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Antihistamine poisoning

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Simon Thomas

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Abstract

Antihistamines are commonly used to treat allergy, dizziness and nausea. The sedating antihistamines are non-specific in their actions and often have marked anticholinergic effects. Features of overdose include tachycardia, blood pressure disturbances, dry mouth, ataxia, agitation, psychosis and, uncommonly, convulsions. Sedation is exacerbated by associated alcohol consumption. Non-sedating antihistamines are less toxic in overdose but may cause tachycardia, drowsiness, gastrointestinal disturbances and headache. Arrhythmias have occasionally been reported with sedating and non-sedating antihistamine overdose. Treatment of antihistamine overdose includes activated charcoal (when indicated) and general supportive care. Cardiovascular monitoring, including of the electrocardiogram, is appropriate. Convulsions should be treated with a benzodiazepine. Patients who have not developed toxicity within 6 hours of overdose are unlikely to do so.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Thomas SHL

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Medicine

Year: 2012

Volume: 40

Issue: 3

Pages: 109-110

Print publication date: 01/03/2012

ISSN (print): 0304-5412

ISSN (electronic): 1578-8822

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mpmed.2011.12.012

DOI: 10.1016/j.mpmed.2011.12.012


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