Tag Archive for: Toxicology

Journal Abstracts and Why You Should Continue to Use Phenobarbital in Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome for Patients Requiring Admission

10 Jan
January 10, 2019

Background: The mainstay of treatment for alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a symptom-triggered approach using benzodiazepines. Phenobarbital, however, is an interesting agent in this scenario for several reasons. It is famous for  it is long duration of action. IV Phenobarbital has an onset of action of over 15 – 20 minutes, a duration of action of 10 – 12 hours and a half-life of 53 – 118 hours in adults [5]. But phenobarbital has several other characteristics that make it attractive in the treatment of alcohol withdrawal. Importantly, it works on the GABA receptor differently than benzodiazepines. First, it increases the duration (not frequency) the chloride channel is open. Also, chronic alcohol abuse can alter the GABA receptor making it less sensitive to benzodiazepines not barbiturates. And finally, at very high doses, phenobarbital can open the chloride channel independent of the presence of GABA. The authors of this paper sought to compare a phenobarbital-adjunct versus benzodiazepine-only approach for the management of alcohol withdrawal syndrome in the ED. Read more →

Salicylate Toxicity

17 May
May 17, 2018

Definition: Salicylate toxicity is characterized by a constellation of symptoms caused by acute or chronic overdose of salicylate containing compounds. The most common salicylate is aspirin, but the group also includes topical forms of salicylates, methyl salicylate (Oil of Wintergreen), and bismuth subsalicylate (such as in Pepto-Bismol). Read more →

Wernicke Encephalopathy

14 May
May 14, 2018

Definition: Encephalopathy that occurs secondary to thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency. While Wernicke encephalopathy is reversible with treatment, it can progress to the irreversible Korsakoff’s syndrome if left untreated. Read more →

Baclofen Withdrawal

27 Oct
October 27, 2016

Baclofen WithdrawalDefinition: A dysfunctional condition in which removal of baclofen, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, from the central nervous system (CNS) causes CNS excitation. Read more →