thyroid Supplement Ingestion

Majlesi N, Greller HA, McGuigan MA, Caraccio T, Su MK, Chan GM. Thyroid storm after pediat- ric levothyroxine ingestion. Pediatrics. 2010;126(2):e470–3. http://pediatrics.aappublications. org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=20643722.

Mandel SH, Magnusson AR, Burton BT, Swanson JR, LaFranchi SH. Massive levothyroxine ingestion. Conservative management. Clin Pediatr. 1989;28(8):374–6.

Mariotti S, Marino E, Cupin C, et al. Low serum thyroglobulin as a clue to the diagnosis of thyro- toxicosis factitia. N Engl J Med. 1982;307:410–2.

Milner MR, Goldman ME. Diltiazem for the treatment of thyrotoxicosis. Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(5):1217.

Case 14
Blue or Rigid: Pick your Toxin

1. What is the mechanism of methemoglobinemia?

2. What is the FDA warning regarding serotonin syndrome and methylene blue?

3. What is the data for serotonin syndrome following methylene blue
administration?

4. Besides treatment for methemoglobinemia, what are potential indications for
methylene blue?

5. Are there any other potential side effects or adverse events that can be caused by
methylene blue?

Abstract Methemoglobinemia is a congenital or acquired hemoglobinopathy caused by abnormal oxidation of hemoglobin. Typically, methemoglobinemia is treated with methylene blue. However, methylene blue is potentially serotonergic, and an FDA warning exists about the possibility of inducing serotonin syndrome. This chapter discusses methemoglobinemia, treatment options for this condition, and adverse reactions associated with methylene blue administration.

Keywords Methemoglobinemia • Serotonin syndrome • Methylene blue

A patient presented to the emergency department in respiratory distress and was diagnosed with pneumonia. The patient was started on antimicrobials and was admitted to the ICU. After admission, the patient again developed respiratory dis- tress, with a saturation of 88%. Ultimately, methemoglobinemia was diagnosed. Concern was raised by the pharmacist regarding the concurrent administration of methylene blue to an individual who is on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. This review discusses these entities.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 121 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_14

122 Case 14 Blue or Rigid: Pick your Toxin Intensive Care Unit

History of Present Illness

A 65-year-old female with a history of depression and breast cancer presented to the emergency department in respiratory distress. Initial thoracic imaging revealed bilateral in ltrates. She was started on broad spectrum antibiotics and admitted to the intensive care unit. Infectious disease consult was obtained, and the patient’s antimicrobial coverage was changed to primaquine for possible pneumocystis jir- ovecii pneumonia. The patient clinically improved until hospital day 1, when she developed increasing respiratory distress.

  

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Family History

Breast cancer
Depression
Sertraline
Chemotherapy regimen includes doxyrubicin and cyclophosphamide No known drug allergies

Reviewed and noncontributory

      

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

110 bpm

22 breaths/min

110/80 mmHg

88% (on 15 L/min)

General: Sitting upright in bed in moderate acute distress
Pulmonary: Tachypnic. Speaking 3–4 word sentences. Scattered crackles Cardiovascular: Tachycardic with a regular rhythm. No murmurs appreciated Neurologic: Awake. Oriented appropriately
Extremity: No edema
Skin: Perioral cyanosis noted

Diagnostic Testing WBC

14 k/mm3

Platelets

352 k/mm3

Hemoglobin

11 g/dL

Case Continuation

123

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

4.1 mmol/L

109 mmol/L

20 mmol/L

13 mg/dL

1.3 mg/dL

Na

140 mmol/L

AST

25 IU/L
Co-oximetry revealed a methemoglobin concentration of 20%.

Case Continuation

Glucose

102 mg/dL

 

Despite discontinuing primaquine, a repeat methemoglobin concentration was 20%, and she continues to appear cyanotic with pulse oximetry as low as 86%. Methylene blue was ordered, but the pharmacist was concerned over the possibil- ity of administering methylene blue to a patient on a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

What Is the Mechanism of Methemoglobinemia?

Methemoglobinemia can exist in either congenital or acquired variants. In both situ- ations, a common pathway is noted; oxidation of deoxyhemoglobin with resultant conversion of the ferrous (Fe2+) ion to the ferric (Fe3+) valence (Curry 1982; Levine et al. 2013). In normal conditions, the ferric form is converted back to the oxygen- carrying ferrous form via the enzyme cytochrome b5 reductase (NADH methemo- globin reductase) (Curry 1982; Levine et al. 2013). A second enzyme, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) methemoglobin reductase can also reduce methemoglobin (Canning and Levine 2011). However, under routine condi- tions, NADPH methemoglobin reductase is relatively silent, but assumes a much larger role in the reduction in the setting of methylene blue, which utilizes NADPH formed via the hexose monophosphate shunt to reduce methylene blue to leuko- methylene blue, thereby donating an electron to reduce methemoglobin (Canning and Levine 2011).

What Is the FDA Warning Regarding Serotonin Syndrome and Methylene Blue?

In 2011, the United States Food and Drug Administration released a warning that methylene blue could potentially cause serotonin syndrome in patients taking sero- tonergic psychiatric medications. This warning was issued after a number of cases

ALT

23 IU/L

124 Case 14 Blue or Rigid: Pick your Toxin

were submitted to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System. The majority of these cases occurred in patients maintained on serotonergic psychiatric medications and then received methylene blue at doses between 3 and 5 mg/kg during parathy- roid surgery (Ng et al. 2008; Rowley et al. 2009; Sweet and Standiford 2007).

What Is the Data for Serotonin Syndrome Following Methylene Blue Administration?

The data for serotonin syndrome following methylene blue administration is largely based on case reports. Though it is known that methylene blue is a strong mono- amine oxidase inhibitor (Ramsay et al. 2007), there are no large studies that eluci- date the risk of developing serotonin syndrome when concomitantly given to patients taking serotonergic psychiatric medications. There is some data that sug- gests even small doses at 1 mg/kg of methylene blue can potentially precipitate serotonin syndrome in patients concurrently on serotoninergic medications (Gillaman 2011). Given the relatively rare occurrence of this adverse drug effect as well as the dif culty in con rming diagnosis, it is dif cult to truly understand risk factors for developing serotonin syndrome. There are no prospective studies that quantify these risks in humans although there are two retrospective reviews that highlight encephalopathic states or serotonin syndrome following methylene blue administration in patients taking serotonergic medications (Sweet and Standiford 2007; Ng and Cameron 2010). Serotonergic agents known to induce serotonin syn- drome when concomitantly administered with methylene blue include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, and tri- cyclic antidepressants (Rowley et al. 2009; Sweet and Standiford 2007; Ramsay et al. 2007; Gillaman 2011; Ng and Cameron 2010; Grubb et al. 2012; Larson et al. 2015; Top et al. 2014; Smith et al. 2015).

Besides Treatment for Methemoglobinemia, What Are Potential Indications for Methylene Blue?

While methylene blue is not currently an FDA-approved drug, there are many poten- tial uses. Aside from methemoglobinemia, it is also used to treat vasoplegic syndrome following cardiopulmonary bypass surgery and encephalopathy from ifosfamide. It has also been used to treat hypotensive patients with sepsis and dihydropyridine cal- cium channel blocker overdose (Dumbarton et al. 2011; Jang et al. 2015; Juffermans et al. 2010; Kirov et al. 2001; Paya et al. 1993). Methylene blue is thought to improve hypotension due to its ability to inhibit nitric oxide synthase, guanylyl cyclase, and

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 125

free radical formation. Due to these mechanisms, methylene blue has also success- fully been used to treat priapism and hepatopulmonary syndrome.

Due to its vibrant blue color, methylene blue is often used in surgical procedures as guides for debridement of tissues, intra-articular injections for evaluation of potential penetrating joint injuries, ureteral evaluation during urological procedures, gland identi cation during parathyroid surgery, and detecting gastric balloon rupture.

Are There any Other Potential Side Effects or Adverse Events That Can Be Caused by Methylene Blue?

While methylene blue is the treatment of choice for symptomatic methemoglobin- emia, it also has the potential to induce methemoglobinemia, particularly when very large doses are administered or if there is an abnormality in the NADPH methemo- globin reductase pathway. Some studies suggest that dosing should not exceed 7 mg/kg to avoid the risk of inducing methemoglobinemia (Howland 2015).

A potential concerning side effect following methylene blue administration is hemolytic anemia. Methylene blue is an oxidizing agent and can cause a Heinz body hemolytic anemia. Patients with glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase de – ciency are at higher risk of developing hemolysis (Kellermeyer et al. 1962).

Due to its vibrant color, methylene blue can cause skin discoloration, mimicking cyanosis and making it dif cult for medical providers to determine if cyanosis is improving. The discoloration can also lead to falsely low pulse oximetry readings.

Newborns are particularly sensitive to methylene blue due to their decreased NADH reductase activity. As a result, very small doses of methylene blue should be used when indicated. There are case reports of intra-amniotic exposure of fetuses to methylene blue which have resulted in skin discoloration, methemoglobinemia, and hemolysis (Albert et al. 2003; Crooks 1982; McEnerney and McEnerney 1983).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Emergency Medicine

• Methemoglobinemia should be suspected when pulse oximetry provides a read- ing in the upper 80s (e.g., 85–88%) which does not improve signi cantly with the administration of oxygen.

• The diagnosis of methemoglobinemia should be performed with co-oximetry.

126 Case 14 Blue or Rigid: Pick your Toxin

Hematology

• Cytochrome b5 reductase is the primary enzyme responsible for the reduction of the iron valence in hemoglobin.

• Methylene blue accepts an electron from the hexose monophosphate shunt and can reduce methemoglobin via the enzyme leukomethylene blue.
Critical Care Medicine

• Methylene blue may also be utilized in the treatment of various other conditions, including refractory vasoplegic shock, identi cation of the parotid glands during neck surgeries, identifying joint penetration, and treatment of ifosfamide encephalopathy.

• Patients with life-threatening methemoglobinemia should be treated with methy- lene blue, even if on serotonergic agents.
References
Albert M, Lessin MS, Gilchrist BF. Methylene blue: dangerous dye for neonates. J Pediatr Surg. 2003;38(8):1244–5.
Canning J, Levine M. Case les of the medical toxicology fellowship at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ: methemoglobinemia following dapsone exposure. J Med Toxicol. 2011;7:139–46.
Crooks J. Haemolytic jaundice in a neonate after intra-amniotic injection of methylene blue. Arch Dis Child. 1982;57(11):872–3.
Curry S. Methemoglobinemia. Ann Emerg Med. 1982;11:214–21.
Dumbarton TC, Minor S, Yeung CK, Green R. Prolonged methylene blue infusion in refractory
septic shock: a case report. Can J Anesth. 2011;58(4):401–5.
Gillaman PK. CNS toxicity involving methylene blue: the exemplar for understanding and predict-
ing drug interactions that precipitate serotonin toxicity. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(3):429–
36. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881109359098. Epub 2010 Feb 8.
Grubb KJ, Kennedy JL, Begin JD, Groves DS, Kern JA. The role of methylene blue in serotonin
syndrome following cardiac transplantation: a case report and review of the literature. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2012;144(5):e113–6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2012.07.030. Epub 2012 Sep 13.
Howland MA. Methylene blue. In: Hoffman RS, Howland MA, Lewin N, Nelson LS, Goldfrank LR, editors. Goldfrank’s toxicologic emergencies. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2015. Jang DH, Donovan S, Nelson LS, Bana TC, Hoffman RS, Chu J. Ef cacy of methylene blue
in an experimental model of calcium channel blocker-induced shock. Ann Emerg Med.
2015;65(4):410–5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annemergmed.2014.09.015. Epub 2014 Oct 23. Juffermans NP, Vervloet MG, Daemen-Gubbels CRG, Binnekade JM, de Jong M, Groeneveld ABJ. A dose- nding study of methylene blue to inhibit nitric oxide actions in the hemodynam-
ics of human septic shock. Nitric Oxide. 2010;22(4):275–80. Elsevier Inc.
Kellermeyer RW, Tarlov AR, Brewer GJ, Carson PE, Alving AS. Hemolytic effect of therapeutic
drugs. Clinical considerations of the primaquine-type hemolysis. JAMA. 1962;180:388–94.

References 127

Kirov MY, Evgenov OV, Evgenov NV, Egorina EM, Sovershaev MA, Sveinbjørnsson B, et al. Infusion of methylene blue in human septic shock: a pilot, randomized, controlled study. Crit Care Med. 2001;29(10):1860–7.

Larson KJ, Wittwer ED, Nicholson WT, Price DL, Sprung J. Myoclonus in patient on uoxetine after receiving fentanyl and low-dose methylene blue during sentinel lymph node biopsy. J Clin Anesth. 2015;27(3):247–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinane.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Dec 11.

Levine M, O’Connor AD, Tasset M. Methemoglobinemia after a mediastinal stab wound. J Emerg Med. 2013;45:e153–6.

McEnerney JK, McEnerney LN. Unfavorable neonatal outcome after intraamniotic injection of methylene blue. Obstet Gynceol. 1983;61(3 Suppl):35S–7S.

Ng BK, Cameron AJ. The role of methylene blue in serotonin syndrome: a systematic review. Psychosomatics. 2010;51(3):194–200. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.psy.51.3.194.

Ng BK, Cameron AJ, Liang R, Rahman H. Serotonin syndrome following methylene blue infusion during parathyroidectomy: a case report and literature review. Can J Anaesth. 2008;55(1):36– 41. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03017595.

Paya D, Gray GA, Stoclet JC. Effects of methylene blue on blood pressure and reactivity to norepi- nephrine in endotoxemic rats. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1993;21(6):926.

Ramsay RR, Dunford C, Gillman PK. Methylene blue and serotonin toxicity: inhibition of mono- amine oxidase A (MAO A) con rms a theoretical prediction. Br J Pharmacol. 2007;152(6):946– 51. Epub 2007 Aug 27.

Rowley M, Riutort K, Shapiro D, Casler J, Festic E, Freeman WD. Methylene blue-associated serotonin syndrome: a ‘green’ encephalopathy after parathyroidectomy. Neurocrit Care. 2009;11(1):88–93. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12028-009-9206-z. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Smith CJ, Wang D, Sgambelluri A, Kramer RS, Gagnon DJ. Serotonin syndrome following meth- ylene blue administration during cardiothoracic surgery. J Pharm Pract. 2015;28(2):207–11. https://doi.org/10.1177/0897190014568389. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Sweet G, Standiford SB. Methylene-blue-associated encephalopathy. J Am Coll Surg. 2007;204(3):454–8.

Top WM, Gillman PK, de Langen CJ, Kooy A. Fatal methylene blue associated serotonin toxicity. Neth J Med. 2014;72(3):179–81.

Case 15
Overdose in a Patient with Parkinson Disease

1. What medications are used to treat Parkinson disease (PD)? What are some associated complications?

2. What is rivastigmine and what is its role in PD?

3. What is the toxidrome associated with carbamate overdose?

4. How should this patient be managed?

Abstract Medical carbamates such as rivastigmine are used to treat dementia asso- ciated with Alzheimer and Parkinson disease (PD). Rivastigmine is formulated as a transdermal patch to be removed and re-administered daily. This is a case of a 76-year-old man with a history of PD who presented with signs and symptoms of cholinergic excess after he applied, at once, the entire 40-day supply of rivastigmine patches in error. This case highlights the clinical manifestations associated with medical carbamate overdose and the signi cant risks associated with prescribing transdermal patches to an elderly patient with dementia.

Keywords Cholinergic toxicity • Carbamates • Parkinson disease • Rivastigmine • Pralidoxime

History of Present Illness

A 76-year-old man with Parkinson disease (PD) and hypertension presented to the ED with acute onset of severe tremulousness, blurred vision, salivation, lacrimation, diffuse muscle aches, and extremity weakness.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 129 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_15

130 Case 15 Overdose in a Patient with Parkinson Disease

A review of the patient’s medication history revealed that he was recently pre- scribed rivastigmine (13.3 mg/24 h transdermal patch). At bedtime, the evening prior to presentation, the patient applied 40 rivastigmine patches, the entire contents of his new prescription, to his body. Approximately 5 h later, he awoke with the previously described ndings, at which point his wife removed the patches and brought him to the ED.

Past Medical History

Medications

Allergies Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

175/74 mmHg

Parkinson disease (PD) Dementia Hypertension
GERD

Rivastigmine Carbidopa/levodopa Losartan
Aspirin

Naproxen
Pantoprazole
NKDA
Denies tobacco, ethanol, or other drugs of abuse

O2 saturation

100% (room air)

   

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

62 bpm

16 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

General: Patient lying in bed, uncomfortable
Neurologic: Alert and oriented to person and place (baseline?); pupils 3 mm, equal,

round, reactive to light; coarse resting tremor, motor strength 2/5 in upper and

lower extremities
HEENT: Excessive lacrimation and salivation
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm, no murmurs
Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation, symmetric breath sounds Abdominal: Soft, non-tender, normal bowel sounds
Skin: Warm and well perfused; w/o excessive dryness or diaphoresis

ED Management

The patient’s skin was cleansed thoroughly with soap and water. Supportive and conservative management with IV uid hydration and close monitoring was pro- vided. The patient was admitted to the medicine oor.

Key Points of Case 131

Key Points of Case

How Does the Pathophysiology of PD Explain How Treatments Are Targeted?

Parkinson disease is a neurodegenerative disorder marked by the destruction of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra. Through complex dopamine (DA) pathways modulated by cholinergic input, the substantia nigra regulates neuronal transmission to and from the basal ganglia. Damage to this important brain structure results in four cardinal parkinsonian motor effects: bradykinesia, resting tremor, muscle rigidity, and impairment of postural balance. Together these abnormalities cause gait disturbance and lead to frequent falls. To a lesser extent, PD involves other brain structures, including the brainstem, hippocampus, and neocortex, which likely contribute to the non-motor features of the disease (e.g., sleep disorders, depression, memory impairment). The goal of medical therapy is thus to slow the progression of both motor and cognitive effects (Standaert and Roberson 2011).

What Medications Are Used to Treat PD? What Are some Associated Complications?

There are two broad categories of medications used to treat the motor effects of PD. The majority of these drugs enhance dopaminergic function and improve motor function, while a smaller number block the effects of acetylcholine (ACh) to enhance cognitive function.

Dopamine Precursors and Agonists

Dopamine precursors such as levodopa (l-dopa) can be combined with the l-amino acid decarboxylase inhibitor carbidopa to prevent peripheral metabolism by this enzyme and thereby increase brain concentrations of DA following metabolism by DA decarboxylase in the central nervous system (CNS) (Standaert and Roberson 2011). Dopamine agonists, including bromocriptine, ropinirole, and pramipexole, do not depend on endogenous conversion to DA and have substantially longer dura- tions of action, limiting the dose-related uctuations in motor function common in some PD patients taking l-dopa (Standaert and Roberson 2011). For these reasons, DA agonists have often replaced l-dopa as initial treatment, especially in younger patients. Catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors (tolcapone, entacapone) prevent peripheral breakdown of DA, allowing a higher fraction to reach the CNS. With respect to side effects, all of the dopaminergic medications can cause nausea, hal- lucinations, confusion, and orthostatic hypotension.

132 Case 15 Overdose in a Patient with Parkinson Disease

Anticholinergic Drugs

Although the precise mechanism by which anticholinergic drugs improve PD is not fully understood, agents such as trihexyphenidyl, benztropine mesylate, and diphen- hydramine hydrochloride were prescribed even before the discovery of l-dopa and continue to be used today (Standaert and Roberson 2011). Adverse effects are a function of the anti-muscarinic (anticholinergic) properties of the drugs and may include mydriasis and blurred vision, dry ushed skin, tachycardia, hyperthermia, constipation, urinary retention, and altered mental status.

Amantadine

In addition to the anticholinergics, amantadine is also used to treat PD. This anti- viral agent alters DA release in the brain, produces anticholinergic effects, and blocks N-methyl-d-aspartate glutamate receptors (Standaert and Roberson 2011). Common adverse drug effects include anticholinergic signs as well as nausea, vom- iting, dizziness, lethargy, and sleep disturbance, all of which are usually mild and reversible.

What Is Rivastigmine and What Is Its Role in PD?

Rivastigmine is a carbamate-type cholinesterase inhibitor (CEI) indicated for the treatment of mild-to-moderate dementia associated with PD and Alzheimer disease (Rösler et al. 1999). Tacrine, a medicinal noncarbamate CEI, is also prescribed for this use. Both drugs increase ACh concentrations in relevant brain regions and foster the formation of new memory.

Cholinesterase inhibitors are mechanistically analogous to the insecticidal car- bamates (e.g., aldicarb) and the organophosphates (OPs) (e.g., malathion). They inhibit the metabolism of ACh by acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in the various cho- linergic synapses, increasing the intrasynaptic concentration of ACh. Additional AChEs include physostigmine, a carbamate commonly used in the ED to treat anticholinergic toxicity. Physostigmine raises the local synaptic concentration of ACh to compete for the muscarinic ACh receptor with drugs such as diphenhydr- amine or atropine. Other CEIs (e.g., neostigmine, pyridostigmine, edrophonium) are used to raise intrasynaptic ACh concentrations and overcome antibody block- ade of nicotinic ACh receptors at the neuromuscular junction in patients with myasthenia gravis.

Rivastigmine is formulated as a novel transdermal matrix patch, available in three different daily doses, and prescribed as a monthly supply of patches. It is the rst patch-formulated medication available for Alzheimer disease (Kurz et al. 2009).

Key Points of Case 133

Due to the potential for error in administering an uncommon formulation of a drug indicated for patients with cognitive impairment, exceptional care must be taken to adequately educate patients and caregivers of the appropriate technique for admin- istration and removal, along with the signs and symptoms of overdose. According to the package insert, one patch should be applied and replaced once every 24 h to clean, dry, hairless, intact health skin (ExelonTM) patch (package insert 2013). Recommended sites for application include the upper or lower back, upper arm or chest; sites should not be reused within 14 days.

What Is the Toxidrome Associated with Carbamate Overdose?

The cholinergic toxicologic syndrome is expected following excessive use of a car- bamate, whether insecticidal or medicinal. Effects can be categorized by autonomic division, cholinergic receptor, and associated organ systems involved, and vary somewhat among patients. In the parasympathetic division of the autonomic ner- vous system, agonism of pre-ganglionic nicotinic receptors and post-ganglionic muscarinic receptors produce effects such as salivation, lacrimation, urination, def- ecation, gastrointestinal upset, and emesis. Miosis, bradycardia, bronchoconstric- tion, and bronchorrhea can result. In the sympathetic division, agonism of pre-ganglionic nicotinic receptors causes catecholamine release that can produce hypertension, tachycardia, and mydriasis. Stimulation of nicotinic receptors at the neuromuscular junction produces fasciculations and muscle weakness that can progress to paralysis. Stimulation of receptors in the CNS may result in altered mental status, seizure, and/or coma.

Carbamate toxicity, as manifested by the cholinergic toxidrome, largely resembles.

OP toxicity but with an important difference: Both OPs and carbamates function by binding to and inhibiting AChE; however, the carbamate-AChE bond undergoes spontaneous hydrolysis, thereby reactivating the enzyme. Consequently, the clinical effects of carbamate toxicity, though potentially severe, are self-limited and typi- cally last 24 h or less (Eddleston and Clark 2011).

How Should This Patient Be Managed?

The general approach to a patient with medical carbamate toxicity is similar to that of a patient with OP poisoning. Dermal exposure, as in this patient, should prompt skin decontamination to minimize ongoing exposure. Patch removal is necessary but is not suf cient to prevent ongoing absorption since a depot of medication typi- cally forms in the dermal tissue. In the presence of signi cant or life-threatening muscarinic effects (e.g., bronchorrhea, bronchospasm, seizure), an anti-muscarinic

134 Case 15 Overdose in a Patient with Parkinson Disease

agent such as atropine is indicated. Various dosing schemes of atropine exist; an initial dose of 1–3 mg intravenously (IV), with escalating doses every 5 min until reversal of bronchorrhea and bronchospasm occur (Eddleston and Clark 2011). This is followed by initiation of an atropine infusion at a rate of 10% to 20% of the total loading dose per hour (to a maximum of 2 mg/h).

Pralidoxime (2-PAM) and other oximes accelerate the reactivation of carbamate- inhibited AChE and have effects at both the nicotinic and muscarinic synapses. Reactivation results in the enhanced metabolism of intrasynaptic ACh and decreased clinical cholinergic effects. Since atropine is only effective at muscarinic receptors, oximes were administered in this case (see below) to reverse neuromuscular weakness.

Although early administration of 2-PAM is indicated in the setting of signi cant OP poisoning (due to irreversible inhibition of AChE), its use for medical carbamate toxicity is controversial. Early animal studies of carbamate toxicity suggested that treatment with oximes worsened outcomes; however, this has not been demon- strated in more recent studies (Natoff and Reiff 1973; Mercurio-Zappala et al. 2007). Therefore, although 2-PAM may be bene cial in treating cases of clinically signi cant carbamate poisoning (which can be prolonged and severe), these bene ts should be weighed against the potential risks.

Case Conclusion

Twelve hours after the onset of symptoms, the patient continued to exhibit profound extremity weakness with no improvement. The Poison Control Center was con- sulted and advised administration of pralidoxime 1 g IV over 30 min. Shortly there- after, patient’s motor strength improved from 2/5 to 3/5 in both upper and lower extremities. No complications were noted, and the patient’s weakness and tremu- lousness continued to resolve. He was transferred to a skilled nursing facility on hospital day six.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• When prescribing patch medications to patients, ensure an adequate understand- ing, from the patient or caregiver, of appropriate patch administration and removal.

• When prescribing a medical carbamate, advise your patient on the cholinergic effects which may arise with drug misuse.

• In patients admitted to the hospital with a drug-related complaint, be sure to consult a medical toxicologist.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 135

Emergency Medicine

• Remember the cholinergic toxidrome:

–  Muscarinic ndings (mnemonic: SLUDGE and the 3 Killer Bs):
Salivation Lacrimation Urination Defecation
GI upset
Emesis
Bradycardia Bronchorrhea Bronchoconstriction Miosis

–  Nicotinic ndings
Muscle weakness Fasciculations Mydriasis Proptosis

• ED management of the patient with cholinergic toxicity from carbamates includes:

–  early recognition

–  skin and/or clothing decontamination

–  careful handling to avoid secondary contamination of healthcare personnel

–  aggressive supportive care

–  atropine:
initial dose: 1–3 mg intravenously (IV)
double dose: q 5 min until reversal of bronchorrhea and bronchospasm maintenance dose: 10% to 20% of the total loading dose per hour
maximum of 2 mg/h
indications for administration of atropine include:
Bradycardia Bronchorrhea Bronchoconstriction

136 Case 15 Overdose in a Patient with Parkinson Disease

Toxicology

• In patients with severe cholinergic toxicity due to a medical carbamate who exhibit signi cant nicotinic effects, consider:

– pralidoxime:
initial dose: 1–2 g in 100 mL of 0.9% NaCl IV over 15–30 min

repeat dose: may repeat initial dose at 3 h if symptoms severe or recur

References

Eddleston M, Clark RF. Insecticides: organic phosphorus compounds and carbamates. In: Nelson LS, Lewis NA, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Goldfrank LR, Flomenbaum NE, editors. Goldfrank’s toxicologic emergencies. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011. p. 1450–66.

ExelonTM Patch [package insert]. East Hanover. NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; 2013. Kurz A, Farlow M, Lefevre G. Pharmacokinetics of a novel transdermal rivastigmine patch for the

treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: a review. Int J Clin Pract. 2009;63(5):799–805. Mercurio-Zappala M, Hack JB, Salvador A, Hoffman RS. Pralidoxime in carbaryl poisoning: an

animal model. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2007;26(2):125–9.
Natoff IL, Reiff B. Effect of oximes on the acute toxicity of anticholinesterase carbamates. Toxicol

Appl Pharmacol. 1973;25(4):569–75.
Rösler M, Anand R, Cicin-Sain A, Gauthier S, Agit Y, Dal-Bianco P, Stähelin HB, Hartman R,

Gharabawi M. Ef cacy and safety of rivastigmine in patients with Alzheimer’s disease: inter-

national randomised controlled trial. BMJ. 1999;318(7184):633–8.
Standaert DG, Roberson ED. Treatment of central nervous system degenerative disorders. In:

Brunton LL, Chabner BA, Knollmann BC, editors. Goodman & Gil- man’s the pharmacologic basis of therapeutics. 12th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2011. p. 609–28.

Case 16
Snake Bite to the Hand

1. Which snakes are venomous in the United States?
2. What is the best eld management of rattlesnake envenomations?
3. What are potential effects of rattlesnake venom?
4. What is a dry bite?
5. What laboratory tests should be obtained in all rattlesnake bites?
6. What are indications for administration of antivenom?
7. What are immediate risks associated with antivenom?
8. Are prophylactic antibiotics indicated for rattlesnake envenomations? 9. What are the effects of antivenom?

