Fast Five Quiz: Can You Recognize and Treat Over-the-Counter Drug Abuse and Toxicity?

Mary L. Windle, PharmD


January 13, 2017

Seizures and cardiac conduction delays are common, especially in massive diphenhydramine ingestions. Prolonged QT syndrome and cardiac arrhythmias rarely have been described with loratadine. Ethanolamine derivatives (eg, doxylamine, diphenhydramine, bromodiphenhydramine) have strong atropine-like activity; drowsiness is common. Adverse gastrointestinal effects are uncommon. Patients who ingest the newer nonsedating antihistamines may have fewer central anticholinergic symptoms than those who ingest any of the first-generation agents.

For more on the presentation of cough and cold medicine toxicity, read here.


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