Antipsychotics for the treatment of sympathomimetic toxicity: A systematic review.
Am J Emerg Med. 2019 Jan 06;:
Authors: Connors NJ, Alsakha A, Larocque A, Hoffman RS, Landry T, Gosselin S
OBJECTIVE: Benzodiazepines are often recommended first-line for management of cocaine and amphetamine toxicity while antipsychotic treatment is discouraged due to the potential for lowering seizure threshold, prolonging the QT interval, and decreasing heat dissipation. We performed a systematic review including animal and human studies to elucidate the efficacy and safety of antipsychotics in managing sympathomimetic toxicity specifically evaluating the effect of treatment on mortality, seizures, hyperthermia, and cardiovascular effects.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, BIOSIS Previews, Web of Science, Scopus, CENTRAL and gray literature from inception to 31 May 2017 to answer: Can antipsychotics be used safely and effectively to treat cocaine or amphetamine toxicity? Citations were screened by title and abstract. Additional citations were identified with citation tracking. Data were extracted from full-texts.
RESULTS: 6539 citations were identified; 250 full-text articles were assessed. Citation tracking identified 2336 citations; 155 full texts were reviewed. Seventy-three papers were included in this review. In 96 subjects with cocaine toxicity treated with an antipsychotic, there were three deaths, two cardiac arrests, two seizures, and one episode of hyperthermia. In 330 subjects with amphetamine toxicity treated with an antipsychotic, there were two episodes of coma and QT prolongation and one episode of each: hypotension, NMS, cardiac arrest, and death.
CONCLUSION: This systematic review represents an exhaustive compilation of the available evidence. There is neither a clear benefit of antipsychotics over benzodiazepines nor a definitive signal of harm noted. We encourage clinicians to adapt treatment based on specific circumstances and characteristics of their individual patients.
PMID: 30639129 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]