10. What delayed effects may occur after successful treatment with antivenom? 11. Are blood product transfusions warranted for rattlesnake envenomations?

Abstract Bitesfrompitvipers(subfamilyCrotalinae,includingrattlesnakes,copper- heads, and cottonmouths) comprise the overwhelming majority of venomous snake- bites in the United States. Envenomation by these species causes tissue necrosis, edema, and coagulopathy. Rarely, systemic effects including anaphylaxis may also occur. We report a case of a 52-year-old man who sustained a rattlesnake bite to the hand. This case emphasizes the spectrum of clinical effects seen in rattlesnake bites. We describe appropriate treatment including prehospital care, laboratory testing, indications for antivenom administration, criteria for safe discharge, and necessary follow-up.

Keywords Envenomation • Antivenom • Snakebite • Rattlesnake • Crotalinae Crotalus

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 137 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_16

138 Case 16 Snake Bite to the Hand

History of Present Illness

A 52-year-old man presented to the ED 1 h after sustaining a rattlesnake bite to his left 5th digit while working in his garden. He complained of progressive pain to his left hand since the time of envenomation. He denied parasthesias or numbness. He had no chest pain, palpitations, dif culty breathing, wheezing, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or metallic taste.

Which Snakes Are Venomous in the United States?

Pit vipers from the family Viperidae (subfamily Crotalinae) represent the vast majority of snake envenomations in the United States. Vipers are present in all states except Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii, and envenomations occur most commonly in the warmer months. Pit viper (rattlesnake, copperhead, cottonmouth) venom results in local tissue damage and hematologic toxicity including brin degradation and platelet destruction and aggregation.

Coral snakes from the Elapidae family are also present in the United States. Elapid venom is neurotoxic, without local tissue effects, and can cause symptoms of parasthesias, weakness, and respiratory muscle paralysis (Gold et al. 2002). In the United States, toxic coral snakes can be differentiated from non-toxic snakes by the approximation of red and yellow color bands, frequently remembered by “red and yellow, kill a fellow.”

What Is the Best Field Management of Rattlesnake Envenomations?

Immobilization and elevation of the affected extremity in full extension are impor- tant interventions in the prehospital setting (Lavonas et al. 2011a). Pooling of venom in a exed extremity (i.e., elbow crease) may increase the risk of local soft tissue damage and bleb formation. Alternatively, elevation and extension of the limb will promote lymphatic drainage of venom and may reduce such risk. Patients may require intravenous uid resuscitation. Anaphylaxis, although rare, should be recog- nized and treated if present.

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Family History Social History

Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus Essential hypertension
Novolog 30U SQ daily
Metformin 500 mg PO BID Lisinopril 20 mg PO daily

NKDA
Reviewed and non-contributory

Lives alone. Denies tobacco use, ethanol use, or use of illicit drugs

    

Physical Examination

139

Physical Examination

Blood pressure

146/84 mmHg

O2 saturation

97% (room air)

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

81 bpm

18 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

General: Middle-aged man, no acute distress.
HEENT: Normocephalic, atraumatic, and mucous membranes moist; pupils equal,

round, and reactive to light.
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm, no murmurs.
Pulmonary: lungs clear bilaterally.
Abdomen: Soft, no tenderness to palpation, normal bowel sounds.
Extremities: +tenderness of left axilla, compartments of left upper extremity soft. Neurologic: Sensation to light touch intact left fth digit, range of motion of left

digits limited by swelling and pain.
Skin: of left upper extremity: Single puncture wound to dorsal aspect of proximal

5th digit with oozing but no purulent discharge; mild warmth and erythema to dorsal ulnar hand and proximal forearm; 3+ edema to dorsal ulnar hand extend- ing to forearm.

Pulses: 2+ equal radial pulses, <2 s capillary re ll to distal left 5th digit.

What Are Potential Effects of Rattlesnake Venom?

Rattlesnake venom contains numerous compounds including metalloproteinases, hyaluronidase, and histamine-like factors that cause soft tissue necrosis, in amma- tion, uid third spacing, thrombocytopenia, and de brinating coagulopathy. Rarely, clinically signi cant and life-threatening bleeding may occur. Hypotension, shock, airway edema, and immune and non-immune anaphylaxis may also occur infre- quently (Gold et al. 2002).

What Is a Dry Bite?

A dry bite is one that does not result in venom delivery. Puncture wounds may be seen; however swelling, erythema, signi cant pain, and bleeding will be absent. In rattlesnakes, dry bites occur in approximately 25% of cases. Dry bites may be dif- cult to differentiate from true envenomations without serial observation (Lavonas et al. 2011a).

140 Case 16 Snake Bite to the Hand What Laboratory Tests Should Be Obtained in All Rattlesnake

Bites?

Complete blood count, prothrombin time (PT) and brinogen values should be obtained in all rattlesnake envenomations (Lavonas et al. 2011a). Electrolytes, renal function, and creatinine kinase testing may be useful in selected patients.

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

12 k/mm3

Na

144 mmol/L

PT: 10.1 s (reference range: 11.8–14.7 s)
Fibrinogen: 269 mg/dL (reference range: 200–400 mg/dL)

Platelets

259 k/mm3

Glucose

110 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

Hematocrit

14 g/dL

42%

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

3.5 mmol/L

106 mmol/L

20 mmol/L

23 mg/dL

1.5 mg/dL

What Are Indications for Administration of Antivenom?

Progressive edema, commonly de ned as swelling that extends across one major joint line from the bite site, and coagulation abnormalities (low brinogen, low platelets, or elevated PT) are each indications for antivenom. Signs of systemic toxicity including hypotension, nausea, vomiting, and angioedema are also indica- tions for antivenom administration. Each dose of antivenom should be administered over 1 h. More rapid infusions may be used in cases of life-threatening reactions such as hemorrhage or shock (Lavonas et al. 2011b).

What Are Immediate Risks Associated with Antivenom?

Anaphylaxis secondary to antivenom occurs rarely, and serious immediate hyper- sensitivity reactions are reported in 1.4% of cases. Current, commercially available antivenom is an ovine-derived Fab preparation that is less immunogenic than previ- ous whole IgG formulations. Anaphylaxis secondary to antivenom (or venom) should be treated in a standard fashion with epinephrine, antihistamines, and corti- costeroids. Allergy to papaya or sheep is a relative contraindication to antivenom (Cannon et al. 2008).

Hospital Course 141

Are Prophylactic Antibiotics Indicated for Rattlesnake Envenomations?

No. Lymphatic streaking and local tissue damage can be mistaken for cellulitis. However, infection after rattlesnake envenomations is exceedingly rare, reported in approximately 3% of cases. Antibiotics are rarely needed and prophylactic antibiot- ics are not indicated (LoVecchio et al. 2002).

Initial Treatment

In the ED, the patient was placed in a long arm volar splint, and his extremity was hung in full extension using a stockinette attached to an IV pole. He was given 75 mcg of fentanyl, tetanus booster vaccine, and four vials of Fab antivenom.

Hospital Course

The patient was transferred to a regional toxicology center. On arrival, he com- plained of progressive pain and swelling to the hand and forearm. Repeat labs showed platelets 276 K/mm3, PT 15 s, and brinogen 128 mg/dL. He was given an additional two vials of antivenom in response to both progressive swelling and lab abnormalities.

Serial circumferential measurements of his hand, forearm, and proximal arm were obtained every 2 h without detection of further swelling. Labs repeated 1 h after the additional antivenom dose showed platelets stable at 273 K/mm3, PT unchanged at 15 s, and brinogen improved but still low at 147 mg/dL. Two addi- tional vials of antivenom were given for persistent coagulopathy and de brination. Repeat labs 2 h after antivenom showed normalization of PT and brinogen at 13 s and 216 mg/dL, respectively.

The patient was observed for 18 h following the last antivenom dose. He had no further progression of swelling and laboratory values remained within normal range. He was discharged home on oral oxycodone/acetaminophen and given fol- low-up for repeat laboratory draws three and 7 days after envenomation.

What Are the Effects of Antivenom?

Antivenom halts secondary tissue injury, reverses hematologic abnormalities, and reduces systemic venom effects. Antivenom administration has been demonstrated to lower muscular compartment pressures (Gold et al. 2003). Antivenom cannot,

142 Case 16 Snake Bite to the Hand however, reverse the local tissue damage that occurs almost immediately upon

envenomation (Gutierrez et al. 1998; Homma and Tu 1970).
What Delayed Effects May Occur After Successful Treatment

with Antivenom?

The half-life of Fab antivenom is less than that of rattlesnake venom. Due to this discrepancy, delayed recurrence of coagulopathy and thrombocytopenia has been reported in up to 32% of patients (Ruha et al. 2011). Patients treated with antivenom should have follow-up 2–3 days and again 5–7 days after the last antivenom dose to evaluate for recurrence. Delayed serum sickness may rarely occur and typically responds well to treatment with antihistamines and corticosteroids (Cannon et al. 2008).

Are Blood Product Transfusions Warranted for Rattlesnake Envenomations?

In general, blood products are not helpful in treating rattlesnake envenomations. Treatment with antivenom leads to improvement of coagulopathy and thrombocyto- penia in almost all patients. For the very rare patients who have had clinically sig- ni cant bleeding with subsequent anemia, transfusion of red blood cells may be indicated, when given in conjunction with appropriate antivenom therapy and good supportive care (Lavonas et al. 2011a, b).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Obtain serial circumferential measurements of the limb at three locations: close to the site of envenomation and on the extremity one and two joints proximal. For example, measure circumferentially around the hand (not including the thumb), the forearm, and the humerus when evaluating a nger envenomation. Marking the exact placement of the measuring tape is helpful for consistency, as is utiliza- tion of the same provider in obtaining measurements. This method is thought by experts to be more reliable and reproducible than marking the leading edge of swelling.

• Repeat labs 1 h after completion of each dose of antivenom. Swelling should be monitored as above every 2 h. Repeat doses of antivenom should be given for

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 143

increased distal swelling or persistent or new thrombocytopenia, elevation in PT or hypo brinogenemia. In fact, approximately half of all those envenomated will require additional dosing. With elevation of the extremity, it is expected that the proximal dependent areas of measurement may increase slightly.

• IV opioids may be transitioned to longer acting oral preparations as tolerated. A short course of home oral opioids is frequently required.

• Patients may be discharged home if the exam and laboratory data are stable 18–24 h after the last antivenom dose.

• Any patient receiving antivenom will require follow-up two to three and ve to 7 days after last dose of antivenom for evaluation of recurrence.
Prehospital

• Direct attention towards immobilization and elevation of the affected limb.

• Remain vigilant for signs of anaphylaxis including: diffuse erythema, edema,
shortness of breath, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

• Patients may require uid resuscitation due to dehydration from outdoor activity
or intravascular volume depletion from third spacing.
Emergency Medicine

• Immobilize and elevate the affected limb. For upper extremity envenomations, a long arm volar splint is helpful to assist with immobilization of the elbow and wrist. Hanging the splinted arm from an IV pole is an easy way to achieve suf- cient elevation and extension.

• Update tetanus when appropriate.

• Administer intravenous opioid analgesics when needed. Fentanyl is the preferred
initial agent in the acute setting owing to minimal histamine release associated with its use. NSAIDs are typically avoided due to potential increased risk of bleeding and platelet dysfunction in these patients.

• Include assessment for distal pulses, proximal (axillary or inguinal) lymph node tenderness, and an extremity neurologic and skin assessment in the physical examination.

• Evaluate for evidence of anaphylaxis or systemic venom effects.

• Obtain a CBC, PT, and brinogen in addition to labs otherwise appropriate.

• When indicated (see above), four to six vials of antivenom are typically used as
an initial dose for both children and adults. Although rare, patients should be
monitored for anaphylaxis during infusion of antivenom.

• Disposition should be to a monitored setting such as the intensive care unit due
to risk of anaphylaxis and need for frequent assessment.

144 Case 16 Snake Bite to the Hand

• Suspected upper extremity dry bites should be observed for at least 8 h.

• Lower extremity and pediatric envenomations may have delayed presentations.
Extended observation periods are often recommended.

• Medical toxicology consultation should be sought before discharging a sus-
pected “dry” bite or any pediatric envenomation.
Critical Care Medicine

• Patients with rattlesnake envenomations may become critically ill. Poison center data reports 1 death per 736 bites. Life-threatening events may include hypoten- sion, hemorrhage, and airway edema.

• Those previously exposed to rattlesnake venom may develop true anaphylaxis after subsequent envenomation.

• Experts consider bites to the head and neck to be high risk for loss of airway and practitioners should have a low threshold for prophylactic intubation.

• Clinically signi cant, life-threatening bleeding can occur infrequently and may include intracranial hemorrhage or gastrointestinal bleeding. Hemorrhage should be treated with antivenom in addition to blood products when otherwise indicated.

• Venom causes signi cant swelling and myonecrosis that can be mistaken for compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome is very rare after rattlesnake envenomations. In most cases, fangs penetrate only into the subcutaneous tis- sues, not reaching the deeper muscle compartments.

• Antivenom is the treatment of choice in these cases and surgical intervention is rarely required. Patients do, however, frequently develop hemorrhagic blebs at the site of envenomations that may be opened for symptomatic relief.
References
Cannon R, Ruha AM, Kashani J. Acute hypersensitivity reactions associated with administration of crotalidae polyvalent immune Fab antivenom. Ann Emerg Med. 2008;51:407–11.
Gold BS, Dart RC, Barish RA. Bites of venomous snakes. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(5):347–56. Gold BS, Barish RA, Dart RC, Silverman RP. Resolution of compartment syndrome after rattle-
snake envenomation using non-invasive measures. J Emerg Med. 2003;24(3):285–8. Gutierrez JM, Leon G, Rojas G, Lomonte B. Neutralization of local tissue damage induced by
Bothrops asper (terciopelo) snake venom. Toxicon. 1998;36(11):1529–38.
Homma M, Tu AT. Antivenin for the treatment of local tissue damage due to envenomation by
Southeast Asian snakes. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1970;19(5):880–4.
Lavonas EJ, Ruha AM, Banner W, Bebarta V. Uni ed treatment algorithm for the management of
crotaline snakebite in the United States: results of an evidence-informed consensus workshop. BMC Emerg Med. 2011a;11:2.

References 145

Lavonas EJ, Kokko J, Schaeffer TH, Mlynarchek SL. Short-term outcomes after Fab antivenom therapy for severe crotaline snakebite. Ann Emerg Med. 2011b;57(2):128–37.

LoVecchio F, Klemens J, Welch S, Rodriguez R. Antibiotics after rattlesnake envenomation. J Emerg Med. 2002;23(4):327–8.

Ruha AM, Curry SC, Albrecht C, Riley B. Late hematologic toxicity following treatment of rattlesnake envenomation with crotalidae polyvalent immune Fab antivenom. Toxicon. 2011;57:53–9.

Case 17
Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxi cation

1. What is the differential diagnosis for this patient’s altered mental status and pulmonary edema?

2. What is ultra-rapid opioid detox and how is it performed?

3. What are side effects of UROD and ROD?

4. What is the difference between naloxone and naltrexone?

5. What other medications, supplements, or herbal products have been used or
reported as treatments for opioid addiction or withdrawal symptoms?

6. Why would someone be exposed to carbon monoxide when undergoing
anesthesia?

7. What is spongiform leukencephalopathy?

8. What is ibogaine?

Abstract A 30-year-old male presented to the emergency department after under- going ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation. He was awake but nonverbal for the 8 h following the procedure. With this case, the process of and possible complications associated with ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation are reviewed. Potential causes of the patient’s symptoms are reviewed, including carbon monoxide poisoning, ibo- gaine exposure, and spongiform leukencephalopathy.

Keywords Opioid • Ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation • Carbon monoxide poison- ing • Spongiform leukencephalopathy • Ibogaine

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 147 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_17

148 Case 17 Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxi cation

History of Present Illness

A 30-year-old male was brought from a local detox center, where he underwent ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation (UROD), to the emergency department for evalua- tion of altered mental status. There were no complications reported with this proce- dure, and the patient was extubated after the procedure without issue. Following extubation, he was awake but had no spontaneous movement and was nonverbal for 8 h prior to transfer to the hospital. During the course of the UROD, patient received propofol, midazolam, cisatracurium, iso urane, and naloxone (80 mg total). After the procedure, he received an oral dose of naltrexone (100 mg).

  

Past Medical History Medications
Allergies NKDA

None None

    

Social History

Substance abuse of opioids. His method of drug use was unknown, but by a friend’s report he used oxycodone (900 mg/week) and hydrocodone/acetaminophen tables (100 mg/week).

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

116/65 mmHg 95% (high ow O2)

General: Patient was lying on stretcher and had no spontaneous movements. HEENT: Pupils were 4 mm and reactive. Oropharynx was clear.
Cardiac: Normal rate with no murmurs, gallops, or rubs appreciated.
Pulmonary: Coarse breath sounds present bilaterally throughout both lung elds. Abdomen: Soft, non-tender, non-distended with active bowel sounds.
Neurologic: Awake and would look at physician when name called. He had normal

muscle tone and will withdraw to pain. He has no clonus and mild hyperre exia.

He has minimal spontaneous movements.
Skin: Clear, no abrasions, ecchymosis, or signs of IV drug abuse.

Diagnositic Testing

WBC Platelets

16.9 k/mm3 254 k/mm3

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

70–85 bpm

42–45 breaths/min

38 °C (100.4 °F)

Hemoglobin

16 g/dL

Hospital Course

149

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

3.4 mEq/L

101 mEq/L

26 mEq/L

12/0.6 mg/dL

Na Glucose

142 mEq/L

173 mg/dL

Calcium: 9.3 mg/dL
Magnesium: 1.9 mEq/L
Troponin negative
Venous Blood Gas: pH 7.5; pCO2 34.7; pO2 33; Bicarb 27.3 mmol/L, Oxygen satu-

ration 21%
Lactate: 3.1 mmol/L
Liver function tests (AST, ALT, AP, T bili, albumin): normal Urinalysis: negative
D-dimer: 353 (normal <200)
Carbon monoxide 1%

Ancillary Testing

CXR: pulmonary congestion; no in ltrate/effusion noted CT head without contrast: normal

Hospital Course

The patient was admitted to the medical ICU where he developed increasing respira- tory distress and pulmonary edema. He was intubated and had normal brain MRI. A CT angiogram for PE was negative and an EEG demonstrated no seizure activity.

What Is the Differential Diagnosis for This patient’s Altered Mental Status and Pulmonary Edema?

• Carbon monoxide poisoning from anesthesia

• Medication effect from UROD

• Endocarditis

• Spongiform leukencephalopathy

• Pulmonary embolism

• Partial complex status epilepticus

• Flash pulmonary edema from UROD

• Side effect from attempt at self-detoxi cation prior to UROD

• Ibogaine toxicity

150 Case 17 Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxi cation

What Is Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detox and How Is It Performed?

• Ultra-rapid opioid detox (UROD) or anesthesia-assisted rapid opioid detoxi ca- tion (AAROD) and rapid opioid detox (ROD) are rapid detoxi cation methods provided to patients with heroin and opioid dependency. There are no uniform protocols and the goal is to minimize perceived withdrawal symptoms through anesthesia or sedation. General principles for this procedure include use of alpha-2 agonist, anesthetic or sedation, and opioid-antagonist. High doses of opioid-antagonists are used.

 

ROD

Sedation Naloxone Naltrexone Duration 6–72 h

UROD

General anesthesia
Naloxone
Naltrexone
Duration <6 h (usually 4–5 h)

   

• Occasionally, patients are discharged on clonidine or with naltrexone tablets placed under the skin.

• UROD and ROD are not supported by any professional organizations due to concerns about the safety of the procedures and no proven bene t of UROD or ROD. There are higher adverse effects in patients undergoing UROD/ROD when compared to inpa- tient opioid withdrawal with clonidine or buprenorphine. Additionally, there is no difference in relapse rate for heroin use at 6 months. (American Society of Addiction Medicine 2005; Karan and Martin 2011; WHO 2009)
What Are Side Effects of UROD and ROD?

• Minor residual withdrawal effects including anxiety, restlessness, and yawning are reported after completion of this procedure (Safari et al. 2010).

• As evidenced by this case, massive pulmonary edema can occur in the setting of UROD. There are multiple case reports of pulmonary edema associated with UROD (Berlin et al. 2013). It is unclear from the literature if this is a direct effect of the naloxone or from the opioid, as this has also been reported with routine naloxone use for reversal of opioid intoxication and opioid intoxication (Steinberg and Karliner 1968; Gopinathan et al. 1970; Frand et al. 1972; Flacke et al. 1977; Taff 1983; Partridge and Ward 1986; Prough et al. 1984)

• Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (Berlin et al. 2013)

• Hypokalemia (Berlin et al. 2013)

• Cerebral edema (Berlin et al. 2013)

• Cardiac arrest while undergoing procedure (Berlin et al. 2013)

• Accidental overdose when relapsing and using pre-UROD/ROD amounts of
drugs (Salami et al. 2014)

Hospital Course 151

What Is the Difference Between Naloxone and Naltrexone?

• Naloxone is frequently used to reverse opioid toxicity, whereas naltrexone is used to maintain abstinence once opioids are out of a patient’s system.

• Naloxone has poor oral bioavailability, but can be used orally to treat opioid- related constipation. For treatment of opioid toxicity, naloxone is typically given intravenously, intramuscularly, or intranasally.

• Oral naltrexone is rapidly absorbed and has a long duration of action (half-life of approximately 72 h) (Lee et al. 1988). It is also available in a sustained release intramuscular form for monthly dosing.

• Naltrexone has also been used to treat alcoholism (Kranzler and Modesto-Lowe 1998)
What Other Medications, Supplements, or Herbal Products Have Been Used or Reported as Treatments for Opioid Addiction or Withdrawal Symptoms?
While many medications, supplements, and herbal products have been used in the treatment of opioid addiction and for withdrawal symptoms, not all are ef cacious and many have not formally been evaluated for this process.

• Medications used primarily as treatment for opioid addiction:

–  Methadone

–  Buprenorphine (available as tablet, transdermal patch, intramuscular depot
version, sublingual lm)

–  Slow-release morphine

–  Dihydrocodeine

–  Tramadol

–  Naltrexone (available as a tablet and intramuscular depot injection)

–  Kratom (Mitragynia speciosa korth)

• Products used primarily to treat withdrawal symptoms:

–  Clonidine

–  Diphenoxylate/atropine

–  Antiemetics

–  Diphenhydramine

–  Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or products in combination with diphenhydr-
amine to help with sleeping at night

–  Nicotinamide

–  Kratom (Mitragynia speciosa korth)

152 Case 17 Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxi cation Why Would Someone Be Exposed to Carbon Monoxide When

Undergoing Anesthesia?

• There have been previous case reports of carbon monoxide toxicity developing in patients receiving anesthesia. These patients were often undergoing proce- dures on Mondays or Tuesdays in operating rooms that had been idle for >24 h (Firth and Stuckey 1945; Middleton et al. 1965; Pearson et al. 2001).

• The proposed mechanism for the exposure to CO was interaction between the anesthetic gases and CO2 absorbent granules, which resulted in CO production (Moon et al. 1991; Pearson et al. 2001).

• CO production in anesthesia units is determined by four primary elements—the type of CO2 granule in the anesthesia circuit, the temperature of the room, type of anesthesia used, and the “dryness” of the granules (Fang et al. 1995).
What Is Spongiform Leukencephalopathy?

• Spongiform leukencephalopathy is a progressive neurologic disorder. (Kriegstein et al. 1997; Rizzuto et al. 1997)

• It involves diffuse spongiform demyelination of the white matter, also called vacuolating myelinopathy, which is related to inhaling heroin fumes by “chasing the dragon” (inhalation of fumes created when heroin powder is heated on a piece of foil).

• Associated symptoms include ataxia, dysarthria, mutism, muscle spasticity, dys- metria, hyperre exia (Sempere et al. 1991; Kriegstein et al. 1999; Celius and Andersson 1996; Buttner et al. 2000)
What Is Ibogaine?

• A schedule I, hallucinogenic alkaloid found in an African shrub Tabernanthe iboga.

• It has been used for opioid detoxi cation/ease the symptoms of withdrawal although it is not approved for this (Alper et al. 2000)

• Serious side effects such as prolonged QT interval, polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and death have been reported following ibogaine use, but it is unknown if this was truly a direct effect of ibogaine or result of the combination of ibogaine with underlying comorbidities (Asua 2013; Alper et al. 2012)

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 153

Case Conclusion

In this case, the patient underwent ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation and developed pulmonary edema. UROD is not recommended or approved for opioid detoxi ca- tion, but many people seek this treatment as an alternative for opioid detoxi cation. This patient developed pulmonary edema, a complication of rapid opioid reversal that is also seen with naloxone administration. Supportive care with intubation was required, but the patient did well, was extubated, and discharged home on hospital day two.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• ROD/UROD is not supported by any professional organizations due to safety issues.

• Medical insurance does not cover expenses related to ROD/UROD.

• Candid discussions with patients regarding safer detoxi cation programs should be undertaken if patients are looking for a detoxi cation program or are strug-
gling with opiate/opioid addiction.
Emergency Medicine

• Obtaining as much information as possible from the anesthesiologist who per- formed the procedure is necessary for all patients who undergo ROD/ UROD. Additionally, obtaining a list of medications and information about any noted complication during the ROD/UROD is very important.

• Information provided by accompanying friends/family can also be very helpful.

• Consider broad differential diagnoses, including infectious etiology, for all
patients presenting after ROD/UROD.

• Any implanted opioid-antagonist needs to be removed in patients experiencing
complications from this type of procedure.

• Respiratory distress may be an early sign of underlying pulmonary edema and
should be managed with CPAP or endotracheal intubation.

• Consult your regional poison control center or medical toxicology service for
guidance in patient treatment and when entertaining other diagnoses.

154 Case 17 Ultra-Rapid Opioid Detoxi cation

Toxicology

• Obtaining as much information as possible from the anesthesiologist who per- formed the procedure is necessary for all patients who undergo ROD/ UROD. Additionally, obtaining a list of medications and information about any noted complication during the ROD/UROD is very important.

• Information provided by accompanying friends/family can also be very helpful.

• Consider broad differential diagnoses, including infectious etiology, for all
patients presenting after ROD/UROD.

• Any implanted opioid-antagonist needs to be removed in patients experiencing
complications from this type of procedure.

• Respiratory distress may be an early sign of underlying pulmonary edema and
should be managed with CPAP or endotracheal intubation.

• Co-exposure of other potential opioid detoxi cation medication/supplements
should be considered.
References
Alper KR, Lotsof HS, Frenken GM, Luciano DJ, Bastiaans J. Ibogaine in acute opioid withdrawal: an open label case series. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;909:257–9.
Alper KR, Stajic M, Gill JR. Fatalities temporally associated with the ingestion of ibogaine. J Forensic Sci. 2012;57(2):398–412.
American Society of Addiction Medicine. Public policy state on rapid and ultra-rapid opi- oid detoxi cation. 2005; Available via American Society of Addiction Medicine: http:// http://www.asam.org/advocacy/find-a-policy-statement/view-policy-statement/public-policy- statements/2011/12/15/rapid-and-ultra-rapid-opioid-detoxi cation. Accessed 18 Jan 2015.
Asua I. Growing menace of ibogaine toxicity. Br J Anaesth. 2013;111(6):1029–30.
Berlin D, Farmer BM, Rao RB, et al. Deaths and severe adverse events associated with anesthesia-
assisted rapid opioid detoxi cation. MMWR. 2013;62(38):777–80.
Buttner A, Mall G, Penning R, Weis S. The neuropathology of heroin abuse. Forensic Sci Int.
2000;113(1–3):435–42.
Celius EG, Andersson S. Leucoencephalopathy after inhalation of heroin: a case report. J Neurol
Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1996;60:694–5.
Fang ZX, Eger EI, Laster MJ, Chortkoff BS, Kandel L, Ionescu P. Carbon monoxide production
from degradation of des urane, en urane, iso urane, halothane, and sevo urane by soda lime
and Baralyme. Anesth Analg. 1995;80:1187–93.
Firth JB, Stuckey RE. Decomposition of trichloroethylene in closed circuit anesthesia. Lancet.
1945;1:814–6.
Flacke JW, Flacke WE, Williams GD. Acute pulmonary edema following naloxone reversal of
high-dose morphine anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 1977;47:376–8.
Frand UI, Shim CS, Williams MH. Methadone-induced pulmonary edema. Ann Intern Med.
1972;76:975–9.
Gopinathan K, Saroj D, Spears J, et al. Hemodynamic studies in heroin induced acute pulmonary
edema. Circulation. 1970;42:44.
Karan L, Martin J. Anesthesia-assisted rapid opioid detoxi cation. Available via: California Society
of Addiction Medicine. 2011. http://www.csam-asam.org/anesthesia-assisted-rapidopioid- detoxi cation. Accessed 14 Jan 2015.

References 155

Kranzler H, Modesto-Lowe V, Nuwayser ES. Sustained-release naltrexone for alcoholism treatment: a preliminary study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998;22(5):1074–9.

