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Methods of poisoning: antidepressant drugs

Depressione maggiore

Today patients with antidepressant drug overdose. represent a large portion. The pharmacological properties of the antidepressants are multiple and include interference with release of adrenaline at the level of brain neuromas, a reduction in the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system and a picture of cardiac disturbances.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms of poisoning are: numbness, dryness of the jaws, dilated pupils, tachycardia, and heightened tendon reflexes. Subsequently, sudden cardiac arrest is possible.

Diagnosis and treatment

If the patient suffers from depression and has been prescribed antidepressant medication, the diagnosis can be made with some confidence. Many patients take mild overdoses of antidepressant drugs and survive with just assistance. In cases of large overdoses, high mortality is possible. It is necessary that the patient’s stomach be emptied with induction of vomiting or gastric lavage. In the meantime, normal supportive measures should be undertaken, with special attention to breathing. In case convulsions occur, it is important to administer 5-10 mg of Diazepam intravenously. If cardiac arrhythmias persist, antiarrhythmic drugs should be used.

Source: Vadecum of poisoning therapy by Roy Goulding

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