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Drug poisoning due to medication

A poison is any substance that is harmful to your body. You might swallow it, inhale it, inject it or absorb it through your skin. Poisons can include

  • Prescription or over-the-counter medicines taken in doses that are too high
  • Overdoses of illegal drugs
  • Carbon monoxide from gas appliances
  • Household products, such as laundry powder or furniture polish
  • Pesticides
  • Indoor or outdoor plants
  • Metals such as lead and mercury

The dangers of poisoning range from short-term illness to brain damage, coma and death. To prevent poisoning it is important to use and store products exactly as their labels say. Keep dangerous products where children can't get to them. Treatment for poisoning depends on the type of poison. If you suspect someone has been poisoned, call your local poison control center right away.

Source: MedlinePlus

What are the symptoms?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with drug poisoning due to medication, 53% report having depressive or psychotic symptoms, 48% report having depression, and 18% report having drug abuse. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of drug poisoning due to medication are slurring words and stiffness all over, although you may still have drug poisoning due to medication without those symptoms.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with drug poisoning due to medication often receive hematologic tests, complete blood count, electrocardiogram, intravenous fluid replacement, urinalysis, kidney function tests, glucose measurement and electrolytes panel .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with drug poisoning due to medication include charcoal, naloxone (suboxone), haloperidol, acetylcysteine, sodium bicarbonate, lamivudine, thiamine, flumazenil, stavudine (zerit), kaletra, magnesium sulfate, ritonavir (norvir) and sorbitol .

Charcoal

Naloxone (Suboxone)
Under $1
(0 days)
Haloperidol
$28
(28 days)
Acetylcysteine
$33
(7 days)
Sodium Bicarbonate
$18
(21 days)
Lamivudine
$292
(28 days)
Thiamine
$3
(28 days)
Flumazenil
Under $1
(0 days)
Stavudine (Zerit)
$138
(28 days)
Kaletra
$693
(28 days)
Magnesium Sulfate
$13
(14 days)
Ritonavir (Norvir)
$345
(28 days)
Sorbitol

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for drug poisoning due to medication include age 15-29 years.

Age

< 1 years
0.1x
1-4 years
1.0x
5-14 years
0.6x
15-29 years
1.7x
30-44 years
1.3x
45-59 years
1.0x
60-74 years
0.6x
75+ years
0.3x

Sex

Male
1.0x
Female
1.0x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.9x
Hispanic
0.6x
White
1.2x
Other
0.6x
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