Document Detail

Quetiapine poisoning: a case series.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14634598     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
STUDY OBJECTIVE: We describe the effects of quetiapine in overdose. METHODS: Quetiapine poisonings were identified from a prospective database of poisoning admissions to a regional toxicology service. Data extracted included details of ingestion, clinical features, investigations (including ECG), and other outcomes (length of stay and ICU admission rate). RESULTS: There were 45 cases of quetiapine overdose, of which 18 patients with quetiapine assay results were included. Median length of stay was 35 hours (interquartile range [IQR] 14 to 42 hours) for the 18 patients, and 9 were admitted to the ICU. The median ingested dose was 3.5 g (IQR 1.7 to 6.2 g), and reported ingested dose was highly correlated with estimated peak drug concentration (r(2)=0.84; P<.0001), confirming patient-provided history of ingestion. Seizures occurred in 2 patients, delirium occurred in 3 patients, and mechanical ventilation was required in 4 patients. No arrhythmias or deaths occurred. Six of the 18 patients ingested quetiapine alone, with a median length of stay of 35 hours, and 3 were admitted to the ICU. In 1 patient who ingested 24 g, hypotension and seizures occurred. For 10 patients for whom ECGs were available and who had ingested no cardiotoxic drugs, tachycardia occurred in 8 patients. For these 10 patients, the mean corrected QT (QTc) interval was increased at 487 ms, but the mean uncorrected QT interval was 349 ms. Reported dose and peak quetiapine concentrations were significantly associated with ICU admission and length of stay more than 24 hours. A reported dose less than 3 g and a Glasgow Coma Scale score not less than 15 predicted patients not requiring ICU admission or length of stay more than 24 hours. CONCLUSION: Quetiapine overdose causes central nervous system depression and sinus tachycardia. In large overdoses, patients may require intubation and ventilation for associated respiratory depression. Although a prolonged QTc occurs, its clinical significance is unclear because it is most likely caused by an overcorrection caused by the tachycardia. In our experience, a reported dose of less than 3 g for patients who are not drowsy (with a Glasgow Coma Scale score of 15) at least 4 hours after ingestion and who did not coingest another toxic agent defined a group not requiring ICU admission or inpatient admission greater than 24 hours.
Corrine R Balit; Geoffrey K Isbister; L Peter Hackett; Ian M Whyte
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of emergency medicine     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0196-0644     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann Emerg Med     Publication Date:  2003 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-11-24     Completed Date:  2004-01-20     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8002646     Medline TA:  Ann Emerg Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  751-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
New South Wales Poisons Information Centre, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Antipsychotic Agents / blood,  poisoning*
Central Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced
Dibenzothiazepines / blood,  poisoning*
Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
Drug Therapy, Combination
Glasgow Coma Scale
Intensive Care Units
Length of Stay
Respiratory Insufficiency / chemically induced
Retrospective Studies
Seizures / chemically induced
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antipsychotic Agents; 0/Dibenzothiazepines; 0/quetiapine

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

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