Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation: Benzonatate Toxicity in a Teenager Resulting in Coma, Seizures, and Severe Metabolic Acidosis.

Benzonatate toxicity in a teenager resulting in coma, seizures, and severe metabolic acidosis.

Filed under: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jul; 17(3): 270-3
Thimann DA, Huang CJ, Goto CS, Feng SY

We report a benzonatate overdose in a teenager resulting in life-threatening toxicity to increase awareness of this overdose, and discuss recent pediatric warnings and labeling information provided by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). After an overdose of benzonatate, a 13-yr-old female presented to our emergency department with coma, seizures, hypotension, prolonged QT interval on electrocardiogram, and metabolic acidosis. Benzonatate is an antitussive medication with sodium channel-blocking properties and local anesthetic effects on the respiratory stretch receptors due to a tetracaine-like metabolite. Overdose is reported to cause coma, seizures, hypotension, tachycardia, ventricular dysrhythmias, and cardiac arrest. The FDA recently issued a Drug Safety Communication warning that accidental benzonatate ingestion in children younger than 10 years of age have increased risk of death and added the new information to the Warnings and Precautions section of benzonatate’s label.
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Clinical pharmacy faculty interventions in a pediatric intensive care unit: an eight-month review.

Filed under: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jul; 17(3): 263-9
Larochelle JM, Ghaly M, Creel AM

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society of Critical Care Medicine have documented the importance of pharmacist involvement in pediatric care. Numerous studies have reported the impact of clinical pharmacy interventions in various adult care settings. However, in the pediatric critical care setting, the impact has not been well documented. The purpose of this study was to describe clinical pharmacy faculty interventions in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).A pediatric clinical pharmacy faculty member performed and documented clinical interventions in a level I, 18-bed, tertiary care PICU. Information gathered included medication name, specific intervention performed, basic patient demographics, and length of stay from May to December 2009.During the study period, there were 893 interventions performed on 159 patients over 66 days of service. (Average of 5.5 interventions/patient, and 34 interventions/100 patient PICU days.) Dosing recommendations and pharmacokinetics were the most common type of intervention (28.8% and 21.4%, respectively). Antibiotics and sedatives/analgesia were the most common drug classes in which interventions were made (34.4% and 20.3%, respectively). Ninety-eight percent of all interventions were accepted by the medical staff. The estimated annual cost savings from these interventions was $ 119,700.The average number of interventions per patient in this study was higher than that reported in the literature to date. Dosing recommendations and pharmacokinetics were the most commonly recommended interventions documented. Although this study showed considerable cost savings by a pharmacy clinical faculty member, further study of economic benefits is needed.
HubMed – drug


Dexmedetomidine versus standard therapy with fentanyl for sedation in mechanically ventilated premature neonates.

Filed under: Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jul; 17(3): 252-62
O’Mara K, Gal P, Wimmer J, Ransom JL, Carlos RQ, Dimaguila MA, Davanzo CC, Smith M

To compare the efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine and fentanyl for sedation in mechanically ventilated premature neonates.This was a retrospective, observational case-control study in a level III neonatal intensive care unit. Forty-eight premature neonates requiring mechanical ventilation were included. Patients received fentanyl (n=24) or dexmedetomidine (n=24) for pain or sedation. Each group also received fentanyl and lorazepam boluses as needed for agitation. The primary outcomes were efficacy and frequency of acute adverse events associated with each drug. Days on mechanical ventilation, stooling patterns, feeding tolerance, and neurologic outcomes were also evaluated.There were no significant differences in baseline demographics between the dexmedetomidine and fentanyl patients. Patients in the dexmedetomidine group required less adjunctive sedation and had more days free of additional sedation in comparison to fentanyl (54.1% vs. 16.5%, p<0.0001). There were no differences in hemodynamic parameters between the 2 groups. Duration of mechanical ventilation was shorter in the dexmedetomidine group (14.4 vs. 28.4 days, p<0.001). Meconium passage (7.5 vs. 22.4 days, p<0.0002) and time from initiation to achievement of full enteral feeds (26.8 vs. 50.8 days, p<0.0001) were shorter in the dexmedetomidine group. Incidence of culture-positive sepsis was lower in the dexmedetomidine group (48% vs. 88%). The incidence of either severe intraventricular hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia was not statistically significantly reduced (2% vs. 7%).Dexmedetomidine was safe and effective for sedation in the premature neonates included in this study. Prospective randomized-controlled trials are needed before routine use of dexmedetomidine can be recommended. HubMed – drug


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