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

Mary L. Windle, PharmD

Disclosures

January 13, 2017

Although most cough and cold preparations may be a combination of medications, a single toxidrome may not be present. The history is helpful to guide the expected physical examination findings; however, the history is often inaccurate. The presentation of a patient with a toxic ingestion is not always straightforward.

Abnormal findings may include the following:

  • Hyperthermia

  • Tachypnea

  • Tachycardia

  • Hypertension

Hyperthermia has been reported with ingestion of both diphenhydramine and OTC antihistamine/decongestant combinations.

For more on the physical examination of cough and cold preparation toxicity, read here.

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