Kriegstein AR, Armitage BA, Kim PY. Heroin inhalation and progressive spongiform leukenceph- alopathy. NEJM. 1997;336(8):589–90.

Kriegstein AR, Sungu DC, Millar WS, et al. Leukencephalopathy and raised brain lactate from heroin vapor inhalation (“chasing the dragon”). Neurology. 1999;53(8):1765–73.

Lee M, Wagner H, Tanada S, Frost J, Bice A, Dannals R. Duration of occupancy of opiate receptors by naltrexone. J Nucl Med. 1988;29:1207–11.

Middleton V, vanPoznak A, Artusio JF Jr, Smith SM. Carbon monoxide accumulation in closed circuit anesthesia systems. Anesthesiology. 1965;26:715–0.

Moon R, Ingram C, Brunner E, Meyer A. Spontaneous generation of carbon monoxide within anesthesia circuits. Anesthesiology. 1991;75:A873.

Partridge BL, Ward CF. Pulmonary edema following low-dose naloxone administration. Anesthesiology. 1986;65:709–10.

Pearson ML, Levine WC, Finton RJ, et al. Anesthesia-associated carbon monoxide exposure among surgical patients. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2001;22(6):352–6.

Prough DS, Roy R, Bumgarner J, et al. Acute pulmonary edema in healthy teenagers following conservative doses of intravenous naloxone. Anesthesiology. 1984;60:485–6.

Rizzuto N, Morbin M, Ferrari S, et al. Delayed spongiform leukencephalopathy after heroin abuse. Acta Neuropathol. 1997;94:87–90.

Safari F, Mottaghi K, Malek S, Salimi A. Effect of ultra-rapid opiate detoxi cation on withdrawal syndrome. J Addict Dis. 2010;29(4):449–54.

Salami A, Safari F, Mohajerani SA, et al. Long-term relapse of ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation. J Addict Dis. 2014;33:33–40.

Sempere AP, Posada I, Ramo C, Cabello A. Spongiform leucoencephalopathy after inhaling her- oin. Lancet. 1991;338:320.

Steinberg AD, Karliner JS. The clinical spectrum of heroin pulmonary edema. Arch Intern Med. 1968;122:122–7.

Taff RH. Pulmonary edema following naloxone administration in a patient without heart disease. Anesthesiology. 1983;59:576–7.

World Health Organization. Guidelines for the psychosocially assisted pharmacological treatment of opioid dependence. Geneva, Switzerland. 2009. http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/43948. Accessed 22 Feb 2016.

Case 18
Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Ingestion

1. What are the toxic effects of concentrated hydrogen peroxide?
2. What diagnostic workup is required after concentrated H2O2 ingestion? 3. What is the management of toxic pneumobilia?

Abstract A 32-year-old man ingests concentrated hydrogen peroxide and develops vomiting and abdominal pain. The diagnostic workup and management approach is discussed, including the role of imaging and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Keywords Hydrogen peroxide • Caustics • Gas embolism • Hyperbaric oxygen

History of Present Illness

A previously healthy 32-year-old man presented to the ED after unintentionally ingesting a mouthful of 35% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) from an unmarked bottle he kept in his refrigerator. He was using the solution to clean produce. Upon realizing his error, he immediately drank a liter of water, which promptly induced vomiting. In the ED, the patient complained of mild throat and chest discomfort as well as “abdominal fullness.”

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

None
None
None
Denied alcohol, smoking, or illicit drug use

   

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017
L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_18

157

158

Case 18

Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Ingestion

Physical Examination

Blood pressure

140/92 bpm

General: Comfortable, nontoxic appearing.
HEENT: Voice normal, normal lips, and oropharynx. Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm.
Pulmonary: Symmetric breath sounds, clear to auscultation. Abdomen: Scaphoid abdomen, tender epigastrium. Neurologic: Alert and oriented to person, place, and time. Skin: Warm and well-perfused.

Ancillary Testing

Abdominal x-ray: normal, no portal venous air detected.
CT abdomen: extensive air throughout the portal venous system.

Hospital Course

O2 saturation

98%

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

93 bpm

18 breaths/min

35.8 ° C (96.4 °F)

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was recommended for the patient in this case, but trans- fer to a hyperbaric facility was not possible. He was instead admitted to the hospital for continuous monitoring. Over the next 12 h, his symptoms gradually resolved, and a repeat CT scan the following day showed complete resolution of the portal venous gas. The patient was subsequently discharged without any sequelae.

Key Points of Case

What Are Potential Exposures to Hydrogen Peroxide?

H2O2 is a colorless and odorless liquid. Solutions with concentrations ranging from 3% to 5% have many household applications, including use as a wound disinfectant and dentifrice; dilute solutions are also utilized for similar purposes in the hospital setting. Industrial-strength H2O2 (concentrations of 10–35%) is employed to bleach textiles and paper, and higher concentrations (70–90%) are used as an oxygen source for rocket engines.

Consumer application of concentrated H2O2 solutions has become increasingly common. Some, like this patient, clean the surfaces of fruits and vegetables with

Key Points of Case 159

H2O2 to decrease transmission of bacteria during cutting (Ukuku et al. 2005). More concerning, however, is the purported medicinal bene ts of ingesting “food grade” (35%) H2O2 mixed with water—touted on many Internet sites as a treatment for ill- nesses such as emphysema, cancer, anemia, and HIV (theoneminutemiracle.com). Sometimes referred to as “hyperoxygenation therapy,” this so-called treatment has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for any such purpose (FDA news release 2006). When diluted suf ciently, this concoction is not harmful, but unlikely to provide any health bene ts.

What Are the Toxic Effects of Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide?

Injury from concentrated H2O2 consumption is primarily from either direct caustic injury or the embolic obstruction of blood ow. Following ingestion, the enzyme catalase metabolizes the breakdown of H2O2 in accordance with the following equa- tion: 2H2O2(aq) → 2H2O(l) + O2(g) + heat. A single milliliter (mL) of 35% H2O2 results in the liberation of 100 mL of O2. (The more common 3% household solu- tion generates 10 mL of oxygen per 1 mL of H2O2.) The creation of a large intragas- tric pressure gradient from the liberation of gas, coupled with the caustic and exothermic injury of the bowel mucosa, may contribute to the movement of oxygen through epithelial interstices into the circulation. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, absorption of intact H2O2 with subsequent metabolism by catalase in the blood liberates oxygen directly within the vasculature. Oxygen bubbles may coalesce in blood circulation and occlude vascular ow. In canine studies, elevated oxygen tension in the portal venous system led to cessation of mesenteric ow in arteries and veins, though the mechanism of action is unclear (Shaw et al. 1967). Furthermore, coalescence of bubbles can lead to disruption of bowel-cell architec- ture, brin plugging of capillaries, venous thrombosis, and infarction of tissues (Shaw et al. 1967).

Cases of cardiac and cerebral gas embolism have been reported and present simi- larly to patients with diving-related decompression injuries (e.g., stroke-like syn- dromes) (Cina et al. 1994; Rider et al. 2008). The proposed mechanism for these latter effects involves the metabolism of H2O2 in the systemic circulation with pro- duction of oxygen bubbles. In the presence of a septal defect, bubbles may move from the right heart to the arterial circulation (French et al. 2010).

Toxicity and death from H2O2 exposure associated with the historical treatment of inspissated meconium (Shaw et al. 1967) as well as the irrigation of wounds (Bassan et al. 1982) has been reported. Ingestion of a 3% solution is generally benign, resulting at worst in gastrointestinal symptoms or throat irritation (Henry et al. 1996). Rarely does signi cant toxicity occur at this low concentration (Cina et al. 1994) with the vast majority of such cases involving concentrated solutions of 35%.

160 Case 18 Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Ingestion What Diagnostic Workup Is Required After Concentrated H2O2

Ingestion?

Reportedly, ingestion of as little as a “sip” or “mouthful” of 35% H2O2 has resulted in venous and arterial gas embolism, occasionally with severe consequences, but no cur- rent consensus guidelines exist regarding imaging requirements (Rider et al. 2008). Some toxicologists and hyperbaric physicians believe that the presence of portal venous air does not adversely impact a patient’s prognosis or necessitate treatment, and therefore, a workup is unnecessary. Others, however, suggest that the presence of portal venous air indicates oversaturation of oxygen in the blood, placing the patient at increased risk for cardiac and cerebral air embolism. Although practice patterns vary by institution, it is reasonable that patients presenting with abdominal com- plaints after ingestion of H2O2 undergo imaging to assess for portal venous air. The presence of portal venous air may often be identi ed on X-ray imaging (Rackoff and Merton 1990; Luu et al. 1992); however, it lacks sensitivity (Burns and Schmidt 2013), as was the case in our patient. Therefore, if X-ray is normal, it is reasonable to obtain CT imaging to assess for portal venous air.

Concentrated H2O2 ingestions may be associated with signi cant gastritis and mucosal injury. Endoscopy is recommended within 12–24 h of ingestion to assess degree of injury in all patients with intentional ingestions, and in patients with unin- tentional ingestions and presence of stridor, or having two of three symptoms of: vomiting, abdominal pain, or drooling (Fulton 2011).

Toxic Pneumobilia: Management?

The management of patients with portal venous gas following H2O2 ingestion is controversial and has not been established. Microbubble formation in the vascula- ture may lead to platelet aggregation and release of platelet activator inhibitor (Mirski et al. 2007), a mechanism that may theoretically respond to administration of a platelet inhibitor, such as aspirin, in these patients. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves increasing the ambient pressure by several atmospheres inside a specially designed chamber—the same therapy used for diving-related decompression injury. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy increases the amount of dissolved oxygen in the blood, thereby decreasing bubble formation and allowing transport of dissolved oxygen to the lungs where it can be exhaled. Some patients with portal venous air experience signi cant pain and portal venous hypertension, which may respond rapidly to this therapy (Papafragkou et al. 2012). Based on available literature, hyperbaric therapy is reasonable for patients with signi cant abdominal pain and portal venous air fol- lowing H2O2 ingestion; less controversial is the role of hyperbaric therapy in those with cerebral air embolism. Multiple case reports of patients with signi cant neuro- logic ndings demonstrate resolution of symptoms following hyperbaric therapy (Rider et al. 2008).

References 161

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Emergency Medicine

• Ingestion of household concentration H2O2 (3–5%) may result in mild gastric irritation and is typically well-tolerated

• Ingestion of concentrated, “food grade” H2O2 (35%) may cause signi cant caus- tic injury and can result in venous and arterial gas embolism
Patients Who Have Ingested 35% H2O2

• Symptoms associated with ingestion includes:

–  Gastrointestinal
Nausea, vomiting Abdominal pain Oropharyngeal irritation

–  Neurologic (related to cerebral gas embolism)
Drowsiness, lethargy, coma
Stroke-like symptoms (cranial nerve de cits, hemiparesis, hemiplegia, sen-
sory de cits, ataxia, dysarthria)

• Diagnostic imaging:

–  Abdominal X-ray is indicated to assess for the presence of portal venous air in patients with signi cant abdominal pain

–  CT abdomen should be considered in patients with negative abdominal X-ray

–  CT head is indicated for all patients with neurologic symptoms

• Management

–  Esophagogastroduodenoscopy should be considered to assess for caustic injury

–  Use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is controversial, but is reasonable to con-
sider in:
Any patients with CT evidence of cerebral embolism or in patients with stroke-like symptoms where concern exists for cerebral gas embolism
Select patients with signi cant abdominal pain and portal venous air present on CT imaging
References
35% H2O2 hydrogen peroxide food grade certi ed bene ts. 2015. http://www.theoneminutemira- cleinc.com/pages/h2o2-bene ts/.
Bassan MM, Dudai M, Shalev O. Near-fatal systemic oxygen embolism due to wound irrigation with hydrogen peroxide. Postgrad Med J. 1982;58(681):448–50.

162 Case 18 Concentrated Hydrogen Peroxide Ingestion

Burns RA, Schmidt SM. Portal venous gas emboli after accidental ingestion of concentrated hydrogen peroxide. J Emerg Med. 2013;45(3):345–7.

Cina SJ, Downs JC, Conradi SE. Hydrogen peroxide: a source of lethal oxygen embolism. Case report and review of the literature. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 1994;15(1):44–50.

FDA warns consumers against drinking high-strength hydrogen peroxide for medicinal use: ingestion can lead to serious health risk and death [news release]. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration. 2006. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/ PressAnnouncements/2006/ucm108701.htm. [30 January 2015].

French LK, Horowitz BZ, McKeown NJ. Hydrogen peroxide ingestion associated with portal venous gas and treatment with hyperbaric oxygen: a case series and review of the literature. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2010;48(6):533–8.

Fulton JA. Caustics. In: Nelson LS, Lewin NA, Howland MA, Hoffman RS, Goldfrank LR, Flomenbaum NE, editors. Goldfrank’s toxicological emergencies. 9th ed. New York: McGraw- Hill; 2011. p. 1364–73.

Henry MC, Wheeler J, Mofenson HC, et al. Hydrogen peroxide 3% exposures. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(3):323–7.

Luu TA, Kelley MT, Strauch JA, Avradopoulos K. Portal vein gas embolism from hydrogen perox- ide ingestion. Ann Emerg Med. 1992;21(11):1391–3.

Mirski MA, Lele AV, Fitzsimmons L, Toung TJK. Diagnosis and treatment of vascular air embo- lism. Anesthesiology. 2007;106:164–77.

Papafragkou S, Gasparyan A, Batista R, Scott P. Treatment of portal venous gas embolism with hyperbaric oxygen after accidental ingestion of hydrogen peroxide: a case report and review of the literature. J Emerg Med. 2012;43(1):e21–3.

Rackoff WR, Merton DF. Gas embolism after ingestion of hydrogen peroxide. Pediatrics. 1990;85(4):593–4.

Rider SP, Jackson SB, Rusyniak DE. Cerebral air gas embolism from concentrated hydrogen per- oxide ingestion. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2008;46(9):815–8.

Shaw A, Cooperman A, Fusco J. Gas embolism produced by hydrogen peroxide. N Engl J Med. 1967;277(5):238–41.

Ukuku DO, Bari ML, Kawamoto S, Isshiki K. Use of hydrogen peroxide in combination with nisin, sodium lactate and citric acid for reducing transfer of bacterial pathogens from whole melon surfaces to fresh-cut pieces. Int J Food Microbiol. 2005;104(2):225–33.

Case 19
Nicotine Toxicity

1. What is your differential diagnosis?

2. Why is isopropanol on the differential?

3. What are the symptoms of GHB toxicity?

4. What is GHB used for?

5. What are the symptoms of nicotine toxicity?

6. What are other sources of nicotine?

7. What are the basics for management?

8. How much nicotine is too much?

9. How does one determine if a patient with an exposure is going to get sick?

10. What are some of the most common effects seen in adults who attempt suicide with nicotine patches?

11. How do electronic cigarettes work?

12. Does the FDA regulate electronic cigarettes?

13. How many different brands of electronic cigarettes are available to purchase?
How many avors?

14. What plant has been used as a smoking cessation medication in Eastern Europe
and can cause nicotine-like effects with exposure?

15. What other plants can have nicotine-like effects?

Abstract In this chapter, we discuss the case of a toddler who acutely vomited fol- lowing ingestion of a small container of liquid on his father’s nightstand. He subse- quently developed ataxia and lethargy. This chapter explores possible causes of his symptoms, including GHB intoxication and nicotine exposure.

Keywords Seizures • Electronic cigarettes • Nicotine • GHB

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 163 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_19

164 Case 19 Nicotine Toxicity

History of Present Illness

• A 2-year-old male was brought to emergency department by his father for evalu- ation after developing several episodes of emesis following an ingestion of about 2 mL liquid from small container on father’s nightstand.

• The patient rapidly became lethargic and ataxic when attempting to stand after being brought back from the triage area.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

109/69 mmHg

None
None
NKDA
Lives at home with parents; no smoking in the home

O2 saturation

100% (room air)

   

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

160 bpm

24 breaths/min

36.9 °C (98.5 °F)

General: The patient was pale and diaphoretic.
HEENT: Pupils were midsize and reactive, no nystagmus.
Cardiovascular: Tachycardia but no M/R/G. Distal pulses present bilaterally in all

extremities.
Pulmonary: Chest was clear to auscultation bilaterally with no wheezes, rales, or

rhonchi. There was no accessory muscle use or stridor noted.
Abdomen: Hyperactive bowel sounds, but abdomen soft and non-tender. Patient

continued to vomit non-bloody, non-bilious emesis in the ED.
Neurologic: Generalized weakness, unsteady gait, lethargy but no tremor noted.

What Is Your Differential Diagnosis?

• Ipecac ingestion

• Ethanol ingestion

• Isopropanol ingestion or dermal exposure

• Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) ingestion

• Ingestion of nicotine liquid replacement for electronic cigarettes

Diagnostic Testing 165

Why Is Isopropanol on the Differential?

Isopropanol is highly inebriating (more so than ethanol) and is an irritant that can cause vomiting.

What Are the Symptoms of GHB Toxicity?

• Patients with GHB intoxication frequently present with bradycardia, hypother- mia, hypotension, respiratory depression (Liechti et al. 2006)

• They also can develop CNS depression, salivation, vomiting, myoclonus that can appear seizure-like, and coma (Liechti et al. 2006)

• Deaths are rare from isolated GHB use, but have been reported (Knudsen et al. 2008, 2010).
What Is GHB Used for?

• Medical therapy for narcolepsy (Brown and Guilleminault 2011)

• Treatment of alcohol abuse and withdrawal (Maremmani et al. 2001)

• As an anabolic steroid by body builders (Brennan and Van Hout 2014)

• To facilitate date rape (Brennan and Van Hout 2014)

• Recreational drug abuse (Brennan and Van Hout 2014)

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

14.1 k/mm3

Na

137 mmol/L

Calcium: 9.4 mg/dL
LFTS: within normal limits Ethanol level (serum): negative Acetaminophen: negative Salicylic acid: negative

Platelets

212 k/mm3

Glucose

128 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

9.8/30 g/dL

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

4.2 mmol/L

105 mmol/L

24 mmol/L

14/0.3 mg/dL

166 Case 19 Nicotine Toxicity

Ancillary Testing

An EKG was performed and demonstrated sinus tachycardia with normal intervals and no signs of acute ischemia.

Hospital Course

Intravenous uids were started; the patient was placed on a cardiac monitor and observed. No other medications were administered as the child began to improve with decreased episodes of emesis in the emergency department. Additionally, there was some hope that any continued emesis would act as a means of self- decontamination. He was admitted to the hospital for continued observation.

The liquid was identi ed as an e cigarette re ll bottle containing 10 mL of 16–24 mg nicotine.

What Are the Symptoms of Nicotine Toxicity?

Mild toxicity:

• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

• Tremors

• Tachycardia, tachypnea, and increased blood pressure
Severe toxicity:

• Biphasic effect with symptoms of cholinergic excess initially (minutes to hours) and bradycardia, coma, neuromuscular blockade, which can result in respiratory failure and hypotension late (few hours) in severe toxicity.

• Can see salivation, diaphoresis, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea within minutes of signi cant ingestion.

• Other symptoms include dysrhythmias, muscle fasciculations, confusion, ataxia, headache, dizziness, and seizures.

• Vomiting is most common initial symptom; however, the development of sei- zures without vomiting as the initial symptom following ingestion of liquid nico- tine has been reported (Lookabill and Beuhler 2014, pers. comm. 8 September).

• There are multiple cases in the literature of deaths attributed to nicotine inges- tions. In one of the reports, the deceased extracted nicotine from tobacco (Corkery et al. 2010). In another report, the patient drank a liquid nicotine preparation, as well as a large amount of alcohol (Solarino et al. 2010). A pediatric death related to the accidental ingestion of liquid nicotine for an electronic cigarette re ll has also been reported (Eggleston et al. 2016).

Hospital Course 167

What Are Other Sources of Nicotine?

• Cigarettes (10–30 mg/cigarette)

• Cigarette butts (5–7 mg/butt)

• Nicotine gum (2–4 mg/piece)

• Nicotine lozenges (2–4 mg/lozenge)

• Nicotine patches (8.3–114 mg/patch)

• Nicotine pesticides

• Fresh or dry tobacco leaves

• Tobacco extract and tobacco smoke enemas
What Are the Basics for Treatment Management?

• Ingestions are managed with supportive care primarily.

• Pesticide exposures and dermal exposure patients should be decontaminated
with soap and water with providers being careful to wear personal protective
equipment.

• Activated charcoal is not recommended, even though it can bind nicotine, due to
rapid absorption, associated risk of vomiting, and potential for seizures (poten- tial risk outweighs bene t).
How Much Nicotine Is Too Much?

• In general, the LD50 of nicotine in adults is accepted as 0.5–1 mg/kg; however, a recent paper suggests the LD50 may be much higher at 6.5–13 mg/kg (Kobert 1906; Mayer 2014).

• Based on symptoms of toxicity being noted in children who ingested one cigarette or three cigarette butts, physicians should be concerned for any child <6-year-old who ingests these amounts (Smolskine et al. 1988)

• Severe toxicity has been reported in a single case report of a child who ingested a total of 2 mg of nicotine from a piece of nicotine gum (Mensch and Holden 1984)
How Does One Determine If a Patient with an Exposure Is Going to Get Sick?

• Due to rapid mucosal absorption of some products, ingested gums, lozenges, and chewed patches may produce symptoms within a few minutes. Other ingestions may not produce symptoms up to 90 min. Expected initial symptoms would include vomiting and mild symptoms as noted above.

• Any child with symptoms should be observed until symptom free with normal vital signs.

168 Case 19 Nicotine Toxicity

• Adults with minor symptoms from accidental exposures may not necessarily require medical evaluation, but those who intentionally ingested nicotine contain- ing products or develop vomiting should be observed for development of worsen- ing symptoms. Most reports of ingestions resulting in mild to moderate toxicity and even some with severe toxicity note resolution of symptoms within 12–24 h.

• Patients with dermal exposures from wet/fresh tobacco leaves may not develop symptoms for 3–17 h from the time of exposure and symptoms can last for sev- eral days.

• Patients with patch exposures may continue to have nicotine absorption from area where patch (es) were located due to subcutaneous deposition of nicotine (Soghoian 2010).
Hospital Course Continued
The patient was admitted overnight and returned back to baseline by the morning with normal repeat labs and vital signs. He was discharged home on hospital day two.
What Are some of the most Common Effects Seen in Adults Who Attempt Suicide with Nicotine Patches?

• In a case series of adults who intentionally placed excessive nicotine patches as a suicide attempt, the most common ndings were dizziness, hypertension, dia- phoresis, and altered mental status (Woolf et al. 1996).

How Do Electronic Cigarettes Work?

• When a person takes a drag from an electronic cigarette, it triggers a micropro- cessor to heat a metal coil in order to vaporize liquid nicotine and that vapor is then inhaled.

• The liquid nicotine is contained in a cartridge that is either fully replaced or can be re lled.

• The nicotine is usually dissolved in vegetable oil or propylene glycol (Caponnetto et al. 2012).
Does the FDA Regulate Electronic Cigarettes?

• In 2016, the FDA extended its regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, to include electronic cigarettes and electronic liquids, including avorings. This includes regulation of “manufacturing, importing, packaging, labeling,

Hospital Course Continued 169

advertising, promotions, sales, and distribution of electronic nicotine delivery

systems” (FDA 2016).

• Prior to this, the FDA center for Tobacco Products only regulated cigarettes,
cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco, but not non-
tobacco based nicotine products.

• The FDA Center for Drug Evaluation and Research regulates electronic ciga-
rettes speci cally marketed for therapeutic purposes (ex: products marketed for smoking cessation).
How Many Different Brands of Electronic Cigarettes Are Available to Purchase? How Many Flavors?

• One recent study found 466 brands of e cigarettes marketed on the internet as of January 2014, with 7764 unique avors among them.

• The same study group found only 250 brands in 2012. Furthermore, in the 17 months between the searches, there was a net increase of 10.5 brands and 242 new avors per month (Zhu et al. 2014).
What Plant Has Been Used as a Smoking Cessation Medication in Eastern Europe and Can Cause Nicotine-Like Effects
with Exposure?

• Plants from the Leguminsoae family contain cystisine, a nicotinic alkaloid, which works as a partial agonist at the receptor level.

• It was found to be superior to nicotine replacement therapy in a recent clinical trial (Walker et al. 2014).
What Other Plants Can Have Nicotine-Like Effects?

• Plants containing nicotine and nicotine-like alkaloids that have been reported to be poisonous to humans include Conium maculatum, Nicotiana glauca and Nicotiana tabacum, Laburnum anagyroides, Caulophyllum thalictroides, and Baptisia.

• These plants contain the toxic alkaloids nicotine, anabasine, cytisine, n– methylcytisine, coniine, n-methylconiine, and γ-coniceine. These alkaloids are readily absorbed via dermal and oral routes and have high volumes of distribution.

• Symptoms typically follow a biphasic pattern where initial symptoms are consis- tent with nicotinic cholinergic poisoning: tremor, tachycardia, hypertension, abdominal pain followed by a period of hypotension, bradycardia, respiratory distress, and coma (Schep et al. 2009; Anderson 2015).

170 Case 19 Nicotine Toxicity

Case Conclusion

In this case, a 2-year-old ingested liquid nicotine that was intended for use as an electronic cigarette re ll. The patient fully recovered after a period of observation without any sequelae and was discharged home the next day. As electronic cigarette use continues to grow, as will access to liquid nicotine for re lling these devices.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Electronic cigarette re lls come in various sizes and have a lot of potential for misuse, overdose, and severe toxicity in both adults and children.

• Anticipatory guidance regarding the potential dangers of these products and proper storage is important in preventing toxicity in children of parents using these products.

• Vomiting is the primary symptom seen in most patients who have ingested nico- tine, but seizures can occasionally be seen as the presenting symptom in liquid nicotine ingestions.

• Children <6-year-old with possible ingestion of 1 whole cigarette or ≥3 cigarette butts should be observed in a health care setting for the development of signs of toxicity
Pediatrics

• Electronic cigarette re lls come in various sizes and have a lot of potential for misuse, overdose, and severe toxicity in both adults and children.

• Anticipatory guidance regarding the potential dangers of these products and proper storage is important in preventing toxicity in children of parents using these products.

• Vomiting is the primary symptom seen in most patients who have ingested nico- tine, but seizures can occasionally be seen as the presenting symptom in liquid nicotine ingestions.

• Children <6-year-old with possible ingestion of 1 whole cigarette or ≥3 cigarette butts should be observed in a health care setting for the development of signs of toxicity

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 171

Emergency Medicine

• Electronic cigarette re lls come in various sizes and have a lot of potential for misuse, overdose, and severe toxicity in both adults and children.

• Vomiting is the primary symptom seen in most patients who have ingested nico- tine, but seizures can occasionally be seen as the presenting symptom in liquid nicotine ingestions.

• Children <6-year-old with possible ingestion of 1 whole cigarette or ≥3 cigarette butts should be observed for development of signs of toxicity

• Patients with symptoms should be observed until asymptomatic with normal vital signs

• Clothing removal and skin decontamination should occur shortly after arrival if concerned about any dermal exposure.

• Activated charcoal is not recommended in these cases as onset of symptoms is rapid and includes vomiting and seizures in severe toxicity, making aspiration a signi cant risk.

• Seizures should be treated with benzodiazepines as opposed to antiepileptics. If intractable seizures, despite use of generous doses of benzodiazepines, consider barbiturates before antiepileptics.

• Treatment is primarily supportive.
Toxicology

• Electronic cigarette re lls come in various sizes and have a lot of potential for misuse, overdose, and severe toxicity in both adults and children.

• Be aware of other sources of nicotine and decontamination techniques for patients exposed dermally

• Vomiting is the primary symptom seen in most patients who have ingested nicotine

• Children <6-year-old with possible ingestion of 1 whole cigarette or ≥3 cigarette butts should be observed in a health care setting for the development of signs of toxicity

• Patients with symptoms should be observed until asymptomatic with normal vital signs

• Activated charcoal is not recommended in these cases as onset of symptoms is rapid and includes vomiting and seizures in severe toxicity making aspiration a signi cant risk

• Seizures should be treated with benzodiazepines as opposed to antiepileptics. If intractable seizures, despite use of generous doses of benzodiazepines, consider barbiturates before antiepileptics.

• Treatment is primarily supportive.

172 Case 19 Nicotine Toxicity

References

Anderson MJ, Kurtycz DF, Cline JR. Baptisia poisoning: a new and toxic look-alike in the neigh- borhood. J Emerg Med. 2015;48(1):39–42.

Brennan R, Van Hout MC. Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB): a scoping review of pharmacology, toxicology, motives for use, and user groups. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014;46(3):243–51.

Brown MA, Guilleminault C. A review of sodium oxybate and baclofen in the treatment of sleep disorders. Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(15):1430–5.

Caponnetto P, et al. The emerging phenomenon of electronic cigarettes. Expert Rev Respir Med. 2012;6(1):63–74.

