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Authors

  1. Patel, Sruti R. PharmD, BCPS

Abstract

Purpose: To review the most common drugs implicated in overdoses admitted to the intensive care unit focusing on antidotes and reversal agents used in their management.

 

Summary: Poisonings and overdoses due to pharmaceutical agents result in more than 100 000 critical care unit admissions each year. Ingestion of toxic alcohols, calcium channel blockers, beta-adrenergic antagonists, benzodiazepines, opioids, acetaminophen, tricyclic antidepressants, and salicylates are associated with a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Reviewing the mechanism of toxicity due to specific agents along with the mechanism of action, dosing, and adverse effects of appropriate antidotes is important for the successful management of these patients within the critical care unit.

 

Conclusion: Understanding the most prevalent overdoses and their management using reversal agents and antidotes is essential to the overall treatment of these critically ill patients.