Drug Overdose

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Introduction

 
The majority of drug overdoses are polypharmacological and respond to general supportive measures.

 

Overall mortality is low and usually relates to cardio-respiratory arrest and/or uncontrolled seizures prior to admission.

 

There is an unreliable correlation between depth of coma and preservation of glottic reflexes.  Progressively over the last decade departments have become more aggressive at intubating patients.

 

While specific reversal agents such as Naloxone (opoids) or Flumazenil (benzodiazepines) have some short term use, their relatively short half lives restrict their effacy in definitive treatment.

 

Page last reviewed: 13 May 2014