Corkery JM, Button J, Vento AE, Schifano F. Two UK suicides using nicotine extracted from tobacco employing instructions available on the Internet. Forensic Sci Intern. 2010;199(1-3), e9–e13.

Eggleston W, Nacca N, Stork CM, Marraffa JM. Pediatric death after unintentional exposure to liquid nicotine for an electronic cigarette. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2016;54(9):890–1.

FDA. Vaporizers, E-cigarettes, and other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS). August 7, 2016. http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ ucm456610.htm. Accessed August 29, 2016.

Knudsen K, Greter J, Verdicchio M. High mortality rates among GHB users in western Sweden. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2008;46(3):187–92.

Knudsen K, Jonsson U, Abrahamsson J. Twenty-three deaths with gamma-hydroxybutyrate over- dose in wetern Sweeden between 2000 and 2007. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2010;54(8):987–92. Kobert R. Lehrbuch der Intoxikationen II. Band Spezieller Teil. Stuttgart: Verlag von Ferdinand

Enke; 1906. p. 1064–5.
Liechti ME, Kunz I, Greminger P, Speich R, Kupferschmidt H. Clinical features of gamma-

hydroxybutyrate and gamma-butyrolactone toxicity and concomitant drug and alcohol use.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2006;81(3):323–6.
Maremmani I, Lamanna F, Tagliamonte A. Long-term therapy using GHB (sodium gamma hydroxy-

butyrate) for treatment-resistant chronic alcoholics. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2001;33(2):135–42. Mayer B. How much nicotine kills a human? Tracing back the generally accepted lethal dose to

dubious self-experiments in the nineteenth century. Arch Toxicol. 2014;88:5–7.
Mensch AR, Holden M. Nicotine overdose after a single piece of nicotine gum. Chest.

1984;86:801–2.
Schep LJ, Slaughter RJ, Beasley DM. Nicotinic plant poisoning. Clin Toxicol (Phila).

2009;47(8):771–81.
Smolskine SC, Spoerke DG, Spiller SK, et al. Cigarette and nicotine chewing gum toxicity in

children. Hum Toxicol. 1988;7:27–31.
Soghoian S. Nicotine. In: Nelson L, editor. Goldfrank’s toxicologic emergencies. 9th ed. New York:

McGraw-Hill; 2010. p. 1185–90.
Solarino B, Rosenbaum F, Risselmann B, Buschmann CT, Tsokos M. Death due to nico-

tine-containing solution: case report and review of the literature. Forensic Sci Intern.

2010;195(1-3):e19–22.
Walker N, Howe C, Glover M. Cytisine versus nicotine for smoking cessation. N Engl J Med.

2014;371(25):2353–62.
Woolf A, Burkhart K, Caraccio T, Litovitz T. Self-poisoning among adults using multiple transder-

mal nicotine patches. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(6):691–8.
Zhu SH, Sun JY, Bonnevie E, et al. Four hundred and sixty brands of e-cigarettes and counting:

implications for product regulation. Tob Control. 2014;23(Suppl 3):iii3–9.

Case 20
A Skin Rash and Fever After Starting an Antibiotic

1. Discuss common medications that are associated with Steven’s Johnson Syndrome and the current understanding of their pathophysiology.

2. What is required to diagnose Steven’s Johnson Syndrome?

3. What is the mechanism of methotrexate toxicity?

4. How does methotrexate toxicity commonly present? What organ systems can be
involved?

5. What treatment options are available for methotrexate toxicity, and how does the
renal function affect both the toxicity and the treatment strategies?

6. Does the administration of carboxypeptidase alter methotrexate concentrations?

7. What are risk factors for toxicity due to oral methotrexate?

8. What dosing errors are often cited in cases of accidental overdose?

Abstract An 87-year-old female presented to the emergency department with fever and a rash, out of concern for possible Steven’s Johnson syndrome. Ultimately, it was discovered she had a medication error involving methotrexate, and the rash was felt to be due to methotrexate toxicity, rather than true Steven’s Johnson syndrome. The case discusses both Steven’s Johnson toxicity as well as methotrexate toxicity.

Keywords Methotrexate • Rash • Steven’s Johnson • Mediation errors

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 173 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_20

174 Case 20 A Skin Rash and Fever After Starting an Antibiotic

History of Present Illness

An 87–year-old female presented to a local emergency department for evaluation of rash and fever. The patient was in her usual state of health prior to a mechanical fall. After the fall, the patient developed rhabdomyolysis and was admitted to a rehabilita- tion hospital. While at the rehabilitation facility, the patient was noted to have a pruritic papular rash, gradually worsening over 1 week. Two days prior to presenta- tion, the patient developed fever (Tmax 39.2 C).The rehabilitation facility noted a medication error and transferred the patient to the emergency department out of con- cern for Stevens Johnson Syndrome. In addition to the rash, the patient complained of oral pain with resultant decreased oral intake. She denied history of similar rashes.

  

Past Medical History

Medications Allergies

Hypertension
Gastroesophageal re ux disorder
Hypothyroidism
Paroxysmal atrial brillation
Congestive heart failure
Rheumatoid arthritis
Trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole (2 weeks prior to presentation in the emergency department)
NKDA

              

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

84 bpm

18 breaths/min

36.9 °C (98.42 °F)

122/84 mmHg

93%

General: Awake and alert
HEENT: White ulcers on the hard palate, excoriation of lips
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm
Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation, symmetric breath sounds
Skin: Scattered white vesicles with vesico-pustular lesions on an erythematous base These lesions were present throughout the body, but most pronounced on the back

Diagnostic Testing WBC

1.1 k/mm3 (ANC 924)

Na

136 mmol/L

Platelets

57 k/mm3

Hemoglobin

9 g/dL

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

3.9 mmol/L

103 mmol/L

24 mmol/L

35 mg/dL

1.1 mg/dL

Glucose

152 mg/dL

Hospital Course

175

ALT

61 IU/L

AST

32 IU/L

Lactate 0.8 mmol/L PT 12 seconds; IR 1.1

Ancillary Testing

CK

28 IU/L

Chest radiograph with patchy opacities bilaterally, mild vascular congestion

Discuss Common Medications That Are Associated with Steven’s Johnson Syndrome and the Current Understanding of Their Pathophysiology

Antibiotics, particularly the sulfonamides, NSAIDs, anticonvulsants such as phe- nytoin, and allopurinol have been associated with SJS-TEN (Stevens Johnson Syndrome-Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis) (Wetter and Camilleri 2010; French and Prins 2012). SJS & TEN are thought to occur via an immune-mediated reaction which causes widespread apoptosis of keratinocytes. This is followed by loss of viability and necrosis of the remaining epidermis (Nickoloff 2008). Antifolate cyto- toxic skin reactions (i.e., methotrexate-induced toxicity) may appear similar to SJS- TEN, but are thought to occur due to direct cellular toxicity rather than an immune-mediated mechanism (Pierard-Franchimont et al. 2012).

What Is Required to Diagnose Steven’s Johnson Syndrome?

The diagnosis of Steven’s Johnson syndrome, like toxic epidermal necrolysis, is a clinical diagnosis, based on a combination of history and physical examination. Histologic ndings on biopsy can be used to support the diagnosis, but the diagnosis is ultimately a clinical diagnosis. There is no gold-standard diagnostic laboratory test that can be ordered to con rm the diagnosis.

Hospital Course

The patient was admitted to the medical intensive care unit and treated for health care-associated pneumonia with ceftazidime and vancomycin. Leucovorin was administered for presumed methotrexate toxicity. Skin lesions were biopsied and returned negative for HSV/VZV.

176 Case 20 A Skin Rash and Fever After Starting an Antibiotic

On Hospital Day 2, the WBC count fell to ANC 600/mm3 with an ANC of 348/ mm3; the platelet count fell to 8000/mm3. The patient was transfused two single- donor apheresis platelet units. On hospital Day 4, the WBC fell to 200/mm3. The patient was started on granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.

The patient continued to receive leucovorin, but developed worsening respiratory status with pulmonary edema and adult respiratory distress syndrome. She was started on voriconazole for possible fungal pneumonia. The patient was started on noninvasive positive pressure ventilation and diuretic therapy for uid overload. After diuresis of 2 L, the patient developed acute kidney failure and atrial brilla- tion with rapid ventricular response at 140 beats per minute.

On Hospital Day 5, the patient was intubated for worsening hypoxemic respira- tory failure. Shortly thereafter, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was unable to be resuscitated.

What Is the Mechanism of Methotrexate Toxicity?

Reduced folate, i.e., tetrahydrofolate and derivatives, are required for purine and thymidine synthesis. Methotrexate enters the cell via the reduced folate carrier and ultimately undergoes polyglutamination. Methotrexate is structurally similar to folate, and methotrexate, along with the polyglutamates, inhibits dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). This inhibition results in a depletion of reduced folates.

While synthesis of methionine and purines do not result in oxidation of tetrahydro- folate moieties, synthesis of thymidine results in oxidation to dihydrofolate, thus trap- ping folate in an oxidized state (Widemann and Adamson 2006; Nelson and Goldfrank 2011; Berg et al. 2002). Ultimately, there is inhibition of purine synthesis.

How Does Methotrexate Toxicity Commonly Present? What Organ Systems Can Be Involved?

Methotrexate suppresses synthesis of thymidine and purines and may result in cell death in rapidly dividing cell lines. Methotrexate toxicity may cause pancytopenia, mucositis, rash, as well as hepatitis and pneumonitis. Death may occur from pneu- monia, sepsis, or multi-organ failure (Widemann and Adamson 2006; Nelson and Goldfrank 2011; Sinicina et al. 2005).

Methotrexate is primarily eliminated by the kidneys. Because methotrexate is poorly soluble at an acidic pH, methotrexate may precipitate in the renal tubules. In addition, there is some suggestion that methotrexate itself may be directly nephro- toxic to the renal tubules. This direct toxicity, along with the precipitation of metho- trexate in the tubules, may result in nephrotoxicity. Renal insuf ciency may increase the concentrations of methotrexate, thereby increasing the risk of systemic toxicity (Widemann and Adamson 2006).

Hospital Course 177

What Treatment Options Are Available for Methotrexate Toxicity, and How Does the Renal Function Affect Both the Toxicity and the Treatment Strategies?

Supportive care, including adequate uid resuscitation and treatment of concomi- tant infections, is mandatory. Urinary alkalinization may decrease the precipitation of methotrexate in the renal tubules, thereby decreasing the risk of nephrotoxicity. Folinic acid (Leucovorin) is a reduced (active) form of folic acid and can be inter- converted to the various active forms of folate. Folinic acid therapy is indicated until methotrexate toxicity has resolved (Widemann and Adamson 2006; Nelson and Goldfrank 2011). Methotrexate toxicity can be considered resolved once both levels are subtherapeutic, and there is no longer any evidence of end organ toxicity.

With severe kidney dysfunction, methotrexate cannot be cleared resulting in persistently elevated concentrations, which may result in more significant toxicity. Carboxypeptidase G2 (Glucarpidase) is derived from enzymes found in Pseudomonas spp. It is recombinantly expressed in E. Coli and now is com- mercially available. It functions by cleaving methotrexate to DAMPA and glu- tamate and can rapidly lower the serum methotrexate concentration (Widemann et al. 2010).

Does the Administration of Carboxypeptidase Alter Methotrexate Concentrations?

Carboxypeptidase cleaves methotrexate into glutamate and DAMPA. DAMPA may cross react with the immunoassay for methotrexate, giving a falsely elevated con- centration. The true serum methotrexate concentration can be veri ed by LC-MS/ MS (Al-Turkmani et al. 2010).

What Are Risk Factors for Toxicity Due to Oral Methotrexate?

Interestingly, acute oral methotrexate overdose is unlikely to result in signi cant toxicity. This is probably because GI absorption is saturable and oral dosing is sig- ni cantly lower than IV chemotherapeutic dosing (LoVecchio et al. 2008).

178 Case 20 A Skin Rash and Fever After Starting an Antibiotic What Dosing Errors Are Often Cited in Cases of Accidental

Overdose?

Accidental chronic overdose is a risk for signi cant morbidity and death. In a series reported to the FDA’s AERS (Adverse Event Reporting System), the most common error leading to toxicity was confusion regarding once-weekly dosing (30% of cases) and other dosage errors (22%). Nearly one fourth of all patients in this series died. Prescribing or administration by a health care professional was responsible for 54% of errors; 19% were attributable to dispensing errors. Only 20% of errors were attributable to patient error. This series highlights the importance of due diligence in the prescribing and dispensing of methotrexate to prevent harm and potentially death (Moore et al. 2004).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Emphasize dosing of methotrexate to patients; ensure patients know if the drug should be administered once weekly or daily

• Emphasize importance of prompt medical care should a rash occur
Dermatology

• Cytotoxic skin lesions due to methotrexate may resemble SJS-TEN, but are due to direct cellular toxicity rather than an immune-mediated phenomenon

Emergency Medicine

• Urinary alkalinization can reduce risk of toxicity

• Administer leucovorin for cases of methotrexate toxicity with normal renal function,
or carboxypeptidase for cases of methotrexate toxicity with abnormal renal function
Critical Care Medicine

• Administer leucovorin for cases of methotrexate toxicity with normal renal func- tion, or carboxypeptidase for cases of methotrexate toxicity with abnormal renal function

References 179

• Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor can be administered for drug-induced neutropenia

• A common cause of death in methotrexate toxicity is sepsis

References

Al-Turkmani MR, Law T, Narla A, Kellogg MD. Dif culty measuring methotrexate in a patient with high-dose methotrexate-induced nephrotoxicity. Clin Chem. 2010;56(12):1792–4.

Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th ed. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2002.
French LE, Prins C. Erythema multiforme, Stevens–Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. 2012 [cited 3/24/2015]. In: Dermatology [Internet]. China: Elsevier Saunders;

Third. [cited 3/24/2015]; p. 319–33.
LoVecchio F, Katz K, Watts D, Wood I. Four-year experience with methotrexate exposures. J Med

Toxicol. 2008;4(3):149–50.
Moore TJ, Walsh CS, Cohen MR. Reported medication errors associated with methotrexate. Am

J Health Syst Pharm. 2004;61(13):1380–4.
Nelson L, Goldfrank LR. Goldfrank’s toxicologic emergencies. 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill

Medical; 2011.
Nickoloff BJ. Saving the skin from drug-induced detachment. Nat Med. 2008;14(12):1311–3. Pierard-Franchimont C, Lesuisse M, Humbert P, Delvenne P, Pierard GE. Toxic epidermal necrol-

ysis and antifolate drugs in cancer chemotherapy. Curr Drug Saf. 2012;7(5):357–60.
Sinicina I, Mayr B, Mall G, Keil W. Deaths following methotrexate overdoses by medical staff.

J Rheumatol. 2005;32(10):2009–11.
Wetter DA, Camilleri MJ. Clinical, etiologic, and histopathologic features of Stevens-Johnson

syndrome during an 8-year period at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010;85(2):131–8. Widemann BC, Adamson PC. Understanding and managing methotrexate nephrotoxicity.

Oncologist. 2006;11(6):694–703.
Widemann BC, Balis FM, Kim A, Boron M, Jayaprakash N, Shalabi A, et al. Glucarpidase, leu-

covorin, and thymidine for high-dose methotrexate-induced renal dysfunction: clinical and pharmacologic factors affecting outcome. J Clin Oncol. 2010;28(25):3979–86.

Case 21
Recurrent Seizures in a Patient with a Chronic Neurologic Disorder

1. Discuss the mechanism and differential diagnosis of medications that can cause multiple seizures in overdose.

2. What is 4-aminopyridine. What is it used for, and what is its mechanism?

3. What are some of the other clinical manifestations of 4-AP in overdose?

4. Discuss the role of phenytoin in the treatment of 4-aminopyridine toxicity? For
what drug-induced seizures might phenytoin treatment be detrimental?

5. What are other products that contain 4-aminopyridine?

6. Why is 4 AP being investigated as a therapy in calcium channel blocker
poisoning?

Abstract A 34 year-old male with an initially unknown neurologic disorder pre- sented to the emergency department following an intentional overdose. He was ini- tially noted to be tachycardic, somnolent, and then had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, which appeared to have resolved, although EEG monitoring later revealed nonconvulsive status epilepticus. He was treated with multiple medications, and ultimately, made a complete recovery. A detailed discussion of drug-induced sei- zures, as well as the mechanism of action of this particular xenobiotic, ensues.

Keywords 4-aminopyridine • Seizures • Multiple sclerosis

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 181 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_21

182 Case 21 Recurrent Seizures in a Patient with a Chronic Neurologic Disorder

History of Present Illness

Chief complaint: Recurrent seizures
Emergency medical services were called to the home of a 34 year-old male with a

history of a “chronic neurologic disorder” for an intentional overdose. He was in his usual state of health until the night prior, when he had an argument with his mother. He was found to be lethargic the following morning. Upon arrival of the emergency medical services, he was minimally arousable to deep stimulation, diaphoretic, and tachycardic with a maximal heart rate of 120 beats per minute. The blood pressure was 138/86 mmHg. He was transported to the emergency department.

Physical Examination

General: the patient was noted to be lethargic and somnolent. He was minimally responsive to painful stimuli.

HEENT: Pupils were 4 mm, and sluggishly reactive;
Cardiovascular: the heart rate was noted to be 120 beats per minute.
Neurologic: Spasticity of the left upper and lower extremities was appreciated and

the patient was diffusely hyperre exic.

Approximately 30 min after arrival, he was noted to have several generalized tonic-clonic seizures lasting 30–60 s, but never regained consciousness.

Initial Treatment

The patient received a total of 10 mg of intravenous lorazepam in several divided doses. He was subsequently started on a lorazepam infusion. He was intubated with succinylcholine and received 1 g of intravenous phenobarbital. The seizures termi- nated after he received a dose of 1 g of intravenous phenytoin. He also received 5 g of intravenous pyridoxine.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Family History Social History

“chronic neurologic disorder,” but no history of seizures Unknown at presentation
Unknown
Unknown

Unknown

    

Diagnostic Testing

183

Diagnostic Testing

WBC

17 k/mm3

Na

143 mmol/L

AST

65 IU/L

Platelets

300 k/mm3

Hemoglobin

13 g/dL

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

3.5 mmol/L

107 mmol/L

24 mmol/L

15 mg/dL

1.2 mg/dL

Glucose

169 mg/dL

 

Acetaminophen, salicylates, and ethanol were undetectable CT head: negative for hemorrhage or masses

Discuss the Mechanism and Differential Diagnosis
of Medications That Can Cause Multiple Seizures in Overdose

Toxin-induced seizures can be caused either by excessive excitatory neurotransmis- sion or lack of inhibitory signaling. Status epilepticus is de ned by either two or more seizures without a lucid interval or continuous seizure activity for greater than 5 min. Toxin-induced status epilepticus is less common (Rao 2015).

Xenobiotics than can cause seizures:

• 4 aminopyridine

• Antihistamines

• Baclofen

• Bupropion

• Camphor

• Carbamazepine

• Carbon monoxide

• Chloroquine

• Cicutoxin

• Cyanide

• Domoic acid

• Ergots

• Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB)

• Gyromitrin

• Heavy metals (lead, mercury, lithium)

• Hypoglycemics

• Isoniazaid (INH)

• Local anesthetics
• Mefanamic acid
• Meperidine
• Organic chlorides
• Organic phosphorus compounds • Phenylbutazone

• Propoxyphene
• Serotonin and serotonin-norepinephrine

reuptake inhibitors
• Styrchnine
• Sympathomimetics
• Tetramethylenedisulfotetramine • Thallium
• Theophylline
• Tramadol
• Tricyclic antidepressants
• Zinc phosphide

ALT

53 IU/L

    

Xenobiotics that commonly cause status epilepticus in overdose.

184

Case 21

Recurrent Seizures in a Patient with a Chronic Neurologic Disorder

 

• • • •

4 aminopyridine Bupropion Camphor Chloroquine

• Cicutoxin
• Isoniazid (INH) • Gyromitrin
• Methylxanthines

Xenobiotics that commonly cause seizures in withdrawal.

• Baclofen • Ethanol
• Barbiturates • Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB) • Benzodiazepines

Hospital Course

The patient had a history of multiple sclerosis. His mother brought his medication list which revealed that the patient was prescribed valcyclovir, temazepam, natali- zumab, and dalfampridine (4-aminopyridine or 4-AP). The patient was switched from the lorazepam drip to a propofol drip and admitted to the ICU. Continuous EEG monitoring showed intermittent nonconvulsive seizure activity until hospital day 3. The patient was extubated on hospital day 5. The 4-AP level was 530 ng/mL (therapeutic range 25–49 ng/mL). The valacyclovir level was 7.5 mcg/mL (2.0–4.0 mcg/mL). The patient was discharged on hospital day 14 with a normal mental sta- tus and neurologic exam. It was unclear if the spasticity and hyperre exia seen in the emergency department was related to the subsequent generalized tonic-clonic seizure activity.

What Is 4-Aminopyridine. What Is It Used for, and What Is Its Mechanism?

4-aminopyridine (4-AP) is a broad-spectrum potassium channel blocker that was used in electrophysiological studies for characterizing voltage-gated potassium channels in the 1970s. These studies showed that 4-AP selectively blocked voltage- sensitive potassium channels, reduced the potassium current, and increased the action potential duration down large nerves (Blight et al. 2014). Furthermore, it was shown this only affected demyelinated nerves, with little effect on myelinated ones. In myelinated nerves, saltatory conduction down the Nodes of Ranvier leads to speedy transmission of action potentials. In MS and other demyelinating syndromes, the loss of myelin means that the strength and speed of the action potential decreases as it is propagated down long nerves. By blocking potassium ef ux, the action potential can propagate more easily down demyelinated nerves. 4-AP was targeted for use in MS, as demyelination of the long nerves of the legs leads to impaired walking early in the disease course.

  

Hospital Course 185

4-aminopyridine also increases release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, and for that reason, it has also been used in the treatment of Lambert– Eaton syndrome, myasthenia gravis, saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin-induced paralysis, anesthesia-induced neuromuscular blockade, and a botulism outbreak in Alaska with variable success (King et al. 2012).

Early studies in the 1970s through the 1990s characterized 4-AP as having a nar- row therapeutic index, with an increased risk for seizures associated with higher doses (Stork and Hoffman 1994). This narrow therapeutic index represented an important barrier to clinical use. Nevertheless, 4-AP became available to some clini- cians in unapproved, compounded formulations, which showed variability of dosage and resultant toxicities owing to unintended overdose (Burton et al. 2008; Schwam 2011; Stork and Hoffman 1994). However, dalfampridine (Ampyra®), a 10 mg extended release version (taken twice daily), was approved by the FDA in 2010.

Potassium channel blockade increases the resting potential of a neuron and leads to increased calcium in ux and therefore increased calcium-mediated exocytosis of neurotransmitters. 4-aminopyridine is fat-soluble and can cross the blood brain bar- rier. It is hypothesized that in overdose, the potassium blockade affects all neurons, leading to global excitation and massive excitatory neurotransmitter release.

What Are Some of the Other Clinical Manifestations of 4-AP in Overdose?

Extrapyramidal symptoms have been described including choreoathetoid movements and slurred speech (Ballesta Méndez et al. 2014; De Cauwer et al. 2009; King et al. 2012). One case report described a 34-year-old woman with MS who developed “trem- ulous dystonic and choreoathetoid-type writhing of the extremities” after an intentional overdose. She was reported to have a xed stare, slurred speech, confabulation, and delirium. She was successfully treated with lorazepam (Pickett and Enns 1996).

Various cardiac effects have been described with 4-AP toxicity and include: hypertension, supraventricular tachycardia, atrial brillation, bradycardia, and dif- fuse myocardial hypokinesis. There is a theoretical concern for QT prolongation through inhibition of the hERG potassium channel as 4-AP is a potassium channel blocker (King et al. 2012).

Discuss the Role of Phenytoin in Treatment of 4-Aminopyridine Toxicity? For What Drug-Induced Seizures Might Phenytoin Treatment Be Detrimental?

Phenytoin has been shown to help stop seizures caused by 4-aminopyridine in both case reports and animal models (Stork and Hoffman 1994;Yamaguchi and Rogawski 1992). As a sodium channel blocker, it can stop propagation of an action potential. In most toxin-induced seizures, initiation and propagation of the seizure is diffuse

186 Case 21 Recurrent Seizures in a Patient with a Chronic Neurologic Disorder

and does not respond to standard antiepileptic drugs such as phenytoin, and in some cases, it may theoretically be harmful. In most toxin-induced seizures, GABA-ergic agents are most effective (other than INH-induced seizures which require pyridox- ine as an antidote) (Rao 2015).

What Are Other Products That Contain 4-Aminopyridine?

4-AP was initially developed in the 1960s as an avicide (Avitrol®). When consumed, 4-AP causes birds to emit distress calls secondary to involuntary diaphragmatic con- tractions (King et al. 2012). It is EPA-regulated as a restricted pesticide, which means it can only be used by certi ed commercial entities. It is highly toxic to mammals and sh. Despite restrictions on use, other animals, including household pets, have been harmed and killed by exposure to 4-AP bait each year (McLean and Khan 2013).

Why Is 4 AP Being Investigated as a Therapy in Calcium Channel Blocker Poisoning?

4-AP facilitates calcium conduction by blocking potassium channels, which causes depolarization and opening of voltage-gated calcium channels. Rodent and feline models have displayed improvement of hemodynamic outcomes with infusion doses of 2 mg/kg of 4-AP (Agoston et al. 1984; Graudins and Wong 2010; Tuncok et al. 1998). An infusion of 1 mg/kg has been effective in a dog model, but not other animal models (Gay et al. 1986). There are case reports of successful use of 4AP in CCB overdose in humans (King et al. 2012; Wilffert et al. 2007).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Prehospital

• Bring all pill bottles to the hospital with the patient

• Provide airway support, as indicated

• Administer benzodiazepines as per local protocol
Emergency Medicine

• Early administration of benzodiazepines is indicated for seizures, with barbitu- rates being indicated for refractory seizures

• Unlike other toxin-induced seizures where anticonvulsants other than GABA agonists are not indicated, the administration of phenytoin or fosphenytoin may be bene cial in seizures induced by 4-AP.

References 187

• Advanced airway management, including endotracheal intubation, may be required for patients with refractory seizures

Critical Care Medicine

• Patients with 4-AP overdose may present with status epilepticus

• Phenytoin should be administered in addition to GABA agonists for 4-AP-
induced seizures

• Mechanical ventilation may be required for patients with recurrent seizures fol-
lowing 4-AP ingestions.
References
Agoston S, Maestrone E, van Hezik EJ, et al. Effective treatment of verapamil intoxication with 4-aminopyridine in the cat. J Clin Invest. 1984;73(5):1291–6.
Ballesta Méndez M, van Pesch V, Capron A, Hantson P. Prolonged toxic encephalopathy following accidental 4-aminopyridine overdose. Case Rep Neurol Med. 2014;2014:237064.
Blight AR, Henney HR 3rd, Cohen R. Development of dalfampridine, a novel pharmaco- logic approach for treating walking impairment in multiple sclerosis. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014;1329:33–44. Review
Burton JM, Bell CM, Walker SE, O’Connor PW. 4-aminopyridine toxicity with unintentional over- dose in four patients with multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2008;71(22):1833–4.
De Cauwer H, De Wolf P, Couvreur F, et al. An unusual case of 4-aminopyridine toxicity in a multiple sclerosis patient: epileptic disorder or toxic encephalopathy? Acta Neurol Belg. 2009;109:40–1.
Gay R, Algeo S, Lee RJ, et al. Treatment of verapamil toxicity in intact dogs. J Clin Invest. 1986;77(6):1805–11.
Graudins A, Wong KK. Comparative hemodynamic effects of levosimendan alone and in conjunc- tion with 4-aminopyridine or calcium chloride in a rodent model of severe verapamil poison- ing. J Med Toxicol. 2010;6(2):85–93.
King AM, Menke NB, Katz KD, Pizon AF. 4-aminopyridine toxicity: a case report and review of the literature. J Med Toxicol. 2012;8(3):314–21.
McLean MK, Khan S. A review of 29 incidents involving 4-aminopyridine in non-target species reported to the ASPCA animal poison control center. J Med Toxicol. 2013;9(4):418–21.
Pickett TA, Enns R. Atypical presentation of 4-aminopyridine overdose. Ann Emerg Med. 1996;3:382–5.
Rao R. Chapter 24: Neurologic principles. In: Hoffman RS, et al., editors. Goldfrank’s toxicologic emergencies. 10th ed. New York: McGraw Hill Education; 2015.
Schwam E. Severe accidental overdose of 4-aminopyridine due to a compounding pharmacy error. J Emerg Med. 2011;41(1):51–4.
Stork CM, Hoffman RS. Characterization of 4-aminopyridine in overdose. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1994;32(5):583–7.
Tuncok Y, Apaydin S, Gelal A, et al. The effects of 4-aminopyridine and bay K 8644 on verapamil- induced cardiovascular toxicity in anesthetized rats. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1998;36(4):301–7. Wilffert B, Boskma RJ, van der Voort PH, et al. 4- Aminopyridine (fampridine) effectively treats
amlodipine poisoning: a case report. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2007;32(6):655–7.
Yamaguchi S, Rogawski MA. Effects of anticonvulsant drugs on 4-aminopyridine-induced sei-
zures in mice. Epilepsy Res. 1992;11(1):9–16.

Case 22
Caustic Ingestion in a Toddler

1. What kind of agent is responsible for her injury?

2. What is the mechanism of injury after caustic ingestion?

3. What is used to clean deep fryers/frying pans?

4. What are the consequences of a caustic ingestion? What organ systems are
affected?

5. How should the clinician approach the patient with caustic ingestion?

Abstract A 3–year-old girl ingests a cleaning product in her home which is intended for use in the industrial setting. The clinical effects, workup, and manage- ment of caustic ingestions are discussed.

Keywords Caustic toxicity • Sodium hydroxide • Pediatrics ingestion History of Present Illness

A 3-year-old girl spies some white powder on her mother’s frying pan in the kitchen. Thinking it is sugar, she runs her fore nger through the powder and licks her nger. She immediately starts to feel discomfort and starts crying. The regional Poison Control Center is contacted, where the staff has just seen a media report of the same substance causing severe illness in an adult accidentally ingesting the product. The child is referred directly to the closest ED.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 189 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_22

190 Case 22 Caustic Ingestion in a Toddler

On further history, her father works at a nearby restaurant and uses this cleaning product obtained through a restaurant supplier. He brought it home to use because it is more effective than household cleaners to de-grease frying pans and deep fryers.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Family History Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

100\55 mmHg

None
None
None
Non-contributory
Lives with her parents and infant sibling

90% (4 L)

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

99 bpm

20 breaths/min

37.4 °C (99.3 °F)

O2 saturation

General: awake, crying but consolable
HEENT: swelling of both lips with erythema (Fig. 1); linear burn in middle of

tongue, consistent with contact made by licking nger Cardiovascular: normal
Pulmonary: no rhonchi or wheezing, normal work of breathing Abdomen: soft, non-tender, non-distended

Skin: no other signs of burns

Ancillary Testing

Chest x-ray demonstrates no evidence of pneumomediastinum. Soft tissue neck x-ray demonstrates no airway edema.

Fig. 1 External examination revealing focal swelling and mild erythema of lips

Key Points of Case 191

Hospital Course

She was admitted to the pediatrics oor and made NPO; endoscopy was performed the following day demonstrating no injury distal to the tongue, including the hypo- pharynx and esophagus.

Key Points of Case

What Kind of Agent is Responsible for Her Injury?

Cleaning product ingestion is among the most common poison exposures reported in children annually (Mowry et al. 2014), owing in large part to the availability within the home. Young children, primarily between 1 and 5 years of age, are often curious without caution—they do not yet have the reasoning skills to prevent them from ingesting a potentially dangerous household toxin. This is made especially worse when the substance is removed from its original container, or as in this case, when the substance is not intended for household use at all but is packaged at an industrial strength.

The majority of cleaning products causing toxic injury in children are caustics, usually strong acids or alkalis. Other toxic chemicals in the home include hydrocar- bons (e.g., gasoline, torch oil, potpourri oil), toxic alcohols (such as antifreeze or windshield washer uid), and pesticides. Table 1 provides a list of commonly avail- able household toxins.

The potential for severe injury from a caustic product is most determined by the product’s pH, concentration, and the amount ingested. The formulation also plays a role, as a thin liquid may be more likely to cause damage throughout the esophagus and stomach, whereas a highly viscous solid may only cause oral injury. A powder such as this one can either cause local injury alone or, if suf cient quantity is ingested, can cause distal injury as well.

What Is the Mechanism of Injury After Caustic Ingestion?

Tissue injury from a caustic ingestion begins immediately, thus limiting the bene t of any decontamination measures. Although histologic patterns of injury are differ- ent based on whether the product is acid or alkali, the clinical consequences are simi- lar. Nonetheless, alkalis cause a liquefactive necrosis and theoretically induce deeper tissue injury (Arévalo-Silva et al. 2006). Acids, on the other hand, cause coagulation necrosis which some authors suggest limit further tissue penetration and injury via eschar formation (Browne and Thompson 2003). Unlike alkali ingestions, acids may be associated with a higher incidence of systemic complications including renal fail- ure, liver dysfunction, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and hemolysis.

192 Case 22 Caustic Ingestion in a Toddler

Table 1 Common toxic household chemicals Caustics

    

Acids

Alkali

Concentrated detergents

Hydrocarbons
Petroleum distillates Other essential oils Aromatic hydrocarbons

Toxic alcohols Ethylene glycol Methanol

Pesticides
Rodenticides Organophosphates, carbamates Pyrethroids

Toilet bowl cleaner—sulfuric or phosphoric acid Oven cleaner—sulfuric acid
Tile cleaners—muriatic (hydrochloric) acid Brake dust cleaner—hydro uoric acid

Drain cleaner—
Sodium or potassium hydroxide Bleach
Ammonia
Fryer cleaner—sodium hydroxide Laundry detergent pods
Laundry detergent powder

Gasoline, kerosene, lighter uid, naphtha
Pine oil, citronella oil (tiki torch uid), potpourri oil, teak oil Inhalants—screen cleaners, correction uid, paint thinner

Automotive antifreeze
Windshield washer uid, Sterno fuel

Long-acting anticoagulant, “superwarfarins” Insecticides
Insecticides

                

What Is Used to Clean Deep Fryers/Frying Pans?

There are a number of industrial cleaning products available to clean deep fryers, usually available in a white powdered form. The week before this case presented to our medical center, a woman sustained severe caustic injury at a restaurant when, by report, the iced tea provided was accidentally mixed with fryer cleaner instead of sugar (McFall 2014). In that case, the product was a highly concentrated sodium hydroxide (>60%) formulation.

The parents of this child provided the name of this product (Clean Force Fryer CleanerTM), and review of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) shows the pow- der to contain 67% Sodium Hydroxide (Fig. 2). The concentration clearly identi es it as an industrial use product.

In contrast, household cleaners containing sodium hydroxide, often referred to as “lye,” are required to be in much more dilute form. For example, household drain cleaners, which can still cause signi cant caustic injury if ingested, contain approxi- mately 2–4% sodium hydroxide.

Key Points of Case 193

Fig. 2 Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for product ingested
What Are the Consequences of a Caustic Ingestion?

What Organ Systems Are Affected?

After ingestion of a caustic substance, immediate injury occurs to the tissues with which it comes into contact. This can include the face, lips, tongue, oropharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach. Ocular exposure should also be considered. Patients can have burns and swelling at all of these sites, the most immediately life- threatening being the airway.

Other consequences which occur in the rst hours to day after exposure can include esophageal burns, perforation, mediastinitis, and gastric burns and perforation.

Patients may develop shock and systemic in ammation due to tissue injury or occult perforation. Acid ingestions in particular may cause a metabolic acidosis due to absorption of the offending substance into the circulation.

Subsequently, in the days to weeks following exposure, the patient is at risk for late- onset perforation, esophageal stricture, and long-term risk of esophageal carcinoma.

How Should the Clinician Approach the Patient with Caustic Ingestion?

The initial focus should be as always on basics of life support—establishing the patency of the airway and absence of airway injury, determining the patient’s respi- ratory status and evaluating for the presence of shock.

The patient should be assessed for stridor as well as signs of aerodigestive tract injury. Patients may have drooling, vomiting, hematemesis, and respiratory distress. Chest and neck radiographs should be obtained to determine the presence of pneu- momediastinum and laryngeal injury, respectively, in patients with fever, respira- tory distress, or an otherwise severe clinical presentation.

194 Case 22 Caustic Ingestion in a Toddler

Endoscopy is essential in any patient in whom there has been a signi cant inges- tion, or in whom there are any symptoms of caustic tissue injury. Even patients with only one or two symptoms, such as drooling and refusal to eat, are at risk of esopha- geal injury (Crain et al. 1984). Exceptions to this rule may include patients who ingest dilute household bleach or ammonia, or products whose high viscosity pre- vents them from causing distal injury (crème hair relaxers). Laundry detergent pod exposures are a unique circumstance in which the need for endoscopy is controver- sial, as discussed in Chapter 1.

Any patient whose workup reveals suspected viscus perforation should have an immediate surgical evaluation. Caustic mediastinitis and/or peritonitis are grave diagnoses which demand immediate intervention. Empiric antibiotics are only indi- cated in the case of suspected perforation, but are often administered due to the patient’s ill appearance and the presence of fever. Corticosteroids may prevent stric- ture formation in patients with moderate esophageal burns without overt necrosis (Usta et al. 2014; Anderson et al. 1990). Although bene t has not been shown in historical studies (Anderson), a recent study demonstrated a reduction in stricture formation in children with second-degree esophageal burns (Usta et al. 2014).

Case Conclusion

Following endoscopy, the patient was given a clear diet and advanced to solids over the next 24 h. She tolerated this and was discharged home the following day.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Pediatrics

• Even small caustic exposures can result in signi cant injury

• Of the many cleaning substances available in the home, be aware of those with
caustic ingredients such as drain and porcelain cleaners.

• Other potential household chemicals with toxic properties include hydrocarbons,
pesticides, and alcohols.

• After caustic ingestion, immediate referral to the emergency department is essen-
tial for assessment of the airway and staging of esophageal injury.
Emergency Medicine

• Although caustic ingestions primarily cause esophageal and gastric injury, initial assessment must evaluate the airway for injury.

• Obtain a chest radiograph to exclude mediasitinitis or overt perforation.

References 195

• Beware of ingestions of industrial strength caustics which have a much higher likelihood to cause severe esophageal and gastric injury.

Gastroenterology

• Early exible endoscopy is essential to determine the extent of esophageal and gastric injury in any symptomatic patient who has ingested a caustic product.

• Patients with moderate esophageal burns may bene t from corticosteroids,
according to recent evidence.
Toxicology

• Fryer cleaners are most often concentrated bases, such as sodium hydroxide. This is especially the case with industrial products.

• Any patient with either a suicidal ingestion or symptoms of esophageal or laryn- geal injury, even if mild, should undergo exible endoscopy.

• Following endoscopy, corticosteroids appear to have a role in moderate esopha- geal injury.

• While antibiotic therapy is less established based on the available literature, it is often employed due to the patients’ ill appearance and concern for micro- or overt perforation.
References
Anderson KD, Rouse TM, Randolph JG. A controlled trial of corticosteroids in children with cor- rosive injury of the esophagus. N Engl J Med. 1990;323:637–40.
Arévalo-Silva C, Eliashar R, et al. Ingestion of caustic substances: a 15-year experience. Laryngoscope. 2006;116:1422–6.
Browne J, Thompson J. Caustic ingestion. In: Bluestone CD, Stool SE, Kenna MA, editors. Pediatric otolaryngology. 4th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2003. p. 4330–42.
Crain EF, Gershel JC, Mezey AP. Caustic ingestions. Symptoms as predictors of esophageal injury. Am J Dis Child. 1984;138:863–5.
McFall, M. Poisoned tea traced to sugar mixup; Utah victim critical. The Salt Lake Tribune. 2014. http://www.sltrib.com.
Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR, et al. 2013 Annual report of the American association of poison control centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 31st Annual report. Clin Toxicol. 2014;52:1032–283.
Usta M, Erkan T, Cokugras FC, et al. High doses of methylprednisolone in the management of caustic esophageal burns. Pediatrics. 2014;133:E1518–24.

Case 23
Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication

1. What is the differential diagnosis?

2. What is the mechanism of action of cyproheptadine and how is it used
therapeutically?

3. What are side effects of cyproheptadine use?

4. How common is cyproheptadine withdrawal syndrome?

5. What is serotonin syndrome?

6. Which patients are at risk of developing serotonin syndrome?

7. How does cyproheptadine play a role in the management of serotonin
syndrome?

8. What are symptoms of barbiturate withdrawal?

9. What are symptoms of baclofen withdrawal?

10. What are symptoms of opioid withdrawal?

11. What are some general management principles for patients with symptoms of
withdrawal?

Abstract This chapter delves into the case of an 8-year-old male who develops withdrawal symptoms after a chronic headache medication is discontinued. Multiple withdrawal syndromes are reviewed, as well as general management principles of withdrawal.

Keywords Cyproheptadine • Baclofen withdrawal • Barbiturate withdrawal • Serotonin syndrome

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 197 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_23

198 Case 23 Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication

History of Present Illness

An 8-year-old male presented to the emergency department via EMS for evaluation of agitation, which developed after waking in the morning. The mother reported the patient had become increasingly agitated and sweaty after waking to the point she was unable to calm him, so she called EMS. The patient had been healthy and with- out complaints the previous day. The only change reported by his mom was that he received the last dose of his daily, chronic headache medication 36 h prior to his cur- rent symptoms. He had been on this medication for the past 2.5 months. The mother called the pharmacy for a medication re ll when the bottle was empty, but had not realized she was running low on the medication prior to that point, and the pharmacy was out of stock of the medication. The pharmacist noted it would be several days before the medication would be available. As the patient’s mother did not like the sedating effect of the medication, she decided to discontinue it altogether.

The patient had not been sick prior to the onset of symptoms and denied headache.

  

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

Family History

Chronic headaches
Daily headache medication—mother unable to recall name NKDA
Lives at home with parents and siblings
No history of behavioral issues
Some new stressors were noted at home.
Unknown, patient was adopted.

        

Physical Examination Blood pressure

146/84 mmHg

O2 saturation

97% (room air)

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

110 bpm

21 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

General: Awake, agitated.
Cardiovascular: Tachycardic, no murmurs, gallops or rubs.
Respiratory: Tachypnea, no stridor or audible wheezing.
Abdomen: Soft, no apparent tenderness, non-distended. Active bowel sounds

appreciated.
Neurological: Awake, alert, agitated. No focal de cits. No clonus, no hyperre exia,

normal muscular tone.
Skin: Mildly and diffusely diaphoretic.

Hospital Course

199

Diagnostic Testing

Na Glucose

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

3.6 mmol/L

106 mmol/L

25 mmol/L

16/0.51 mg/dL

139 mmol/L

95 mg/dL

Comprehensive drug screen (serum) via GC/MS: caffeine and theobromine—posi- tive; ibuprofen 31 mcg/mL

Ancillary Testing

EKG: normal sinus rhythm, rate 96 bpm, PR 115 ms, QRS 78 ms, QTc 434 ms

What Is the Differential Diagnosis?

• Discontinuation syndrome

• Clonidine withdrawal

• Opioid withdrawal

• Baclofen withdrawal

• Barbiturate withdrawal from chronic use of medication containing acetylsali- cylic acid/butalbital/caffeine

• Behavioral issues

• Intoxication by medications or substances belonging to others in the home
Hospital Course
In the emergency department, he was quickly calmed with verbal direction and was given 1 mg of lorazepam orally. His symptoms improved, and after a brief observa- tion period, and he was discharged home.
Second ED Visit
Later that evening, approximately 48 h after the last dose of his headache medica- tion, he became increasingly agitated, inconsolable, and began throwing things. EMS was called again. Due to his signi cant agitation, he received midazolam 2 mg IV from EMS and lorazepam 2 mg IV on arrival to the emergency department.

200

Case 23

Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication

Physical Examination

Blood pressure

115/69 mmHg

O2 saturation

99% (room air)

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

120 bpm

20 breaths/min

37.2 °C (98.9 °F)

General: Patient was screaming and not directable,
Cardiac: Tachycardic, limited exam due to agitation
Pulmonary: No stridor, wheezing, rales or accessory muscle use
Abdominal: Soft, ND, NT. Bowel sounds present
Neurologic: Awake, agitated and not directable. Normal re exes, no rigidity, and no

clonus
Skin: Mildly diaphoretic

On this presentation, the patient’s mother was uncertain of the dosing for the medication, but wrote down the name of the medication prior to calling EMS. She reported the patient was taking cyproheptadine for his headaches. She was uncertain of the dose, but thought it was 4 mg twice a day.

Hospital Course

The poison center was called and recommended giving the patient his home dose of cyproheptadine. Within 30 min of receiving the medication, the patient became calm and went to sleep. He was observed overnight and discharged in the morning with plans to resume cyproheptadine 4 mg twice daily.

Third ED Visit

Within a few hours of discharge, the patient had another escalation in his behavior (72 h after last dose of his prescribed cyproheptadine). He was again out of control, unable to sit still, and sweating. He returned to ED by EMS. The patient required 5-point restraints and was given olanzapine 5 mg IM.

At this point, the patient’s home dosing regimen was by the patient’s pharmacy. He had been taking cyproheptadine 8 mg twice daily, not 4 mg twice daily as mom had originally thought. He received 8 mg cyproheptadine orally in the ED, and within 30 min, he had fallen asleep. He was admitted to the hospital and had no recurrence of his symptoms. He was discharged safely from the ED with a plan for a prolonged taper of cyproheptadine.

Hospital Course 201

What Is the Mechanism of Action of Cyproheptadine and How Is It Used Therapeutically?

• Cyproheptadine is a rst-generation antihistamine. It is an H1 blocker that also exhibits nonspeci c 5HT antagonism.

• Currently, cyproheptadine is most commonly used to treat serotonin toxicity (Lappin and Auchincloss 1994; Graudins et al. 1998).

• Cyproheptadine is also used as an appetite stimulant for children with poor growth and cystic brosis patients, as well as children with functional gastroin- testinal disorders (Homnick et al. 2004; Madani et al. 2015; Mahachoklertwattana et al. 2009). Additional uses include male and female anorgasmia with TCA therapy, and for prophylaxis of child/adolescent migraines (Decastro 1985; Lewis 2004; McCormick et al. 1990; Eiland et al. 2007; Bille et al. 1977).

• Dosing guidelines for cyproheptadine vary depending on the use. Some authors describe a daily maximum dose of up to 32 mg/day. For serotonin receptor antag- onism, Kapur et al. report 95% blockade of 5-HT2 receptors in the pre-frontal cortex on PET scanning with dosing of 18 mg/day (6 mg three times daily) (Kapur et al. 1997). Previous manuscripts documenting use of cyproheptadine to treat migraines used dosing of 0.2–0.4 mg/kg/day for pediatric patients and 2 mg twice daily for patients 17–53 years of age (Bille et al. 1977; Rao et al. 2000).
What Are Side Effects of Cyproheptadine Use?

• Cyproheptadine is an older medication used rarely in daily practice, in part due to its side effect pro le.

• Reported side effects with routine use include sedation, increased appetite, and central anticholinergic syndrome (Blaustein et al. 1995; Watemberg et al. 1999).

• Case reports of cyproheptadine overdose include descriptions of classic anticho- linergic toxicity (tachycardia, psychomotor agitation, delirium) (Baehr et al.
1986; Richmond and Seger 1985).
How Common Is Cyproheptadine Withdrawal Syndrome?

• There are only two other cases reported in the literature (De Lucas Taracena et al. 2000; Bhatia et al. 2015).

• The case presented by De Lucas et al. is not referred to in most pediatric text- books or articles reviewing cyproheptadine and associated side effects.

202 Case 23 Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication

What Is Serotonin Syndrome?

• Serotonin syndrome is a constellation of symptoms caused by serotonin excess. It is characterized by:

–  The presence of at least one serotonergic agent;

–  Autonomic instability (for example, hyperthermia, GI distress, diaphoresis, or
tachycardia);

–  CNS involvement (for example, clonus, altered mental status, or psychomotor
agitation).

• There are several decision rules that can be used to de ne serotonin syndrome. Sternbach’s Criteria has been used historically, but many toxicologists currently refer to The Hunter Criteria (Sternbach 1991; Dunkley et al. 2003).

• Serotonin syndrome is a potentially life-threatening diagnosis and should be rec- ognized quickly.
What are the Hunter Criteria?
To meet the Hunter Criteria for serotonin syndrome, patients must have exposure to

a serotonergic agent and one of the following (Dunkley et al. 2003):

• Spontaneous clonus

• Inducible clonus AND agitation or diaphoresis

• Ocular clonus AND agitation or diaphoresis

• Tremor AND hyperre exia

• Hypertonia AND temperature >38C AND ocular clonus OR inducible clonus
Which Patients Are at Risk of Developing Serotonin Syndrome?

• Serotonin syndrome most frequently occurs when patients take multiple medica- tions with activity at the serotonin receptor.

• Speci cally, patients are affected when additional serotonergic medications are added to a medication regimen with existing serotonergic medications or when the dosage of a long-term medication is increased.

• Serotonin syndrome is also reported in cases of accidental and intentional over- dose of multiple drugs with serotonergic properties.

Hospital Course 203

How Does Cyproheptadine Play a Role in the Management of Serotonin Syndrome?

• Cyproheptadine has been used in the treatment of serotonin syndrome because of its 5HT (serotonin) receptor antagonism.

• It is believed cyproheptadine counteracts the effects of serotonin excess by blocking the serotonin receptor.

• While the literature describes some success controlling symptoms of serotonin syndrome, cyproheptadine is an adjunctive therapy to other supportive measures such as benzodiazepines, cooling, and hydration.
What Are Symptoms of Barbiturate Withdrawal?

• Agitation, hallucinations, and altered mental status

• Hypertension

• Tachycardia

• Diaphoresis

• Hyperthermia

• Seizures
What Are Symptoms of Baclofen Withdrawal?

• Altered mental status, hallucinations

• Hypertension

• Tachycardia

• Tremor

• Seizures

• Occasionally, can see hypotension and bradycardia
What Are Symptoms of Opioid Withdrawal?

• Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

• Piloerection

• Diaphoresis

• Abdominal pain/cramping

204 Case 23 Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication What Are some General Management Principles for Patients

with Symptoms of Withdrawal?

• Management of withdrawal symptoms is based on the speci c drug involved.

• Abrupt discontinuation of baclofen, benzodiazepine, or barbiturates can lead to medically signi cant withdrawal symptoms, seizures, and death. A tapered dis-
continuation of the drug is recommended.

• Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor discontinuation can lead to a syndrome
that is typically not life-threatening, but can be unpleasant. A tapered discontinu-
ation is also recommended.

• Opioid withdrawal is typically not life-threatening, but is very uncomfortable for
patients. Medications like alpha-2 antagonists, anti-diarrheal agents, and anti-
emetics are often used to assist with symptoms of withdrawal.

• Longer acting medications such as methadone and buprenorphine are sometimes used to treat patients with opioid dependence. Not only do these medications help control withdrawal symptoms, but they help combat cravings due to their
activity at the mu receptor.
Case Conclusion
In this case, the patient was experiencing withdrawal effects from the discontinua- tion of cyproheptadine. Previously, this medication was used for the treatment of chronic headaches in the pediatric patient, but is rarely used for this indication today. For this patient, his symptoms improved when the medication was restarted and a gradual taper initiated.
Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Consider side effects when starting patients on long-term medications

• Familiarize yourself with risks of withdrawal syndromes from any prescribed
medications and advise patients accordingly when discontinuing a medication.

• Some medications that have known withdrawal syndromes are baclofen, barbitu-
rates, benzodiazepines, opioids, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

• If you have questions about the potential for a medication to cause withdrawal symptoms, call your local poison control center or discuss the medication with
your local toxicologist.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 205

Pediatrics

• Consider side effects when starting patients on long-term medications

• Familiarize yourself with risks of withdrawal syndromes from any prescribed
medications and advise patients accordingly when discontinuing a medication.

• Some medications that have known withdrawal syndromes are baclofen, barbitu-
rates, benzodiazepines, opioids, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

• If you have questions about the potential for a medication to cause withdrawal symptoms, call your local poison control center or discuss the medication with
your local toxicologist.
Emergency Medicine

• Reviewing all home medications, supplements, and vitamins that patients have access to is extremely important when evaluating overdose and patients with withdrawal syndromes.

• Always consider discontinuation of medication as a possible cause of symptoms.

• Just as intoxication is considered as a potential cause of agitation or delirium, withdrawal syndromes should also be considered when evaluating the agitated or delirious patient.

• Some medications that have known withdrawal syndromes are baclofen, barbitu- rates, benzodiazepines, opioids, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

• Patients with active sings of withdrawal from benzodiazepines, baclofen, and barbiturates often require admission.

• In many cases, restarting the offending agent and providing a taper for discon- tinuation is the best choice.

• If the potential for a medication to cause withdrawal symptoms is in question, call the local poison control center or discuss the medication with your local toxicologist.
Toxicology

• The differential diagnosis for altered mental status should include withdrawal or discontinuation syndromes

• Consider unusual or infrequently seen medications when assessing patients with signs of drug toxicity or histories suggestive of a withdrawal syndrome.

• In many cases, restarting the offending agent and providing a taper for discon- tinuation is the best choice.

• Contacting a patient’s pharmacy can be very helpful when trying to determine home medications

206 Case 23 Withdrawal from Chronic Headache Medication

References

Baehr GR, Romano M, Young JM. An unusual case of cyproheptadine (Periactin) overdose in an adolescent female. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1986;2(3):183–5.

Bhatia MS, Kaur J, Gautam P. A case of serotonin syndrome following cyproheptadine withdrawal. Prim Care Companion CNS Disord. 2015;17(3). doi:10.4088/PCC.14l01762.

Bille B, Ludvigsson J, Sanner G. Prophylaxis of migraine in children. Headache. 1977;17:61–3. Blaustein BS, Gaeta TJ, Balentine JR, Gindi M. Cyproheptadine-induced central anticholinergic

syndrome in a child: a case report. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1995;11(4):235–7.
Decastro R. Reversal of MAOI-induced anorgasmia with cyproheptadine. Am J Psychiatry.

1985;142(6):783.
De Lucas Taracena MT, Alcaina Prosper T, Huélamo Ortega MJ. Psychotic syndrome after with-

drawal of cyproheptadine: remission with olanzapine. Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2000;28(4):270–2. Dunkley EJ, Isbister GK, Sibbritt D, Dawson AH, Whyte I. The hunter serotonin toxicity criteria: simple and accurate diagnostic decision rules for serotonin toxicity. QJM. 2003;96(9):635–42. Eiland LS, Jenkins LS, Durham SH. Pediatric migraine: pharmacologic agents for prophylaxis.

Ann Pharmacother. 2007;41(7):1181–90.
Graudins A, Stearman A, Chan B. Treatment of the serotonin syndrome with cyproheptadine.

J Emerg Med. 1998;16(4):615–9.
Homnick D, Homnick B, Reeves A, et al. Cyproheptadine is an effective appetite stimulant in

cystic brosis. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2004;38(2):129–34.
Kapur S, Zipursky R, Jones C, et al. Cyproheptadine: a potent in vivo serotonin antagonist. Am

J Psychiatry. 1997;153(6):884.
Lappin R, Auchincloss E. Treatment of the serotonin syndrome with cyproheptadine. N Engl

J Med. 1994;331:1021–2.
Lewis DW, Diamond S, Scott D, Jones V. Prophylactic treatment of pediatric migraine. Headache.

2004;44(3):230–7.
Madani S, Cortes O, Thomas R. Cyproheptadine use in children with functional gastrointestinal

disorders. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2015. [Epub ahead of print].
Mahachoklertwattana P, Wanasuwankul S, Poomthavorn P, Choubtum L, Sriphrapradang A. Short-

term cyproheptadine therapy in underweight children: effects on growth and serum insulin-like

growth factor-I. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2009;22(5):425–32.
McCormick S, Olon J, Brotman A. Reversal of uoxetine induced anorgasmia by cyproheptadine

in two patients. J Clin Psychiatry. 1990;51:383–4.
Rao B, Das D, Taraknath V, Sarma Y. A double blind controlled study of propranolol and cypro-

heptadine in migraine prophylaxis. Neurol India. 2000;48:223–6.
Richmond M, Seger D. Central anticholinergic syndrome in a child: a case report. J Emerg Med.

1985;3(6):453–6.
Sternbach H. The serotonin syndrome. Am J Psychiatry. 1991;148:705–13.
Watemberg NM, Roth KS, Alehan FK, Epstein CE. Central anticholinergic syndrome on therapeu-

tic doses of cyproheptadine. Pediatrics. 1999;103(1):158–60.

Case 24
Weakness in a Dialysis Patient

1. What are the signs and symptoms of digoxin toxicity?

2. What is the mechanism of digoxin toxicity?

3. What medications were prescribed that may enable digoxin toxicity?

4. What treatment should be pursued at this time?

5. How does digoxin Immune Fab work?

6. How is digoxin immune Fab dosing calculated in chronic toxicity?

7. Does renal dysfunction change management?

8. What special monitoring should take place once a patient has received digoxin
immune Fab?

9. Are there alternatives to aid in the clearance of digoxin that does not involve
renal metabolism in the anuric patient?

