Summary

N-acetylcysteine as an antidote for paracetamol poisoning: a multicenter study

Codinach-Martín M, Ortega-Pérez J, Gispert-Ametller MA, Salgado-García E, Rodríguez-Mariblanca A, Nogué-Xarau S, Puiguriguer-Ferrando J

Affiliation of the authors

Emergency Department, Hospital Doctor Josep Trueta, Girona, Spain.Emergency Department, Hospital Son Espases, Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Emergency Department, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain. Pharmacology Department, Hospital la Paz, Madrid, Spain. Spanish Foundation of Clinical Toxicology, Spain.

DOI

Quote

Codinach-Martín M, Ortega-Pérez J, Gispert-Ametller MA, Salgado-García E, Rodríguez-Mariblanca A, Nogué-Xarau S, et al. N-acetylcysteine as an antidote for paracetamol poisoning: a multicenter study. Emergencias. 2022;34:190-5

Summary

Objective.

To identify the most common problems related to use of N-acetylcysteine to reverse the toxic effects of paracetamol poisoning.

Methods.

Retrospective descriptive observational study of clinical records for patients treated for paracetamol poisoning in 4 emergency departments during 3 years (2017-2019). We analyzed epidemiologic, clinical, and care variables, especially those related to the suitability and safety of using N-acetylcysteine as an antidote.

Results.

We included 332 cases of poisoning of 260 patients (78%) were over the age of 16 years, and 242 (73%) were female. Two hundred sixty-eight poisonings (81%) were the result of voluntary intake. The elimination half-life was determined in 20 cases (6%). Gastrointestinal decontamination was incorrectly prescribed on 39 occasions (28%). Treatment with the antidote was begun in 195 cases (58.7%). No serious clinical signs or symptoms were present in 282 cases (85%). The correlation of paracetamol levels in urine was stronger with the amount of drug ingested voluntarily (R2 = 0.23) than with accidental intake (R2 = 0.007). Predefined severity criteria were significantly related to reported dose ingested per body weight (P = .001) and the interval between intake and first medical assistance (P = .008).

Conclusions.

Even though clear protocols are available to guide the use of antidote treatment in cases of paracetamol poisoning, variability in fundamental aspects of management is excessive.

 

More articles by the authors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *