Document Detail

Over-the-counter sympathomimetics: a risk factor for cardiac arrhythmias in pregnancy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9853729     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
More than 170 over-the-counter (OTC) preparations contain a sympathomimetic agent as the active ingredient. Nonprescription medicines are consumed commonly in our society. Phenylpropanolamine, an alpha-adrenergic agonist as well as a popular decongestant, is consumed at a massive volume of 5 billion doses annually. Over-the-counter sympathomimetics have been reported to cause hypertension and arrhythmias. Despite the ability to cause these potentially serious adverse effects and the high-volume consumption of these agents, the medical literature until recently has been scant in reporting adverse events. We report symptomatic ventricular arrhythmia and presyncope in a 36-year-old pregnant woman who consumed relatively high doses of two OTC cold remedies simultaneously. Increased physician awareness of the potential side effects associated with OTC sympathomimetics as well as improved level of patient education are needed. Finally, we support the calls for more prominent warning labels on some selected OTC preparations, including OTC sympathomimetics.
M Onuigbo; M Alikhan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Southern medical journal     Volume:  91     ISSN:  0038-4348     ISO Abbreviation:  South. Med. J.     Publication Date:  1998 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-12-23     Completed Date:  1998-12-23     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404522     Medline TA:  South Med J     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1153-5     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Internal Medicine, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, MD 21204, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenergic alpha-Agonists / adverse effects
Arrhythmias, Cardiac / chemically induced*
Ephedrine / adverse effects
Nasal Decongestants / adverse effects
Nonprescription Drugs / adverse effects*
Phenylpropanolamine / adverse effects
Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / chemically induced*
Sympathomimetics / adverse effects*
Syncope / chemically induced
Ventricular Premature Complexes / chemically induced
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Adrenergic alpha-Agonists; 0/Nasal Decongestants; 0/Nonprescription Drugs; 0/Sympathomimetics; 14838-15-4/Phenylpropanolamine; 299-42-3/Ephedrine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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