10. Is there a preferred timing for administration of digoxin immune Fab and
undergoing plasmapheresis?

11. Are there cost advantages to the use of plasmapheresis versus repeated admin-
istration of digoxin immune Fab?

Abstract Digoxin toxicity usually arises due to increased dosing, impaired clear- ance, or interaction with other concomitant medications. Cardiac dysrhythmias may result, and the most effective treatment is the administration of digoxin-speci c antibody. However, once the antibody is administered, renal clearance is required to eliminate the drug-antibody complex from the circulation. In patients with anuric renal failure, additional treatment modalities such as plasmapheresis may be needed to avoid recurrent toxicity once the antibody dissociates from the drug.

Keywords Digoxin • Plasmapheresis for toxicology • Immunoglobulin Fab fragments

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 207 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_24

208 Case 24 Weakness in a Dialysis Patient Case
A 78-year-old dialysis-dependent man with digoxin toxicity.

History of Present Illness

A 78-year-old man with a complex medical history on hemodialysis presents to the Emergency Department after 2 days of worsening weakness, nausea, and visual abnormalities. He reports dif culty walking from the parking lot to the store over the last 2 days, and that this morning’s generalized weakness was severe enough that he could not sit up in bed. He has felt nauseated the entire time; however, there has been no emesis. In regard to his vision, he reports that staring at lights results in bright, fuzzy spots.

The patient was recently discharged from the hospital on levo oxacin and van- comycin following a bout of hospital-associated pneumonia as well as surgical graft infection. He has atrial brillation and takes digoxin 0.125 mg three times a week after hemodialysis.

  

Past Medical History

Medications

Allergies Family History Social History

End-stage renal disease on dialysis, congestive heart failure, heart block status post-pacer placement, coronary artery disease, diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular accident, deep venous thrombosis, and gastrointestinal bleeding

Lantus, digoxin, midodrine, lispro, amiodarone, levothyroxine, simvastatin, tamusolin
Cefazolin, hydrocodone, neomycin
Father with heart attack and mother with stroke history

Former smoker, denies recreational drug use or alcohol consumption

        

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

97/47 mmHg 100% (room air)

General: No acute distress. Alert, pleasant, interactive, and communicative. Mild cachexia

Head: Mild temporal wasting.
Eyes: Pupils equal, round, and constricted.
ENT: moist mucous membranes.
Neck: Supple, no JVD.
Cardiovascular: Regular rate and rhythm. 3/6 harsh systolic blowing murmur.

Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation bilaterally. Normal effort.

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

74 bpm

16 breaths/min

36.5 °C (97.7 °F)

Ancillary Testing 209

Abdomen: Soft, distended with chronic epigastric tenderness, no rebound. Extremities: 1+ pitting edema to knees bilaterally.
Neurologic: Awake, alert, and oriented to person, place, time. Mild dysarthria.

Diagnostic Testing

Sodium 131 mEq/L, Potassium 4.9 mEq/L, Creatinine 5.56 mg/dL Digoxin 12 ng/mL.

Ancillary Testing

EKG: Wide complex, Paced rhythm.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Digoxin Toxicity?

Digoxin toxicity is typically described in terms of cardiac and extra-cardiac symp- toms. Extra-cardiac symptoms include visual disturbances (i.e., haziness or blurring of vision, ashing lights, halos and/or color disturbances), fatigue, anorexia, nausea, vomiting and hallucinations (Bauman et al. 2006; Critchley and Critchley 1997). Regarding cardiac manifestations, sinus bradycardia is the most common, but malignant dysrhythmias are the most concerning manifestation. Digoxin toxicity

210 Case 24 Weakness in a Dialysis Patient

reportedly causes nearly every rhythm disturbance. That said, dysrhythmias that should alert the clinician to digoxin toxicity include: new-onset Mobitz type I AV block, accelerated junctional rhythm with or without high-degree AV block, non- paroxysmal atrial tachycardia with AV block, and bidirectional ventricular tachy- cardia. Dysrhythmias not attributable to digoxin toxicity may include any supraventricular tachycardia with a rapid ventricular response and Mobitz type II AV block (Bauman et al. 2006).

What Is the Mechanism of Digoxin Toxicity?

Digoxin’s therapeutic effect is derived from increasing intracellular calcium in the cardiac myocyte. This is accomplished by inhibition of the transmembrane Na-K ATPase pump, which in turn eliminates the sodium gradient needed for calcium ef ux at the Na-Ca antiporter. This results in an increase in cytosolic calcium, the substrate for the cell’s contractile apparatus. In therapeutic dosing, digoxin increases myocardial contractility and stroke volume. The drug also has chronotropic and dromotropic effect as increased intracellular calcium raises the resting membrane potential, slowing conduction through the SA and AV nodes, but enhancing automa- ticity and shortening repolarization intervals. For this reason, the drug is used both to increase contractility in heart failure and to prevent rapid conduction of supraven- tricular dysrhythmias.

In excess dosing, the chronotropic and dromotropic effects are exaggerated. Sinus bradycardia or atrioventricular block is common, and the myocardium becomes irritable and prone to dysrhythmias. On the ECG, this may manifest as QTc interval shortening and scooped ST segments, often referred to as the “digitalis effect.”

What Medications Were Prescribed that May Enable Digoxin Toxicity?

Digoxin is a substrate for p-glycoprotein, a membrane-bound transporter present in many organ systems including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, central nervous sys- tem, and kidneys. In the GI tract, p-glycoprotein is capable of ef uxing drug mole- cules, thereby limiting drug absorption and systemic circulation. In the kidney, p-glycoprotein increases the excretion of drug molecules into the urine. As a result, chemicals that inhibit p-glycoprotein function may increase the serum concentra- tion levels of digoxin. For example, co-administration of digoxin with known p-gly- coprotein inhibitors (e.g., amiodarone, verapamil, and quinidine) may increase serum digoxin concentrations by enhancing intestinal absorption and decreasing renal clearance (Bauman et al. 2006). This patient is on amiodarone, which may have increased his risk for digoxin toxicity.

Ancillary Testing 211

What Treatment Should Be Pursued at This Time?

In the setting of severe digoxin toxicity, the administration of digoxin immune Fab (DIGIBIND®, DigiFabTM) may be lifesaving. In the current case, the patient pre- senting with hyperkalemia at a level of 4.9 mEq/L and a digoxin level of 12.0 ng/ mL suggests signi cant symptoms of severe toxicity. The presence of cardiac dys- rhythmias is likely masked by the patient’s pacemaker and should not preclude administration of the antidote.

How Does Digoxin Immune Fab Work?

Digoxin immune Fab is a speci c antidote for digoxin. It is extracted from the serum of sheep that have been immunized with a digoxin-hapten complex. The Fab fragment is separated via enzymatic degradation to yield smaller, less antigenic and more mobile molecules that are able to bind digoxin and quickly remove digoxin from its active binding site; thus isolating it within the extracellular compartment (Ujhelyi et al. 1993).

How Is Digoxin Immune Fab Dosing Calculated in Chronic Toxicity?

The number of immune Fab vials (40 mg apiece) to fully reverse digoxin toxicity can be calculated using the following formula:

Dose(# of vials)= Digoxin concentration(ng / mL)×Patient,s weight (kg) 100

In an unstable patient in which the digoxin concentration is not yet known, an empiric administration of 6 vials is an alternative regimen.

Patients utilizing digoxin therapy are likely suffering from signi cant underlying disease. Sudden complete reversal may lead to acute decompensation of their previ- ously controlled symptoms. Partial reversal, reduction in the total dose by 20–25%, has been advocated as a way to treat the toxicity, while continuing to control the patient’s underlying disease.

For this patient:

Calculated Dose (# of vials) = 12 ng / mL × 65 kg = 7.8 vials 100

 

212 Case 24 Weakness in a Dialysis Patient

The calculated dose for complete reversal would have been 8 vials; however, given the concern for decompensation of his known atrial brillation as well as congestive heart failure, a partial reversal (i.e., reduction by 25%) of 5–6 vials was ultimately recommended.

Does Renal Dysfunction Change Management?

Renal metabolism is primarily responsible for the clearance of digoxin as well as the digoxin/digoxin immune Fab complex. Thus, renal dysfunction leads to impaired clearance of both digoxin and the digoxin/digoxin immune Fab complex (Ujhelyi et al. 1993). Studies evaluating whether age and renal impairment alter digoxin pharmacokinetics suggest that there should be no dosing changes in the elderly and/ or renal impaired (Renard et al. 1997). In the setting of end-stage renal disease, renal failure results in no clearance of the digoxin/digoxin immune Fab, and a rebound of the free digoxin occurs in 1–8 days. This rebound results in return of symptoms and may require re-dosing of digoxin immune Fab. (Ujhelyi et al. 1993, Rabetoy et al. 1990)

What Special Monitoring should Take Place Once a Patient Has Received Digoxin Immune Fab?

The digoxin/digoxin Fab complex is not pharmacologically active, and thus, mea- surements of the complex do not provide insight into active digoxin levels. The clas- sical measurement of a digoxin concentration tends to elevate signi cantly after digoxin Fab administration since it is measuring the free digoxin in addition to the digoxin/digoxin immune Fab complex. Therefore, accurate measurements should look at free digoxin concentration; however, this testing is not commonly performed, and the clinician needs to contact laboratory personnel to ensure that it is available and results returned in a clinically relevant time frame (Ujhelyi et al. 1993).

Case Continued

In the management of this particular patient, the poison center recommended moni- toring free digoxin levels to better assess his pharmacologic burden. One day after admission and administration of six vials of digoxin immune Fab, the patient’s digoxin levels increased to 32.9 ng/mL; however, free digoxin level were only 1.1 ng/mL. At this time, the patient had complete resolution of symptoms, as dem- onstrated by resolution of nausea, improvement in abdominal pain, and ability to read as well as walk independently to the bathroom. Review of his pill counts as

Case Continued 213

well as his medication history revealed that the patient had mistakenly taken his digoxin three times daily for several days, rather than three times weekly.

Are There Alternatives to Aid in the Clearance of Digoxin That Does Not Involve Renal Metabolism in the Anuric Patient?

Some cases have evaluated the use of plasmapheresis or plasma exchange for the management of digoxin toxicity. Plasmapheresis involves the removal of the digoxin/digoxin immune Fab complex from the plasma where it has been seques- tered in those unable to really excrete the complex (Rabetoy et al. 1990; Zdunek et al. 2000).

Another method for management of digoxin toxicity in the setting of renal fail- ure involves charcoal intestinal dialysis, or multi-dose activated charcoal. In char- coal intestinal dialysis, a high intraluminal concentration of charcoal creates a gradient between the plasma and the intestinal lumen, allowing the redistribution and binding of the drug into the charcoal. Additional data suggest that digoxin may undergo active secretion into the intestines; thus, charcoal may prevent further reab- sorption (Critchley and Critchley 1997).

Case Continued

At this time, the poison center recommended considering multi-dose activated char- coal and plasmapheresis with his next hemodialysis to aid in the removal of digoxin/ digoxin immune Fab complex. On the fourth day of admission, the patient’s symp- toms returned in spite of having received one round of plasmapheresis with his last hemodialysis. At this time, repeated laboratory studies revealed a free digoxin level 2.2 ng/mL, which increased to 2.7 ng/mL upon repeat evaluation. Quanti cation of total digoxin level was found to be 22.6 ng/mL, and upon repeat testing, it was down to 12.5 ng/mL; thus demonstrating a dissociation effect of the digoxin/digoxin immune Fab complexes in this anuric patient.

Is There a Preferred Timing for Administration of Digoxin Immune Fab and Undergoing Plasmapheresis?

Although data is limited, it is theorized that the timing of plasmapheresis to digoxin immune Fab dosing should re ect the time to peak of bound digoxin levels. Thus, plasmapheresis would be best performed within 1–3 h of administration of digoxin immune Fab so as to trap as much of the complex in the plasma just prior to removal (Zdunek et al. 2000).

214 Case 24 Weakness in a Dialysis Patient

Are There Cost Advantages to the Use of Plasmapheresis Versus Repeated Administration of Digoxin Immune Fab?

The cost of digoxin immune Fab varies by institution; however, it is reported to be in the range of $2725 per 40 mg vial (Lexicomp 2015). The cost of plasmapheresis again varies by institution, but published reports suggest a cost of $4099. This cost includes both a round of plasmapheresis and the replacement albumin required as part of the treatment (Heatwole et al. 2011). Thus, if a patient requires re-dosing, with a minimum of two vials of digoxin immune Fab, the cost of the antidote would already outweigh the cost of one round of plasmapheresis. Digoxin toxicity is rarely encountered in the setting of hemodialysis-dependent end-stage renal dis- ease; however, the use of plasmapheresis ideally within 3 h of digoxin immune Fab administration may provide a cost advantage compared to repeated dosing of immune Fab.

Case Conclusion

Recommendations by the poison center included repeated dosing of digoxin immune Fab with three more vials, as well as a plasmapheresis session within 3 h of digoxin immune Fab administration. After re-dosing of digoxin immune fab and subsequent plasmapheresis, the patient’s symptoms resolved, and his free digoxin levels were found to be 1.8 ng/mL. The patient was observed overnight with no symptoms and was discharged without digoxin as a prescription.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Toxicology

• Ensure that anuric patients treated with digoxin immune Fab are monitored for signs and symptoms of complex dissociation in the next 1–8 days.

• Patients need re-dosing of digoxin immune Fab if symptoms return.

• Monitor free digoxin concentrations.

• Consider alternative clearance modalities in anuric patients
– Plasmapheresis

– Multi-dose-activated charcoal

References 215

Nephrology

• Evaluate the appropriateness of digoxin therapy in hemodialysis patients given dif cult clearance.

• Consider medical toxicologist consultation in setting of elevated digoxin levels.

• Consider the use of plasmapheresis in the setting of elevated digoxin levels when
patient undergoes their next hemodialysis session.
References
Bauman JL, Didomenico RJ, Galanter WL. Mechanisms, manifestations, and management of digoxin toxicity in the modern era. Am J Cardiovasc Drugs. 2006;6(2):77–86.
Critchley JA, Critchley LA. Digoxin toxicity in chronic renal failure; treatment by multiple dose activated charcoal intestinal dialysis. Hum Exp Toxicol. 1997;16:733–5.
Heatwole C, Johnson N, Holloway R, Noyes K. Plasma exchange vs. intravenous immunoglobulin for myasthenia gravis crisis: an acute hospital cost comparison study. J Clin Neuromuscul Dis. 2011;13(2):85–94.
Lexicomp. Digoxin Immune Fab. Pricing: US. 2015 Accessed 02 Sept 2015.
Rabetoy GM, et al. Treatment of digoxin intoxication in a renal failure patient with digoxin-
speci c antibody fragments and plasmapheresis. Am J Nephrol. 1990;10:518–21.
Renard C, Grene-Lerouge N, Beau N, Baud F, Scherrmann JM. Pharmacokinetics of digoxin- speci c Fab: effects of decreased renal function and age. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1997;44(2):135–8. Ujhelyi MR, Robert S, Cummings DM, Colucci RD, Green PJ, Sailstad J, et al. In uence of digoxin immune Fab therapy and renal dysfunction on the disposition of total and free digoxin.
Ann Intern Med. 1993;119:273–7.
Zdunek M, Mitra A, Mokrzycki MH. Plasma exchange for the removal of digoxin-speci c anti-
body fragments in renal failure: timing is important for maximizing clearance. Am J Kidney Dis. 2000;36(1):177–83.

Case 25 Hyperlactemia

1. What is the differential diagnosis for hyperlactemia?

2. Why was the patient’s lactate elevated?

3. What clinical ndings suggest clenbuterol toxicity?

4. What is propofol infusion syndrome?

5. Describe key features of cyanide toxicity.

6. How does cyanide cause lactate elevation?

7. What are other mitochondrial toxins that should be considered and how do they
cause lactic acidosis?

8. How do antifreeze products cause an increase in lactate levels?

9. Should lactic acidosis be treated with parenteral bicarbonate?

10. What are some non-toxicologic causes of elevated lactate concentrations?

Abstract In this case, an 18-year-old male presents to the emergency department with status asthmaticus. He subsequently developed hyperlactemia during the rst 8 h of his hospitalization. This chapter reviews causes of hyperlactemia, including speci c discussions on propofol infusion syndrome, toxic alcohol-related hyperlac- temia, clenbuterol exposure, and mitochondrial toxins.

Keywords Hyperlactemia • Theophylline • Albuterol • Cyanide toxicity

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 217 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_25

218 Case 25 Hyperlactemia

History of Present Illness

An 18-year-old male presented to the emergency department by EMS with a severe asthma exacerbation. He reported the acute onset of shortness of breath while play- ing basketball. He denied recent illness, fever, rhinorrhea, sore throat, or chills. He denied recreational drug use or known exposure to chemicals/fumes.

  

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Social History

Asthma
Albuterol inhaler
Montelukast
NKDA
Denies tobacco, ethanol, or other drugs of abuse
College student who works as a sales clerk in a clothing store

      

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

163/80 mmHg 81% on NRB 15 L

General: He was in extremis with signi cant respiratory distress.
Skin: Warm, mildly diaphoretic, slightly mottled.
Pulmonary: Wheezing appreciated in all lung elds with visible accessory muscle

use and tachypnea. No stridor.
Cardiovascular: Tachycardic; No murmurs, gallops, or rubs.
Abdomen: Soft, non-tender, non-distended with normal active bowel sounds. Extremities: Atraumatic, no edema.
Neurologic: Awake, alert, anxious but oriented to person and place. No gross focal

de cits.

Hospital Course

In attempts to avoid intubation, the patient was administered continuous albuterol nebulization, subcutaneous epinephrine, methylprednisolone, magnesium sulfate, and intravenous theophylline. Ultimately, he was intubated for respiratory failure, but continued to have poor aeration and wheezing throughout all lung elds. While intubated and paralyzed, the patient continued to receive intravenous theophylline and aerosolized albuterol every 30 min. He was sedated with fentanyl and mid- azolam infusions.

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

135 bpm

27 breaths/min

Diagnostic Testing 219

The critical care team was initially concerned about possible cyanide poisoning as further laboratory studies showed venous hyperoxia, and the patient had an increasing lactic acid concentration over an 8-h period. Toxicology was consulted and evaluated the patient 10 h after intubation.

Physical Exam at Time of Toxicology Consultation

Blood pressure

122/50 mmHg

O2 saturation

100% on vent

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

118 bpm

18 breaths/min

General: Intubated, paralyzed, and sedated.
Skin: Warm and dry. Normal color.
Cardiovascular: Tachycardia with no murmurs, gallops, or rubs noted. 2+ pulses

appreciated in all four extremities.
Pulmonary: Diffuse wheezing throughout all lung elds, but air movement was

appreciated throughout.
Abdominal: Abdomen soft, non-tender and non-distended. Normal active bowel

sounds. Neurologic: GCS 3 T.

Diagnostic Testing
Na Glucose

K

Cl

CO2

BUN/Cr

3.2 mEq/L

102 mEq/L

21 mEq/L

11/0.9 mg/dL

140 mEq/L

Theophylline level: 7.5 μg/mL
ABG: pH 7.18, pCO2 57, pO2 121, oxygen saturation 99% Venous oxygen saturation: 98%
Lactate: 7.6 mmol/L

What Is the Differential Diagnosis for Hyperlactemia?

• Tissue or gut ischemia

• Propofol infusion syndrome

• Metformin toxicity

• Massive ibuprofen overdose

172 mg/dL

220 Case 25

Hyperlactemia

• Propylene glycol toxicity

• Methanol ingestion

• Clenbuterol toxicity

• Beta agonism effect (with a left to right shunt)

• Phosphine gas exposure

• Direct mitochondrial toxin

–  Cyanide toxicity

–  Sodium azide toxicity

–  Hydrogen sul de toxicity

–  Dinitrophenol exposure
Hospital Course Continued
Over the next 6 h, the patient’s respiratory status improved, and nebulized albuterol treatments and theophylline administration were tapered off. As the adrenergic medications were weaned, the patient’s lactate concentration improved. Twelve hours following the discontinuation of theophylline and albuterol, his lactate was 0.2 mmol/L, and his pH 7.4 with a pCO2 43 and pO2 46 on venous blood gas.
Why Was the Patient’s Lactate Elevated?

• Prior to intubation, the patient received a number of adrenergic medications that likely contributed to the development of his hyperlactatemia.

• Patients receiving high doses of β-agonist can have signi cantly elevated lactate levels (Dodda and Spiro 2012; Manthous 2001; Maury et al. 1997; Stratakos et al. 2002).

• Hyperlactemia from β-agonists has been reported in the literature and has been reproduced in human studies (Rodrigo and Rodrigo 2005; Phillips et al. 1980).

• This phenomenon tends to occur within the rst several hours of treatment.

• A prospective study of patients presenting to an ED with acute severe asthma exacerbations found elevated serum albuterol level to be a predictor of elevate lactate level. Hyperlactemia did not correlate with either increased rate of hospitalization or lower FEV1 at 3 h for patients in this study (Lewis et al.
2014).

• There are cases reported in the literature where this elevation in lactate may have
led to an interim worsening of the patient’s clinical course as patients compen- sated for the lactate-associated metabolic acidosis (Dodda and Spiro 2012; Prakash and Mehta 2002)

• Decreasing and ultimately discontinuing β-agonist therapy leads to reduction of and resolution of hyperlactemia.

Hospital Course Continued 221

• The exact physiology has not been identi ed, but primarily suspected to be directly related to a β-mediated effect on cellular metabolism (Chasiotis et al. 1983)

• Speci cally, increased glycogenolysis and glycolysis, which releases lactate from skeletal muscle, may be the cause of β-agonist-induced elevation in plasma lactate concentrations (Chasiotis et al. 1983).
What Clinical Findings Suggest Clenbuterol Toxicity?

• Clenbuterol is a β3-agonist used by body builders, illegally as a weight loss sup- plement, and illegally to bulk up cattle (Daubert et al. 2007; Ramos et al. 2004)

• It has also been found as an adulterant in illicit drugs such as heroin (Hoffman et al. 2001; Hoffman et al. 2008)

• Symptoms of toxicity include:

–  Tachycardia

–  Nausea and diarrhea

–  Tremors

–  Hypertension

–  Leukocytosis

–  Hypokalemia
What Is Propofol Infusion Syndrome?

• A syndrome that develops in patients on prolonged infusions of propofol (Bray 1998; Kang 2002).

• Patients develop notable metabolic acidosis with lactate elevation, which is thought to be caused by altered metabolism/utilization of free fatty acids by mitochondria.

• Patients can have cardiac dysrhythmias and often develop a right bundle branch block

• Other symptoms include:

–  Muscle deterioration with evidence of myoglobinuria or rhabdomyolysis

–  Bradycardia resistant to treatment that can progress to asystole

–  Lipemia
Describe Key Features of Cyanide Toxicity.

• Typically, there is a very rapid onset (seconds to minutes) of clinical effects from the time of cyanide exposure.

• However, the time to development of toxicity from compounds that are metabo- lized to cyanide, such as amygdalin or linamarin (cyanogenic glycosides), is slower.

222 Case 25 Hyperlactemia

• There is no classic toxidrome, but neurologic and cardiovascular symptoms are
most prominent with cyanide toxicity. These include:

–  Altered mental status such as agitation and confusion

–  Seizures

–  Coma

–  Hypotension and bradycardia

• GI symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting can occur with ingestions of cyanide salts in addition to the neurologic and cardiovascular symptoms.

• Laboratory ndings include:

–  Signi cantly elevated lactate (>10 mmol/L)

–  Metabolic acidosis with an anion gap

–  Venous hyperoxia
How Does Cyanide Cause Lactate Elevation?

• Movement of hydrogen ions across the inner mitochondrial membrane via cyto- chrome a3 of the electron transport chain is one of the vital last steps in produc- ing ATP.

• Cyanide inhibits the activity of cytochrome oxidase at cytochrome a3 in the elec- tron transport chain, which ultimately inhibits ATP production.

• If ATP cannot be produced, anaerobic respiration ensues and lactate is generated from pyruvate resulting in hyperlactemia.
What Are Other Mitochondrial Toxins That Should
Be Considered and How Do They Cause Lactic Acidosis?

• There are a number of mitochondrial toxins other than cyanide.

• Carbon monoxide, methanol, phosphine gas, and sodium azide are all mitochon-
drial toxins and speci cally inhibit cytochrome aa3.

• Salicylates, dinitrophenol, and pentachlorophenol are mitochondrial toxins that
are electron transport chain uncouplers.

• Rotenone, a plant-derived sh poison, is an NADH-CoQ reductase inhibitor.
When NADH-CoQ reductase is inhibited, so is electron transport chain activity.

• Any interference inhibition of electron transport chain activity inhibits oxidate
metabolism.

• By inhibiting oxidative metabolism, cells are forced to rely on anaerobic metabo-
lism, where the conversion of pyruvate to lactate generates a small amount of ATP.

• An increase in circulating lactate is one of the most notable effects of mitochon-
drial toxins.

Hospital Course Continued 223

How Do Antifreeze Products Cause an Increase in Lactate Levels?

• Ethylene glycol

–  Ethylene glycol is metabolized to glycolate and oxalate.

–  In severe cases, patients poisoned with EG can have a high lactate
concentration.

–  This detection in elevated lactate is a false positive. Some laboratory assays
actually detect glycolate as lactate.

–  The cross reactivity in the assay is due to the similarity in structure between
glycolate and lactate.

–  There is a linear relationship between glycolate concentration and the false
positive lactate concentration (Manini et al. 2009).

• Propylene glycol

–  Propylene glycol is sold as environmental-friendly antifreeze.

–  It is also used as a diluent for many intravenous medications (examples:
etomidate, lorazepam, phenytoin, diazepam).

–  Propylene glycol is metabolized to lactic acid. Normally, the liver converts
lactate to pyruvate via the Cori cycle.

–  In large ingestions of propylene glycol, lactate concentrations may be high
and may remain high due to decreased ability to convert lactate to pyruvate.

–  This same effect is noted in critically ill patients receiving a signi cant amount of medication containing propylene glycol as the diluent. One example would be a patient receiving high doses of lorazepam for sedation during mechanical
ventilation.

–  If patients have normal hepatic and renal function, they can quickly clear the
lactate once the offending agent is discontinued. For patients with renal and hepatic failure, clearance is prolonged, and in rare cases, hemodialysis to assist in lactate removal may be recommended.
Should Lactic Acidosis Be Treated with Parenteral Bicarbonate?

• There is no de nitively correct answer for this question.

• Studies do not show any bene t in increasing responsiveness to catecholamines
in patients treated with sodium bicarbonate for academia (Forsythe and Schmidt
2000).

• Using parenteral bicarbonate to treat lactic acidosis can cause (Forsythe and
Schmidt 2000):

–  Increased intracranial pressure

–  Fluid overload

–  Electrolyte abnormalities

224 Case 25 Hyperlactemia

–  Hyperosmolality

–  Worse outcomes in patients with septic shock (Boyd and Walley 2008)

–  Some providers, however, feel there may be bene ts of treating lactic acidosis
with sodium bicarbonate, even if it is a temporizing measure and not de ni- tive treatment. (Forsythe and Schmidt 2000; Kraut and Kurtz 2001)
What Are Some Non-toxicologic Causes of Elevated Lactate Concentrations?

• Seizure

• Shock with poor perfusion

• Ischemia (mesenteric or limb)

• Liver dysfunction

• Inborn errors of metabolism

• Thiamine de ciency

• Ketoacidosis
Case Conclusion
In this case, the patient presented with status asthmaticus. He was treated aggres- sively with β-agonists while in the emergency department and subsequently intu- bated for respiratory failure. During the rst several hours of his hospitalization, he continued to receive multiple β-agonists and developed hyperlactemia. In this case, the lactate elevation was related to the β-agonists and not another exposure. The patient’s hyperlactemia resolved with the discontinuation of β-agonist therapy and he fully recovered.
Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Continue to prescribe β-agonists to your patients, but be clear regarding dose and frequency administration.

• Patients requiring home albuterol treatments more frequently than prescribed should be evaluated by a physician or other healthcare provider.

• Hospitalized patients receiving large amounts of β-agonists such as albuterol or theophylline may develop lactic acidosis.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 225

• In general, as a patient’s β-agonist requirement decreases, his/her lactic acidosis should resolve. Patients with renal failure do not clear lactate as readily and may have delayed improvement in lactic acidosis.

• There are many potential causes for hyperlactemia which should be reviewed with every case of signi cantly elevated lactate to ensure no missed diagnoses.
Pediatrics

• Continue to prescribe β-agonists to your patients, but be clear regarding dose and frequency of administration.

• Patients requiring home albuterol treatments more frequently than prescribed should be evaluated by a physician or other healthcare provider.

• Hospitalized patients receiving large amounts of β-agonists such as albuterol or theophylline may develop lactic acidosis.

• In general, as a patient’s β-agonist requirement decreases, his/her lactic acidosis should resolve. Patients with renal failure do not clear lactate as readily and may have delayed improvement in lactic acidosis.

• There are many potential causes for hyperlactemia which should be reviewed with every case of signi cantly elevated lactate to ensure no missed diagnoses.

