Wednesday, April 4, 2012

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Antidotes of toxic agents

The search for and use of an antidote should never replace good supportive care. Specific systemic antidotes are available for many common poisonings as shown in the table above. Inadequate availability of
antidotes at acute care hospitals can complicate the care of a poisoned patient. 

An evidenced-based consensus of experts has recommended minimum stocking requirements for 16 antidotes for acute care hospitals. These recommendations may provide guidance to pharmacy and
therapeutics committees in establishing a hospital’s antidote needs. Drugs used conventionally for non-poisoning situations may act as antidotes to reverse acute toxicity, such as glucagon for β-adrenergic
blocker or calcium channel antagonist overdose and octreotide for sulfonylurea-induced hypoglycemia.

As our understanding of drug toxicity increases, antidotes may have applications beyond contemporary indications, such as for acetylcysteine, which has shown promise for treating approximately 25 different poisonings and adverse drug reactions. The use of toxin-specific antibodies (e.g., fragment antigen binding [Fab] antibody fragments for digoxin or crotalid snake venom) has offered a new approach to treatment of poisoning victims.

N.B Acetaminophen is the american name for paracetamol and phytonadione is a more scientific name for vitamin K. 


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