Emergency Medicine

• A detailed history of illness and medication history needs to be taken.

• In addition, be cognizant of those patients requiring a signi cant amount of
β-agonists when in extremis, as they may develop a lactic acidemia.

• The treatment for lactic acidemia in the setting of β-agonist use is supportive.

• There is little role for parenteral sodium bicarbonate therapy.

• As the patient’s β-agonist requirement decreases, their lactic acid concentrations
should also decrease.

• Recognize that some parenteral pharmaceuticals can cause lactic acidosis in
addition to other agents.
Toxicology

• It is important to always obtain a thorough history of present illness, home medi- cation history, social history (speci cally hobbies of all those living in the home), and details of any possible environmental exposures.

226 Case 25 Hyperlactemia

• Always review all medications administered to the patient while in the hospital.

• If a patient is found to have a profound lactic acidemia, other etiologies such as clenbuterol toxicity, propofol infusion syndrome, excessive propylene glycol
use, or cyanide toxicity should be considered.
References
Boyd JH, Walley KR. Is there a role for sodium bicarbonate in treating lactic acidosis from shock? Curr Opin Crit Care. 2008;14:379–83.
Bray RJ. Propofol infusion syndrome in children. Paediatr Anesthe. 1998;8:491–9.
Chasiotis D, Sahlin K, Hultman E. Regulation of glycogenolysis in human muscle in response to
epinephrine infusion. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1983;54(1):45–50. Daubert GP, Mabasa VH, Leung VW, et al. Acute clenbuterol overdose resulting in supraventricu-
lar tachycardia and atrial brillation. J Med Toxicol. 2007;3:56–60.
Dodda V, Spiro P. Can albuterol be blamed for lactic acidosis? Respir Care. 2012;57(12):2115–8. Forsythe SM, Schmidt GA. Sodium bicarbonate for the treatment of lactic acidosis. Chest.
2000;117(1):260–7.
Hoffman RJ, Hoffman RS, Freyberg CL, et al. Clenbuterol ingestion causing prolonged tachycar-
dia, hypokalemia, and hypophosphatemia with con rmation by quantitative levels. J Toxicol
Clin Toxicol. 2001;39:3390–44.
Hoffman RS, Kirrane BM, Marcus SM, Clenbuterol Study Investigators. A descriptive study of an
outbreak of clenbuterol-containing heroin. Ann Emerg Med. 2008;52(5):548–53.
Kang TM. Propofol infusion syndrome in the critically ill patient. Ann Parmacother.
2002;36:1453–6.
Kraut A, Kurtz I. Use of base in the treatment of severe acidemic states. Am J Kidney Dis.
2001;38(4):703–27.
Lewis LM, Ferguson I, House SL, et al. Albuterol administration is commonly associated with
increases in serum lactate in patients with asthma treated for acute exacerbation of asthma.
Chest. 2014;145(1):53–9.
Manini AF, Hoffman RS, McMartin KE, Nelson LS. Relationship between serum glycolate and
falsely elevated lactate in severe ethylene glycol poisoning. J Anal Toxicol. 2009;33(3):174–6. Manthous C. Lactic acidosis in status asthmaticus. Chest. 2001;119:1599–602.
Maury E, Ioos V, Lepecq B, et al. A paradoxical effect of bronchodilators. Chest. 1997;111(6):1766–7. Phillips PJ, Vedig AE, Jones PL, et al. Metabolic and cardiovascular side effects of the
β2-adrenoceptor agonists salbutamol and rimiterol. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1980;9:483–91. Prakash S, Mehta S. Lactic acidosis in asthma: report of two cases and review of the literature. Can
Respir J. 2002;9(3):203–8.
Ramos F, Silveira I, Silva JM, et al. Proposed guidelines for clenbuterol food poisoning. Am
J Med. 2004;117:362.
Rodrigo GJ, Rodrigo C. Elevated plasma lactate level associated with high dose inhaled albuterol
therapy in acute severe asthma. Emerg Med J. 2005;22:404–8.
Stratakos G, Kalomenidis J, Routsi C, Papiris S, Roussos C. Transient lactic acidosis as a side
effect of inhaled salbutamol. Chest. 2002;122(1):385–6.

Case 26
Tachycardia in a Patient from an Opioid Detoxi cation Facility

1. What medications can induce torsades and what medications can be used to treat torsades?

2. Describe the substance suspected and its history.

3. What is the rationale for using this substance for opioid detoxi cation?

4. What is the typical dose of this substance and the typical detoxi cation regimen?

5. Is this substance legal in the United States?

6. What is the proposed mechanism of action?

7. What are potential toxicities associated with this substance?

Abstract The patient is a 63-year-old male who presented from an opioid detoxi – cation facility after he was found to be tachycardic. He was started on a relatively unique opiate detoxi cation regimen, which included ibogaine. On physical exam in the emergency department, however, he was bradycardic, but otherwise asymp- tomatic. Shortly after arrival, he developed torsade de pointes. This case discusses drug-induced torsades, as well as detailed discussion of ibogaine.

Keywords Ibogaine • Opioid detoxi cation • Bradycardia • Torsades History of Present Illness

63-year-old male presents to the emergency department from an opioid detoxi ca- tion facility after he was noted to be tachycardic with a maximal heart rate of 200 beats per minute, prompting emergency medical services to be called. He was previ- ously healthy without any signi cant past medical history, except for opioid abuse

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 227 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_26

228 Case 26 Tachycardia in a Patient from an Opioid Detoxi cation Facility

at the time he entered the detoxi cation facility. Prior to entering the detoxi cation facility, he had been on a methadone maintenance program, where he was receiving 34 mg of methadone daily. However, he had stopped this 1 month prior to his pre- sentation to his current presentation. Three days prior to his emergency department presentation, he was started on an immediate release morphine regimen of 50 mg daily, and 15 h prior to the current presentation, he was started on a pharmacologic detoxi cation regimen.

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Social History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

110/70 mmHg

Opioid abuse
Denies
No known drug allergies
Past history of opioid abuse. + tobacco.

O2 saturation

99% (room air)

   

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

40 bpm

16 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

General: Awake and alert
Cardiovascular: Bradycardic rhythm
Pulmonary: Clear breath sounds
Abdomen: Soft and non-tender
Pulses: Palpable dorsalis pedis and radial pulses that were equal and symmetric Neurologic: Normal

Emergency Department Course

Upon arrival in the emergency department, he was noted to be bradycardic with a heart rate of 36. He had QT prolongation, with a corrected QT interval of 498 ms (Fig. 1). Shortly thereafter, he had two episodes of torsade de pointes, associated with loss of consciousness (Fig. 2). In addition, he had multiple additional episodes of pause-dependent ventricular tachycardia. At least one of these episodes was asso- ciated with myoclonic jerking versus possible seizure activity. The patient was given 2 g of intravenous magnesium and was admitted to the critical care unit.

Emergency Department Course 229

Fig. 1 Initial emergency department EKG

Fig. 2 Telemetry strips from the emergency department showing development of Torsades

230 Case 26 Diagnostic Testing

WBC

9.9 k/mm3

Na

138 mmol/L

Tachycardia in a Patient from an Opioid Detoxi cation Facility

Hemoglobin

13 g/dL

Platelets

200 k/mm3

K

Cl

CO2

BUN

Cr

4.1 mmol/L

102 mmol/L

30 mmol/L

12 mg/dL

0.9 mg/dL

Glucose

154 mg/dL

Magnesium: 2.3 mg/dL
Acetaminophen, salicylates, and ethanol were undetectable

Ancillary Testing

CT head: negative for hemorrhage or masses

Hospital Course

The patient continued to have pause-dependent ventricular tachycardia. A tempo- rary transvenous pacemaker was placed. In order to avoid diarrhea during the detox- i cation, the detoxi cation facility administered a cathartic shortly before starting the detoxi cation medication. The cathartic resulted in hypokalemia which proved somewhat dif cult to treat. The dysrhythmias continued for several days, and ulti- mately resolved by hospital day 5. The QT normalized by hospital day 6.

Additional information was obtained regarding the detoxi cation regimen. The patient had received 4 doses of ibogaine (10.5 mg/kg per dose) and tabernanthe bark root extract (14 mg/kg per dose). The tabernanthe iboga root bark extract is com- prised of 20–40% ibogaine, and 10–13% other alkaloids. Thus, he received a total of 750 mg of ibogaine and 1 g of the extract at the time he presented to the emer- gency department. The last dose of either xenobiotic was administered 3 h prior to presentation.

What Medications Can Induce Torsades and What Medications Can Be Used to Treat Torsades?

Almost any drug that induces QT prolongation can theoretically cause torsade de pointes. However, those who cause QT prolongation and tachycardia in overdose tend to have lower rates of torsades. The following table lists common drugs that can cause torsades.

Hospital Course

231

Common causes of xenobiotic-induced torsades

Antiarrhythmics

Miscellaneous

Psychiatric drugs

Amisulpride

Haloperidol

Chlorpromazine

Citalopram

Perphenazine

Quetiapine

Thiothixene

Thioridazine

Tricyclic antidepressants

Tri uoperazine

Ziprasidone

Amiodarone Arsenic

Moricizine
Procainamide
Quinidine Cisapride

Astemizole Chloroquine

Sotalol

Diphenhydramine Erythromycin Indapamide Pentamidine Prochlorperazine Terfenadine Thallium

Torsades de pointe is best treated with 2–4 g magnesium sulfate as an intrave- nous bolus. Overdrive pacing is another option.

What Is Ibogaine?

Ibogaine is a psychoactive indole alkaloid from the West African shrub Tabernanthe iboga. Traditionally, it was used in religious rituals by the Bwiti people in West Africa. It was known to western medicine for over a century and was initially mar- keted as a stimulant in France in the 1920s. However, in the 1960s, people began to experiment with its psychoactive properties and inadvertently discovered that her- oin users did not display withdrawal symptoms after using ibogaine instead of her- oin (Brown 2013).

What Is the Rationale for Using Ibogaine for Opioid Detoxi cation?

The discovery of ibogaine’s anti-addictive properties is attributed to Howard Lotsof in 1962. Lotsof was a heroin user in New York City who organized and participated in a group who experimented with various psychoactive chemicals in order to nd drugs with psychological bene ts. Of the 20 individuals in Lotsof’s group, seven were dependent on heroin; following their initial ingestion of ibogaine, 5 of those 7 reported that they entirely abstained from heroin use for at least 6 months thereafter. Lotsof himself noted that he did not suffer from heroin withdrawal or cravings while using ibogaine despite not using heroin for over 30 h (Brown 2013).

Animal studies show a decrease in morphine and cocaine self-administration fol- lowing ibogaine and noribogaine (an active metabolite) administration (Glick and Maisonneuve 1998). Human data, however, is limited.

232 Case 26 Tachycardia in a Patient from an Opioid Detoxi cation Facility What Is the Typical Dose of Ibogaine and the Typical Ibogaine

Detoxi cation Regimen?

Ibogaine is used most frequently as a single oral dose in the range of 10–25 mg/kg of body weight for the speci c indication of detoxi cation from opioids. It is most commonly used in the form of the hydrochloride (HCl), which certi cates of analy- sis typically indicate 95–98% pure (Alper et al. 2008). Ibogaine is also used in the form of alkaloid extracts or dried root bark. Lay providers administering ibogaine in nonmedical settings have accounted for the majority of treatments. In these cases, ibogaine is administered by nonmedical personnel who care for the patient in pri- vate settings (Alper et al. 2008). Most medical settings will conduct pretreatment EKGs and basic laboratory studies. In clinics in St Kitt’s and Mexico, opioid- dependent patients are often converted to equivalent doses of orally administered short acting opioids. All centrally acting medications are tapered and discontinued for at least three serum half-lives prior to ibogaine initiation. Evaluation at these centers typically includes pretreatment Holter monitor and 12 lead EKG and con- tinuous vital sign monitoring during treatment (Mash et al. 2000).

Is Ibogaine Legal in the United States?

Ibogaine is a schedule I substance in the United States, and similarly, is illegal in France, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Switzerland, and Australia. However, it is unreg- ulated in most countries. US citizens may obtain Ibogaine abroad or over the internet. Recent case reports suggest that patients may be purchasing ibogaine over the internet and using it without the assistance of a healer or guide (O’Connell et al. 2015).

What Is the Proposed Mechanism of Action of Ibogaine?

The mechanism of action of ibogaine and its active metabolite noribogaine has not been fully elucidated. Ibogaine and noribogaine have distinct receptor pro les from each other. Both interact with NMDA, nicotinic (nACh), sigma, mu, and kappa opioid receptors. Ibogaine is a more potent NMDA receptor antagonist than noribogaine. Both act on opioid receptors, and it is hypothesized that changes in opioid receptor signaling may underlie its therapeutic effects. Despite ibogaine being more lipophilic than noribogaine, noribogaine seems to have greater effect on the mu receptor (Maciulaitis et al. 2008). However, recent data suggest that ibogaine and noribogaine may not be mu receptor agonists (Antonio et al. 2013). The exact receptor interaction and signaling pathway is still unknown. Ibogaine also causes release of presynaptic serotonin, prevents serotonin reuptake, and can act as a serotonin receptor agonist, which may mediate its hallucinogenic effects (Mash et al. 1998).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 233

What Are Potential Toxicities Associated with Ibogaine?

Ingestion of ibogaine has been temporally related to several cases of sudden death. A systematic overview of all reported cases in the years between 1990 and 2008 found a total of 19 fatalities that occurred after ibogaine administration, mostly when administered for opioid detoxi cationi cation or treatment of alcohol depen- dence. In 14 of these cases, post-mortem data demonstrated that the decedents suf- fered from preexisting medical conditions or were compromised by the additional intake of other drugs such as opioids and cocaine. The predominant autopsy nd- ings involved the cardiovascular system and included: coronary artery sclerosis, hypertension, myocardial infarct, cardiac hypertrophy, and dilated cardiomyopathy. However, liver disease was also found in several cases including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and steatosis (Alper et al. 2012). This study spurred the development of pretreat- ment screening exams in the ibogaine community.

Common adverse effects are nausea, vomiting, and disturbing hallucinations. The most concerning effect is prolongation of the QT interval, potentially leading to fatal arrhythmias. Numerous case reports demonstrate QT prolongation with subse- quent development of arrhythmias, including torsades de pointes (Vlaanderen et al. 2014; Paling et al. 2012; Pleskovic et al. 2012; Hoelen et al. 2009). In vitro studies demonstrate ibogaine may inhibit the hERG potassium channel in cardiac tissue, which may explain this phenomenon (Koenig and Hilber 2015; Alper et al. 2016; Thurner et al. 2014; Koenig et al. 2013).

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Emergency Medicine

• Torsades de pointes can occur with numerous medications, including ibogaine.

• Torsades de pointes is best treated with a bolus of intravenous magnesium
Addiction Medicine

• Ibogaine can cause blockade of the potassium channels, resulting in QT prolon- gation and increased risk of torsades.

Critical Care Medicine

• QT prolongation is one of the most common adverse reactions associated with ibogaine

• Emergency Medicine, Addiction Medicine, Cardiology, Critical Care

234 Case 26 Tachycardia in a Patient from an Opioid Detoxi cation Facility

References

Alper KR, Lotsof HS, Kaplan CD. The ibogaine medical subculture. J Ethnopharmacol. 2008;115(1):9–24. Epub 2007.

Alper KR, Stajić M, Gill JR. Fatalities temporally associated with the ingestion of ibogaine. J Forensic Sci. 2012;57(2):398–412.

Alper K, Bai R, Liu N, Fowler SJ, Huang XP, Priori SG, Ruan Y. hERG blockade by Iboga alka- loids. Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2016;16(1):14–22.

Antonio T, Childers SR, Rothman RB, Dersch CM, King C, Kuehne M, Bornmann WG, Eshleman AJ, Janowsky A, Simon ER, Reith ME, Alper K. Effect of Iboga alkaloids on μ-opioid receptor- coupled G protein activation. PLoS One. 2013;8(10):e77262.

Brown TK. Ibogaine in the treatment of substance dependence. Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2013;6(1):3–16.

Glick SD, Maisonneuve IS. Mechanisms of antiaddictive actions of ibogaine. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998;844:214–26.

Hoelen DW, Spiering W, Valk GD. Long-QT syndrome induced by the antiaddiction drug ibo- gaine. N Engl J Med. 2009;360(3):308–9.

Koenig X, Hilber K. The anti-addiction drug ibogaine and the heart: a delicate relation. Molecules. 2015;20(2):2208–28.

Koenig X, Kovar M, Rubi L, Mike AK, Lukacs P, Gawali VS, Todt H, Hilber K, Sandtner W. Anti- addiction drug ibogaine inhibits voltage-gated ionic currents: a study to assess the drug’s car- diac ion channel pro le. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2013;273(2):259–68.

Maciulaitis R, Kontrimaviciute V, Bressolle FM, Briedis V. Ibogaine, an anti-addictive drug: pharmacology and time to go further in development. A narrative review. Hum Exp Toxicol. 2008;27(3):181–94.

Mash DC, Kovera CA, Buck BE, et al. Medication development of ibogaine as a pharmacotherapy for drug dependence. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998;844:274–92.

Mash DC, Kovera CA, Pablo J, Tyndale RF, Ervin FD, Williams IC, Singleton EG, Mayor M. Ibogaine: complex pharmacokinetics, concerns for safety, and preliminary ef cacy mea- sures. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;914:394–401.

O’Connell CW, Gerona RR, Friesen MW, Ly BT. Internet-purchased ibogaine toxicity con rmed with serum, urine, and product content levels. Am J Emerg Med. 2015;33(7):985.e5–6.

Paling FP, Andrews LM, Valk GD, Blom HJ. Life-threatening complications of ibogaine: three case reports. Neth J Med. 2012;70(9):422–4.

Pleskovic A, Gorjup V, Brvar M, Kozelj G. Ibogaine-associated ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2012;50(2):157.

Thurner P, Stary-Weinzinger A, Gafar H, Gawali VS, Kudlacek O, Zezula J, Hilber K, Boehm S, Sandtner W, Koenig X. Mechanism of hERG channel block by the psychoactive indole alkaloid ibogaine. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2014;348(2):346–58.

Vlaanderen L, Martial LC, Franssen EJ, van der Voort PH, Oosterwerff E, Somsen GA. Cardiac arrest after ibogaine ingestion. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2014;52(6):642–3.

Case 27
Hepatic Injury from a “Cultural Medicine”

1. What is on your list of differential diagnoses?

2. What is this “medication” and what is it used for?

3. What are side effects?

4. Is this substance associated with any type of withdrawal syndrome?

5. What is the treatment for intoxication with this substance?

6. What is cholestatic hepatitis?

7. Whatsomeoftheotherherbalsupplementsareassociatedwithhepatotoxicity?

8. What type of hepatic injury occurs from pyrrolizidine alkaloids?

9. What are some other causes of drug-induced cholestasis?

10. How do anabolic steroids cause liver injury?

Abstract A 34-year-old female developed itching and jaundice after taking a “cul- tural medication” given to her by a friend. Laboratory studies from her initial emer- gency department evaluation suggest a cholestatic process. This chapter reviews herbal medications associated with hepatic injury and drugs that cause hepatic injury.

Keywords Cholestatic jaundice • Kratom • Anabolic steroids • Drug abuse • Opioids • Herbal medication

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 235 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_27

236 Case 27 Hepatic Injury from a “Cultural Medicine”

History of Present Illness

A 34-year-old female presented to Hepatology clinic after being seen in the Emergency Department (ED) with pruritus and jaundice 2 weeks prior. She reported a history of chronic knee pain for which she had been taking a “cultural medication” given to her by a friend. She notes she began taking this medication 4–5 days prior to presenting to the ED and rst developed itching and then noted some yellowing of her skin. She denied abdominal pain, vomiting, fevers, chills, or myalgias.

Past Medical History Medications

Allergies Social History

Family History

Physical Examination Blood pressure

130/50 mmHg

Chronic knee pain
No history of liver disease
“Cultural medication” given to her by friend for pain is the only medication she has been taking, but stopped taking this after evaluation in ED
She reports no use of prescription medications, over-the- counter medications, or herbal supplements
NKDA
Denies tobacco use
Denies alcohol use
Denies recreational drug use
No family history of liver disease

O2 saturation

97% (room air)

    

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

85 bpm

15 breaths/min

37 °C (98.6 °F)

General: Alert, sitting on stretcher in no acute distress. WDWN. Appears stated age and well-groomed.

HEENT: Mild sclera icterus; pupils equal, round, and reactive to light. No nystag- mus and extraocular movements intact on direct testing.

Cardiovascular: Normal rate; no murmurs, gallops, or rubs. 2+ pulses in all four extremities.

Pulmonary: Clear to auscultation bilaterally with no wheezes, rales, rhonchi. No tachypnea, stridor, accessory muscle use.

Abdomen: Non-tender, normal active bowel sounds. No distension or uid wave. No hepatosplenomegaly appreciated.

Skin: Mild jaundice, warm and dry. No rashes or lesions noted.
Neurologic: Awake and alert. Oriented x4. No asterixis. Normal muscular tone. Cranial nerves 2–12 intact on direct testing. Strength 5/5 all four extremities and

symmetric sensation to light touch throughout.

Ancillary Testing

237

Diagnostic Testing Emergency Department Visit

AST: 40 IU/L
ALT: 73 IU/L
Alkaline phosphatase: 173 IU/L Total bilirubin: 13.4 mg/dL CBC and BMP: “normal”

Of ce Visit

AST: 36 IU/L
ALT: 74 IU/L
T bilirubin: 11 mg/dL

WBC

9.5 k/mm3

Na

139 mmol/L

Ancillary Testing

Abdominal US: normal
Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP): negative Liver biopsy: demonstrated eosinophilic in ltrates
Hepatitis serology: negative
Autoimmune hepatitis evaluation: negative

What Is on Your List of Differential Diagnoses?

Differential BUN/Cr

8/0.9 mg/dL

Hemoglobin

Hematocrit

Platelets

12 g/dL

215 k/mm3

K

Cl

CO2

4.2 mmol/L

102 mmol/L

24 mmol/L

• Cholestatic process

• Hepatic necrosis

• Falsely elevated bilirubin secondary to metabolite of naproxyn that cross reacts
with total bilirubin testing

• Anabolic steroid use

238 Case 27 Hepatic Injury from a “Cultural Medicine” What Is Kratom and What Is It Used for?

• Kratom (Mitragynia speciosa) is a tree found in Southeast Asia.

• Fresh leaves from the tree are often chewed or brewed into a tea. Dried leaves can
be ground into a powder or used whole for teas, as well as smoked.

• Kratom has both stimulant and opioid effects (Shellard 1989)

• Onset of action is approximately 5–10 min after leaf chewing and effects last
from 2–5 h.

• Kratom is taken for pain control and is used as a treatment for opioid withdrawal
(Boyer et al. 2008; Prozialeck et al. 2012; Suwanlert 1975)

• Kratom contains multiple active alkaloids. Mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine
are the primary active agents that act on opioid (μ and κ) receptors (Prozialeck
et al. 2012).

• A lower level of 7-hydroxymitragynine compared to mitragynin is found in kra-
tom, but 7-hydroxymitragynine is 46 fold more potent than mitragynin
(Matsumoto et al. 2004; Prozialeck et al. 2012).

• “Krypton” is a kratom-based product with added o-desmethyltramadol and is
marketed as a more potent form of kratom (Arndt et al. 2011). Some reports indicate there is also a product marketed as “Krypton” that is a combination of caffeine and O-desmethyltramadol (Reys 2013).
What Are Side Effects of Kratom Use?

• Suwanlert reviewed symptoms noted with chronic kratom users in Thailand in the 1970s (1975). In this population, kratom was used to enhance productivity in manual laborers. Users either chewed the leaf directly or made tea. Side effects noted by the author and users included dry mouth, frequent urination, constipa- tion, darkening of the skin (speci cally the cheeks), anorexia, insomnia, and weight loss. Some patients were noted to develop psychosis, as well. It is unclear if the kratom use unmasked underlying psychosis or directly caused the psycho- sis (Suwanlert 1975).

• A few case reports of seizures following kratom use have been published; how- ever, most of these cases involve an additional xenobiotic, so it is dif cult to know if the causative agent was kratom, another substance, or a combination of drug effects (Boyer et al. 2008; Nelsen et al. 2010).

• There is an isolated case report suggesting a possible association between the onset of primary hypothyroidism and kratom use; however, this is a loose asso- ciation from the data presented and warrants further investigation (Sheleg and Collins 2011)

• Intrahepatic cholestasis was reported by Kapp et al. (2011) in a case where an otherwise healthy 25-year-old male used kratom for 2 weeks, discontinued use, and subsequently developed jaundice and pruritus. Much like this case, symp- toms and laboratory abnormalities improved over time (Kapp et al. 2011).

Ancillary Testing 239

• One report by Neerman et al. (2013) describes a possible kratom-related death in a patient who reportedly consumed liquid kratom the night before he was found dead. The patient was known to have chronic pain and an opioid abuse history, for which he took kratom. Elevated levels of mitragynine (0.60 mg/L) were noted in post-mortem whole blood and autopsy ndings were similar to those noted in opioid-related deaths. Other medications noted on post-mortem whole blood testing included: dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, temazepam, and 7-amino-clonazepam.

• Another report details the death of a 24 year-old who was noted to have mitragy- nine on GC-MS testing of peripheral blood, central blood, in the liver, vitreous uid and urine. Additionally, venlafaxine, diphenhydramine, and mirtazapine were also detected in the patient’s system (McIntyre et al. 2015).

• There is little evidence in the literature detailing mitragynine blood concentra- tions and clinical effects.
Is Kratom Associated with Any Type of Withdrawal Syndrome?

• Chronic users of kratom report symptoms of withdrawal with abstinence.

• These symptoms mimic opioid withdrawal in nature and involve nausea, abdom- inal cramping, diarrhea, and diaphoresis (Boyer et al. 2008; Galbis-Reig 2016;
Sheleg and Collins 2011).
What Is the Treatment for Kratom Intoxication?

• The treatment for kratom intoxication should be largely supportive.

• Patients with severe sympathomimetic symptoms can be treated with benzodiaz- epines with close monitoring for respiratory depression given the synergistic
activities in conjunction with opioid agonism.

• There is inconsistent data regarding the effectiveness of naloxone in reversing
the opioid effects of kratom. However, naloxone should be considered in patients with insuf cient respirations. If naloxone is ineffective, mechanical support may be necessary (Rosenbaum et al. 2012).

• Of note, kratom has been reported to cause serious respiratory depression in case series when mixed with other substances such as tramadol. In these cases, the opioid agonism effect is much larger and has resulted in several deaths (Kronstrand et al. 2011).

240 Case 27 Hepatic Injury from a “Cultural Medicine”

What Is Cholestatic Hepatitis?

• Cholestatic hepatitis is the toxin-induced impairment of bile synthesis and ow.

–  This occurs from direct toxin damage to canalicular cells, but doesn’t always affect hepatocytes (AST and ALT may be normal).

–  Alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels are elevated

• Symptoms and clinical ndings often include dark urine, pruritus, and jaundice

• There is often a period of 2–24 weeks between initial exposure and onset of
symptoms.
What some of the Other Herbal Supplements Are Associated with Hepatotoxicity?

• Pennyroyal oil (Hedeoma pulegioides; Mentha pulegium)

• Chaparral (Larrea tridentate)

• Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys)

• Kava kava (Piper methysticum)

• Pyrrolizidine alkaloids

–  Borage aka: Borago of cinalis

–  Comfrey aka: Symphytum of cinale
What Type of Hepatic Injury Occurs from Pyrrolizidine

Alkaloids?

• Veno-occlusive disease results from intimal thickening of the terminal hepatic venules from toxin-induced injury to the endothelium. This results in edema and nonthrombotic obstruction (Ridker 1989).

• Fibrosis can develop in the central and sublobular veins.

• Sinusoidal dilation in the centrilobular areas is associated with hepatic necrosis
and cellular injury.
What are some Other Causes of Drug-Induced Cholestasis?

• Anabolic steroids

• Estrogen

• 4,4′-methylenedianiline

• Rapeseed oil aniline

• Cyclosporine

Specialty-Speci c Guidance 241

How Do Anabolic Steroids Cause Liver Injury?

• Anabolic steroids have been associated with two types of liver injury, peliosis hepatitis and hepatocellular adenoma and adenocarcinomas.

• Peliosis hepatitis is a form of liver injury where blood- lled cysts ll the liver without in ammatory changes; sinusoidal congestion can also occur.

• Diagnosis of peliosis hepatitis is dif cult to make antemortem. The diagnosis should be considered in patients with signs of hepatomegaly and liver function abnormali- ties in the setting of anabolic steroid use (McDonald and Speicher 1978).

• Peliosis hepatitis may be reversible with cessation of anabolic steroid use (McDonald and Speicher 1978).

• Liver adenomas and adenocarcinomas may develop in patients with anabolic steroid use (Socas et al. 2005).

• Though controversial, it is thought that non-malignant hepatic adenomas have potential to become malignant adenocarcinomas (Socas et al. 2005).

• Very large non-malignant adenomas have potential to cause serious illness or death from bleeding, liver failure, or rupture.
Case Conclusion
In this case, the patient took a friend’s “cultural medication,” kratom (Mitragynia speciosa), for chronic knee pain. She developed choelstatic jaundice shortly after starting this therapy and the symptoms resolved spontaneously with discontinuation of the “cultural medication”/herbal supplement. The use and side effects of kratom were discussed, as well as other causes of cholestatsis and herbal supplement- related hepatic injury.
Specialty-Speci c Guidance
Internal Medicine/Family Medicine

• Ask patients with chronic pain about the use of herbal supplements or alternative medications.

• Cholestatic jaundice is frequently associated with plant alkaloids and anabolic steroid use.

• If patients develop symptoms of cholestatic jaundice or hepatitis, stop all poten- tial hepatotoxic agents, including herbal supplements and alternative medicines.

• Refer to gastroenterology for further evaluation.

242 Case 27 Hepatic Injury from a “Cultural Medicine”

Emergency Medicine

• A detailed social and medication history needs to be taken. This should include obtaining information about use of over-the-counter medications, herbal supple- ments, and alternative medicine therapies.

• The clinical presentation of acute/chronic kratom use varies widely from stimu- latory to opioid-like effect.

• Consider the use of other hepatotoxic agents and infectious causes of liver injury.

• Close follow-up with gastroenterology should be arranged if discharging any patient with acute hepatitis. If unable to arrange follow-up, consider admission
for observation.
Toxicology

• Obtain detailed occupational/environmental, social, and medication history. Be certain to include questions regarding the use of herbal/dietary supplements and alternative medicine therapies.

• Consider polypharmacy as the cause of liver injury, as multiple agents can cause hepatotoxicity.

• Potentially serious toxicity is rare and has been reported at doses greater than 15 grams, but in these cases, co-ingestants were present and the clinical effects were most likely caused by the co-ingestants.

• Use of kratom in high doses (>15 gm) chronically is associated with the develop- ment cholestatic jaundice.

• “Krypton” is a kratom-based product with the addition of exogenous o-desmethyltramadol and is marketed as a more potent form of kratom.

• Kratom has been associated with new onset seizures and the development of primary hypothyroidism in published case reports. This is something to be aware of when evaluating patients who have new onset seizures or hypothyroidism and use kratom.
References
Arndt T, Claussen U, Gussregen B, Schrofel S, Sturzer B, Werle A, et al. Kratom alkaloids and O-desmethyltramadol in urine of a “Krypton” herbal mixture consumer. Forensic Sci Int. 2011;208(1–3):47–52.
Boyer E, Babu K, Adkins J, McCurdy C, Halpern J. Self-treatment of opioid withdrawal using kratom (Mitragynia speciosa korth). Addiction. 2008;103(6):1048–50.
Galbis-Reig D. A case report of kratom addiction and withdrawal. WMJ. 2016;115(1):49–52. Kapp F, Maurer H, Auwarter V, Winkelmann M, Hermanns-Clausen M. Intrahepatic cholestasis fol-
lowing abuse of powdered kratom (Mitragynina speciosa). J Med Toxicol. 2011;7(3):227–31.

References 243

Kronstrand R, Roman M, Thelander G, Eriksson A. Unintentional fatal intoxications with mitragynine and O-desmethyl- tramadol from the herbal blend Krypton. J Anal Toxicol. 2011;35(4):242–7.

Matsumoto K, Horie S, Ishikawa H, Takayama H, Aimi N, Ponglux D, et al. Antinociceptive effect of 7-hydroxymitragynine in mice: discovery of an orally active opioid analgesic from the Thai medicinal herb Mitragyna speciosa. Life Sci. 2004;74(14):2143–55.

McDonald EC, Speicher CE. Peliosis hepatis associated with administration of oxymetholone. JAMA. 1978;240(3):243–4.

McIntyre IM, Trochta A, Stolberg S, Campman SC. Mitragynine “Kratom” related fatality: a case report with postmortem concentrations. J Anal Toxicol. 2015;39(2):152–5.

Neerman M, Frost R, Deking J. A drug fatality involving kratom. J Forensic Sci. 2013;58(s1):S278–9. Nelsen J, Lapoint J, Hodgman M, Aldous K. Seizure and coma following kratom (Mitragynina

speciosa korth) exposure. J Med Toxicol. 2010;6:424–6.
Prozialeck WC, Jivan JK, Andurkar SV. Pharmacology of kratom: an emerging botanical agent

with stimulant, analgesic and opioid-like effects. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(12):792–9. Reys L. Krypton Kratom Review—DO NOT buy these pills. 2013. http://kratomonline.org/

krypton-kratom-review/. Accessed 3 Oct 2015.
Ridker P, McDermott W. Comfrey herb tea and hepatic veno-occlusive disease. Lancet.

1989;1(8639):657–8.
Rosenbaum CD, Carreiro SP, Babu KM. Here today, gone tomorrow … and back again? A review

of herbal marijuana alternatives (K2, Spice), synthetic cathinones (bath salts), kratom, Salvia divinorum, methoxetamine, and piperazines. J Med Toxicol. 2012;8(1):15–32. doi:10.1007/ s13181-011-0202-2.

Sheleg S, Collins G. A coincidence of addiction to “kratom” and severe primary hypothyroidism. J Addict Med. 2011;5(4):300–1.

Shellard E. Ethanopharmacology of Kratom and the Mitragyna alkaloids. J Ethnopharmacol. 1989;25:123–4.

Socas L, Zumbado M, Perez-Luzardo O, Ramos A, et al. Hepatocellular adenomas associated with anabolic androgenic steroid abuse in bodybuilders: a report of two cases and a review of the literature. Br J Sports Med. 2005;39(5):e27.

Suwanlert S. A study of kratom eaters in Thailand. Bull Narc. 1975;27(3):21–7.

Case 28
Glyphosate Toxicity

1. What is glyphosate, and where is it found?
2. What is the effect of concentration on the severity of symptoms? 3. How does glyphosate toxicity occur?
4. What are the clinical manifestations of glyphosate toxicity?
5. What treatment options exist for glyphosate poisoning?

Abstract Glyphosate is an herbicide used by both amateurs and professionals. It is commonly co-formulated with a surfactant. Ingestions of glyphosate can result in signi cant gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to its corrosive injury. Metabolic acido- sis and noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, along with renal and hepatic impairment, can occur. This case describes a male who ingested a concentrated glyphosate product.

Keywords Glyphosate • Metabolic acidosis • Renal failure • GI bleed

History of Present Illness

A 50-year-old male with a history of bipolar disorder, who recently moved to the US from Taiwan, presented approximately 12 h after an intentional ingestion of 6.5 ounces of 50.2% glyphosate with isopropylamine salt. He developed nausea and vomiting and sought medical care. In the emergency department, he was noted to be tachycardic and tachypneic. He received IV uids and fomepizole for a metabolic acidosis and was transferred to a tertiary care medical center.

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017 245 L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology,
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4_28

246

Case 28 Glyphosate Toxicity

  

Past Medical History Medications Allergies
Family History Social History

Bipolar disorder
Lithium
Non-known medication allergies
Unable to be obtained
Current smoker. No history of ethanol use or illicit drug use

        

Physical Examination
Blood pressure O2 saturation

150/80 mmHg 94% on 3 L/min

General: Well-developed, well-nourished, well-hydrated ill-appearing male in mod- erate acute distress

HEENT: The conjunctivae are pink, and the sclaera are anicteric. Pupils are 3 mm and reactive bilaterally. There are moist mucosal membranes

Cardiovascular: tachycardic with a regular rhythm. No murmurs
Pulmonary: coarse lung sounds bilaterally. Tachypnea.
Abdomen: soft with epigastric tenderness. No rebound or guarding. Bowel sounds

are normal
Neurologic: somnolent. Moans to painful stimuli. He moves all extremities sponta-

neously, but does not follow commands Skin: warm, diaphoretic, and well-perfused.

What Is Glyphosate, and Where Is It Found?

Glyphosate is a phosphorous-containing pesticide that is available in various con- centrations and is one of the most common products used in agriculture today. It is applied to the majority of corn and soy crops grown in the United States and is com- monly used as a household herbicide. Interestingly, it is one of the rst herbicides against which crops have been genetically modi ed in order to increase their toler- ance. It has recently gained media attention when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) gave it a 2A designation, as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” This is a subject of ongoing debate for food safety, as other independent expert panels disagree with the IARC assessment (Williams et al. 2016).

Heart rate

Respiratory rate

Temperature

120 bpm

34 breaths/min

36.4 °C (97.6°F)

Case Continued 247

What Is the Effect of Concentration on the Severity of Symptoms?

Glyphosate herbicides are formulated in a wide variety of concentrations, ranging from 1% ready-to-use sprays to 50% super concentrate. Even high concentrations are available for household use and are intended for dilution prior to application. The more concentrated the solution, the more severe the symptoms are likely to be. Ingestions of 30 mL of 41% glyphosate solutions have produced nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a burning sensation in the throat, but generally do not cause severe symptoms. Ingestions of more concentrated solutions or larger volumes are more likely to cause serious toxicity (Bradberry et al. 2004).

Case Continued

In the emergency department, he received 8 mg of ondansetron and 2 L of normal saline. An electrocardiogram revealed intraventricular conduction delay prompting the administration of 150 mEq of sodium bicarbonate. Fomepizole was ordered, but not given prior to transfer.

Upon arrival in the ICU, the patient was emergently intubated. He was noted to be anuric with evidence of shock, requiring norepinephrine and vasopressin infu- sions. He was anuric and hypernatremic and was started on continuous renal replacement therapy.

How Does Glyphosate Toxicity Occur?

The mechanism by which glyphosate causes poisoning is unclear, as is the relative contribution of glyphosate itself versus its varied surfactant vehicles (Bradberry et al. 2004; Vincent and Davidson 2015). Available surfactants include polyoxyeth- yleneamine (POEA), polyethoxylated alkyletheramine, polyoxyphosphate amine, trimethylethoxypolyoxypropyl ammonium chloride, and ethoxylated phosphate ester. Most evidence suggests the surfactant, rather than glyphosate itself, is the toxin (Bradberry et al. 2004).

What Are the Clinical Manifestations of Glyphosate Toxicity?

Severe glyphosate ingestions can result in GI symptoms (nausea, vomiting diarrhea) and odynophagia. Corrosive effects can be seen, including ulcerations, necrosis, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage with shock (Bates and Edwards 2013; Talbot et al.

248 Case 28 Glyphosate Toxicity

1991; Chen et al. 2013). Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, pneumomediastinum, and subcutaneous emphysema have been described following aspiration of glyphosate-containing products. Renal and hepatic failure, along with central ner- vous system depression and metabolic acidosis, can be observed (Talbot et al. 1991; Tominack et al. 1991).

Case Continued

A computerized tomography (CT) scan of the head was negative for acute pathol- ogy, and a CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis revealed circumferential gas along the small bowel lumen throughout the upper quadrants, possibly representing pneu- matosis intestinalis. No free air was identi ed, although there was a diffuse ileus without de nitive bowel obstruction. Dense consolidation was noted in the right lung base.

Blood cultures obtained on admission grew gram negative bacilli. On the rst hospital day, the vasopressors were weaned, but the patient continued to have a distended abdomen. In light of the CT ndings and increasing lactic acid, the patient was taken to the operating room for a diagnostic laparoscopy. The bowel appeared normal.

Over the next several days, the patient remained anuric and comatose. Thrombocytopenia developed. On the fourth hospital day, the patient developed a GI bleed requiring transfusion of packed red blood cells and platelets. Endoscopy revealed patchy hemorrhagic exudative appearance of the gastric body with a large amount of blood in the stomach.

On hospital day six, the patient underwent an exploratory laparotomy with abdominal wash out. An area of ischemic bowel was identi ed and was resected. The patient was taken back to the operating room the following day where laparot- omy revealed a diffusely ischemic distal ileum and cecum and underwent a small bowel resection with right hemicolectomy. On hospital day 9, the patient underwent tracheostomy and an ileostomy with closure of the abdominal wall.

On hospital day 19, the patient underwent repeat CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis, which revealed signi cant hemoperitoneum.

Repeat endoscopy on hospital day 26 revealed a normal esophagus without obvi- ous etiology of GI bleed. An ileoscopy through the stoma revealed large clot with old blood without any clear source of the bleeding. The stoma was without evidence of bleeding.

What Treatment Options Exist for Glyphosate Poisoning?

There are no speci c treatment options, other than aggressive supportive care including uid resuscitation and correction of metabolic abnormalities. Gastrointestinal decontamination is not advised due to the risk of worsening

References 249

corrosive injury. No antidote exists. Lipid emulsion therapy has been suggested, but convincing data supporting any bene cial effect from lipid at this point are lacking. Some reports suggest bene t from extracorporeal removal.

Case Conclusion

The patient continued to have GI bleeding requiring multiple transfusions and underwent mesenteric angiogram, which did not reveal any clear etiology of bleed- ing. Because it was felt that further transfusions were futile and surgery was not an option to stop further bleeding, the family ultimately decided to withdraw care and the patient expired shortly thereafter.

Specialty-Speci c Guidance

Critical Care Medicine

• Glyphosate is a commonly available herbicide which, if ingested in large quanti- ties or high concentrations, causes corrosive injury and multisystem organ failure.

• Treatment is supportive. No antidotal therapy has been proven to be bene cial, although hemodialysis may confer some bene t.
Emergency Medicine

• Glyphosate is a very common household herbicide, and available concentrations vary widely.

• Large volume or high concentration ingestions may have a poor outcome.

• Gastrointestinal decontamination may worsen corrosive injury.
References
Bates N, Edwards N. Glyphosate toxicity in animals. Clin Toxicol. 2013;51:1243.
Bradberry SM, Proudfoot AT, Vale JA. Glyphosate poisoning. Toxicol Rev. 2004;23:159–67. Chen HH, Lin JL, Huang WH. Spectrum of corrosive esophageal injury after intentional paraquat
or glyphosate-surfactant herbicide ingestion. Int J Gen Med. 2013;14:677–83.
Garlich FM, Goldman M, Pepe J, et al. Hemodialysis clearance of glyphosate following a life-
threatening ingestion of glyphosate-surfactant herbicide. Clin Toxicol. 2014;52:66–71.

250 Case 28 Glyphosate Toxicity

Gil HW, Park JS, Park SH, et al. Effect of intravenous lipid emulsion in patients with acute glypho- sate intoxication. Clin Toxicol. 2013;51:767–71.

Talbot AR, Shiaw MH, Huang JS, et al. Acute poisoning with a glyphosate-surfactant herbicide (‘Roundup’): a review of 93 cases. Hum Exp Toxicol. 1991;19:1–8.

Thakur DS, Khot R, Joshi PP, et al. Glyphosate poisoning with acute pulmonary edema. Toxicol Int. 2014;21:328–30.

Tominack RL, Yang GY, Tsai WJ, et al. Taiwan National Poison Center survey of glyphosate- surfactant herbicide ingestions. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1991;29:91–109.

Vincent K, Davidson C. The toxicity of glyphosate alone and glyphosate-surfactant mixtures to western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) tadpoles. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2015;34:2791–5.

Williams GM, Aardema M, Acquavella J. A review of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate by four independent expert panels and comparison to the IARC assessment. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2016;46:3–20.

Index

A

Acetylcholine (ACh), 131 Albuterol, 218, 220, 225 Alkalinization, 31–33 Amantadine, 132 γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), 72 4-Aminopyridine (4-AP)

acetylcholine, 185
Avitrol®, 186
calcium channel blocker poisoning, 186 cardiac effects, 185
extrapyramidal symptoms, 185 phenytoin, 185–186

Anabolic steroids, 241
Anesthesia-assisted rapid opioid detoxi cation

(AAROD), 150 Anticholinergic toxicity, 84

Aspirin®, 26

B

Baclofen withdrawal, 203 Barbiturate withdrawal, 203 Botulism, 38
Bradycardia, 228

Brown recluse spider
cephalothorax, 63
diagnosis, 63–64
family practice/internal medicine, 66 infectious disease, 67, 68

laboratory testing, 64, 65 loxosceles, 64
MRSA, 67
nephrology, 67

optimal management, 65

pediatrics, 66–67 toxicology, 67 venom, 63

Buprenorphine, 90–95 Bupropion, 85

C

Carbamates, 132, 133, 135 Carbamate-type cholinesterase inhibitor

(CEI), 132 Cardioactive steroids, 18–20 Caustic toxicity

aerodigestive tract injury, 193 diagnosis, 190
emergency medicine, 194–195 gastroenterology, 195

history of present illness (HPI), 189–190 household toxins, 191, 192
liquefactive necrosis, 191
pediatrics, 194

physical examination, 190 sodium hydroxide, 192, 193 toxic injury, 191 toxicology, 195

Chinese skullcap, 102 Cholestatic hepatitis, 100, 240 Cholestatic jaundice, 241, 242 Cholinergic toxicity, 135 Chronic neurologic disorder, 184

4-AP (see 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)) critical care medicine, 187 emergency medicine, 186–187 history of present illness (HPI), 182 laboratory test, 183–184

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017
L.R. Dye et al. (eds.), Case Studies in Medical Toxicology, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56449-4

251

252

Index

Chronic neurologic disorder (cont.) multiple sclerosis, 184
physical examination, 182 prehospital, 186

treatment, 182, 183

xenobiotics, 183, 184
Clenbuterol, 17, 20
Clonidine, 92
Computerized tomography (CT), 248 Continuous venovenous hemodia ltration

(CVVHDF), 74 Coral snak

anaphylactoid reactions, 40 anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid, 41, 42 ancillary testing, 38–39 botulinum toxin, 38

death adder, 39
diagnosis, 38
differential diagnosis, 37 envenomations, 42–44
history of present illness (HPI), 36 neostigmine, 40

neurotoxicity, 37, 38 PIB, 41
vital signs, 36

Critical care, 249 CSLTM SVDK, 39 Cyanide

antidotes, 12, 13
cardiovascular manifestations, 12 cytochrome oxidase, 12
diagnosis, 10–11
emergency medicine, 14
history of present illness (HPI), 9–10 laboratory testing, 12
metabolic acidosis, 11
suicide, 10
treatment, 10
vital signs, 10

Cyproheptadine, 84 baclofen, 203

barbiturate, 203
diagnosis, 199
differential diagnosis, 199
emergency medicine, 205
family medicine/internal medicine, 204 history of present illness (HPI), 198 mechanism of action, 201

pediatrics, 205
physical examination, 198, 200 serotonin, 202, 203
side effects, 201
symptoms, 204
toxicology, 205

Cytochrome oxidase, 12

D

Delirium, 55 Diet pills

ancillary testing, 17
cardioactive steroids, 18–20 clenbuterol, 20
diagnosis, 17
diet products, 17
digoxin, 19
dinitrophenol, 20, 21
emergency medicine, 22, 23 history of present illness (HPI), 16 internal/family medicine, 21 pediatrics, 22
T. peruviana, 21
toxicology, 23
vital signs, 16

Digoxin toxicity, 19
chronotropic and dromotropic

effects, 210
diagnosis, 209
Fab fragment, 211
history of present illness (HPI), 208 nephrology, 215 plasmapheresis/plasma, 213
renal dysfunction, 212
signs and symptoms, 209–210 toxicology, 214
treatment, 211
vital signs, 209–210

Dinitrophenol, 20, 21

E

Electronic cigarettes, 168
Emergency medicine, 249
Ergotism, 47 Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), 2 Extracorporeal Treatments in Poisoning

(EXTRIP), 32

F

Fomepizole, 245, 247

G

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), 165 GI bleed, 248
Glyphosate

concentration, 247
isopropylamine, 245
metabolic acidosis, 245 phosphorous-containing pesticide, 246 poisoning, 248–249

Index

253

signs, 246
specialty-speci c guidance, 249 symptoms, 247
toxicity, 247

Hyperlactemia
albuterol, 218, 220
clenbuterol, 221
cyanide toxicity, 221–222 diagnosis, 219–220
differential diagnosis, 219–220 emergency medicine, 225
family medicine/internal medicine,

224–225
history of present illness (HPI), 218 lactic acidosis, 222–224
pediatrics, 225
physical examination, 218
propofol infusion syndrome, 221 theophylline, 218
toxicology, 225, 226

I

Ibogaine, 152
morphine and cocaine, 231 NMDA receptor, 232 predominant autopsy, 233

Immunoglobulin Fab fragments, 211 International Agency for Research on Cancer

(IARC), 246 Isoniazid ingestion

CVVHDF, 74 diagnosis, 71 emergency medicine, 76 epilepticus, 74

family practice/internal medicine, 76 GABA, 72
history of present illness (HPI), 70 lactic acidosis, 74

overdose, 71 pyridoxine, 73, 75 seizures, 71, 72 toxicology, 76 vital signs, 71

K

Kratom
de nition, 238
side effects, 238, 239 treatment, 239

L

Laundry detergent (LD)
caustic exposures, 5
diagnosis, 2
emergency medicine, 6
history of present illness (HPI), 1–2

H

Hemodialysis, 249 Hepatic injury, 238

anabolic steroids, 241
ancillary test, 237–241
cholestatic, 240
diagnosis, 237
differential diagnoses, 237 emergency medicine, 242
herbal supplements, 240
history of present illness (HPI), 236 kratom (see Kratom)

physical examination, 236 primary care, 241 pyrrolizidine alkaloids, 240 toxicology, 242

Hepatitis, 101–102
ancillary testing, 101
Chinese skullcap, 102 cholestatic, 100
emergency medicine, 105–106 fulminant hepatic failure, 99 hepatocellular necrosis, 100 herbal agents, 100, 101

herbal supplements (see Herbal products) history of present illness (HPI), 98 primary care, 105
pyrrolizidine alkaloids, 104

symptoms, 99, 101, 102 T. chamaedrys, 102, 103 toxicology, 106
vital signs, 99

Herbal products, 101 hepatic necrosis, 100 hepatotoxicity, 104, 240

Hydrazine, 72
Hydrogen peroxide ingestion

cardiac and cerebral gas embolism, 159 caustic and exothermic injury, 159 diagnosis, 158, 160
emergency medicine, 161

enzyme catalase metabolizes, 159 history of present illness (HPI), 157, 158 hyperbaric oxygen, 158
physical examination, 158
toxic pneumobilia, 160

Hydrogen peroxide ingestion Hydroxocobalamin, 13 Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, 158

254

Index

Laundry detergent (LD) (cont.) odynophagia, 2
physical examination, 2 pod exposures, 4, 5

public health, 6

treatment, 4 Levothyroxine, 113, 114 Loxosceles reclusa, 62, 67 Loxoscelism

cutaneous, 64 systemic, 64

M

Metabolic acidosis, 11 Methadone, 91–95 Methemoglobinemia, 123–126

history of present illness (HPI), 122 laboratory test, 122–123
methylene blue (see Methylene blue) NADH, 123, 125

physical examination, 122 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

(MRSA), 67 Methotrexate toxicity

carboxypeptidase, 177
critical care medicine, 178–179 dermatology, 178
DHFR, 176
diagnosis, 174–175
emergency medicine, 178 history of present illness

(HPI), 174
mediation errors, 178
physical examination, 174 primary care, 178
Steven’s Johnson syndrome, 175 treatment, 177

Methylene blue
emergency medicine, 125 hematology, 126 methemoglobinemia, 121, 123–126 serotonin syndrome, 123–124

Multiple sclerosis, 184

N

Naltrexone, 54, 55 N-BOMB, 82, 85–87 Necrotic arachnidism, 64 Necrotic skin lesion, 62

brown recluse (see Brown recluse spider) differential diagnosis, 61, 62
history of present illness (HPI), 60

L. reclusa, 62

vital signs, 60–61 Neonatal medication errors

ergotism, 47
history of present illness (HPI), 45 long-term effects, 48 neonatology/obstetrics, 49
NICU, 48
obstetric medications, 47 toxicology, 49
vital signs, 46

Neurologic dysfunction, 38
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate

(NADPH), 123 Nicotine

alkaloids, 169
ancillary testing, 166
diagnosis, 165
differential diagnosis, 164
electronic cigarettes, 168
emergency medicine, 171
family medicine/internal medicine, 170 history of present illness (HPI), 164 pediatrics, 170
rapid mucosal absorption, 167 seizures, 166
symptoms, 166
toxicology, 171
treatment, 167
vital signs, 164

Nonsteroidal anti-in ammatory medication (NSAID), 92, 94

Norepinephrine, 247

O

Opiate dependency buprenorphine, 90–95 clonidine, 92 diagnosis, 90

history of present illness (HPI), 89–90 methadone, 94, 95
NSAID, 92
oxymorphone, 93

pain management, 95 primary care, 95 treatment, 91
vital signs, 90 VivitrolTM, 91, 92

Opioid, see Ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation (UROD)

Opioid dependency, 57 addiction medicine, 57 buprenorphine, 56

Index

255

delirium, 55
diagnosis, 53
emergency medicine, 57
history of present illness (HPI), 52 naltrexone, 54, 55
primary care, 57
treatment, 52
vital signs, 52
Vivitrol®, 53–56

Opioid detoxi cation, 231 addiction medicine, 233 critical care medicine, 233 diagnosis, 230

Crotalinae, 138
diagnosis, 140, 141
Elapidae, 138
emergency medicine, 143, 144 envenomations, 138–139
history of present illness (HPI), 138–139 internal/family medicine, 142–143 prehospital, 143

treatment, 141

vital signs, 139
Respiratory depression, 40, 42–44 Rivastigmine, 130, 132, 133

S

Salicylate ingestion
acetylsalicylic acid, 26
alkalinization, 33
anti-in ammatory and analgesic properties, 26 charcoal, 30

coagulation, 30
uid resuscitation, 30
emergency medicine, 33
EXTRIP, 32
history of present illness (HPI), 26–27 laboratory tests, 28, 29
methyl salicylate, 26 pharmacokinetics, 28
prehospital, 33
sodium bicarbonate therapy, 31 treatment, 30, 31
vital signs, 28

Serotonin syndrome, 84, 87, 123, 124, 202, 203 Spider envenomation, 66
Spongiform leukencephalopathy, 152
Status epilepticus, 73, 74, 76

ancillary testing, 81 anticholinergic toxicity, 84 bupropion and pregabalin, 85 cyproheptadine, 84
differential diagnosis, 80 emergency medicine, 86
history of present illness (HPI), 80 laboratory tests, 81
N-BOMB, 82
neurology, 87
pediatrics, 86
phenylethylamine, 83
primary care, 86
seizures, 85
serotonin syndrome, 84
stimulant toxicity, 84
toxicology, 87
vital signs, 80

emergency medicine, 233
history of present illness (HPI), 227–228 ibogaine (see Ibogaine)
physical examination, 228
torsades, 230, 231

P

Parkinson disease (PD) ACh, 131

amantadine, 132
anticholinergic drugs, 132
carbamate overdose, 133
dopamine precursors, 131
emergency medicine, 135
family practice/internal medicine, 134 history of present illness (HPI), 129–130 pralidoxime, 134
rivastigmine, 130, 132, 133
toxicology, 136
treatment, 131
vital signs, 130

Phenylethylamine, 83
Plasmapheresis for toxicology, 214 Polyoxyethyleneamine (POEA), 247 Postpartum hemorrhage, 46, 47 Pralidoxime, 134, 136
Pregabalin, 85
Pressure immobilization bandage (PIB), 41 Propofol infusion syndrome, 221 Propranolol, 115, 118, 119 Pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP), 72, 76 Pyridoxine, 73
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, 240

R

Rapid opioid detoxi cation, 55, 150 Rattlesnake bite

antivenom, 140–142 critical care medicine, 144

256

Index

Steven’s Johnson syndrome, 175 Stimulant toxicity, 84

T

Theophylline, 218, 220, 225 Thevetia peruviana, 17, 21 Thyroid supplement ingestion

ancillary testing, 112
charcoal, 113
differential diagnosis, 111 emergency medicine, 116–118 family/internal medicine, 118 history of present illness (HPI), 110 levothyroxine, 113, 114

lithium overdose, 113 pediatrics, 117
physical examination, 110, 111 propranolol, 115
toxicology, 118, 119

Thyrotoxicosis, 112, 114
Torsades, 229–231 Trimethylethoxypolyoxypropyl ammonium

chloride, 247 Tuberculosis, 70

U

Ultra-rapid opioid detoxi cation (UROD) AAROD, 150

carbon monoxide poisoning, 149, 152 diagnosis, 148–149
emergency medicine, 153
family medicine/internal medicine, 153 history of present illness (HPI), 148 ibogaine, 152, 153 leukencephalopathy, 152

mental status and pulmonary edema, 149 naloxone vs. naltrexone, 151
opioid addiction, 151
ROD, 150

toxicology, 154 vital signs, 148

V

Vasopressin, 247 Vivitrol®, 52–57

X

Xenobiotics, 11

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