Archive for December 2010

The Alexander Awards: Best Tox Reading of 2010

December 31, 2010, 4:38 pm

Towards the end of every year, columnist David Brooks of The New York Times gives out his Sidney Awards for the best magazine pieces of the year. (To read about this year's winners, click here and here.) In that same spirit, TPR is announcing the recipients of the first annual Alexander Awards. These statuettes bear the likeness of Alexander Gettler (pictured), New York City's chief toxicologist in the early twentieth century and . . .

Read More »

Will soaking your feet in 3 fifths of vodka make you drunk?

December 28, 2010, 4:30 pm

Rating: hors categorie

Testing the validity of the Danish urban myth that alcohol can be absorbed through feet: open labelled self experimental study. Hansen CS et al.  BMJ 2010 Dec 14;341:c6812. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c6812

Full text

The authors of this paper set out to test what they assert is a piece of Danish folklore: that soaking your feet in an alcoholic …

Read More »

Is hemodialysis effective in diphenhydramine overdose?

December 27, 2010, 8:30 pm


Survival after Diphenhydramine Ingestion with Hemodialysis in a Toddler. McKeown NJ et al. J Med Toxicol 2010 Sep 24 [Epub ahead of print]


Diphenhydramine (DPH) has pharmacokinetic properties that would make it seem unsuitable for hemodialysis: it is highly lipophilic, has a large volume of distribution, and is extensively (98%) protein-bound.  However, several previous papers have reported survival in …

Read More »

NY Times on salvia: medical wonder or vicious hell-weed?

December 26, 2010, 1:40 pm

The NY Times ran an article in their printed edition today looking at the increased interest in salvia following a video of Miley Cyrus smoking what she claimed was not marijuana, but the still-legal hallucinogenic herb Salvia divinorum.

Nothing much new here, except for an unsubstantiated suggestion that salvia may contribute to our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. The piece …

Read More »

Confirmed mephedrone-associated fatality

December 24, 2010, 2:17 pm


Case series of individuals with analytically confirmed acute mephedrone toxicity. Wood DM et al. Clin Toxicol 2010;48:924-927.


Previously, only a single case of confirmed mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) exposure had been reported in the medical literature.  Other papers have been based on the patient’s history of using mephedrone, which for various reasons may not be reliable.  This is the first case …

Read More »

Student volunteers injected with ketamine

December 23, 2010, 11:56 am

The Telegraph (U.K.) reported this week that research into schizophrenia at Cambridge University involved injecting student paid volunteers with ketamine.

As one of the researchers explained: “Ketamine mimics the perturbed sense of body ownership seen in schizophrenia, suggesting that it produces a comparable alteration in integration of information across sensory domains and in the subjective and behavioral consequences of …

Read More »

High-Pressure Injection Injuries

December 22, 2010, 10:37 pm


High-Pressure Decisions: Recognition and Management of Uncommon Hand Injuries. J Med Toxicol2010 Nov 12 [Epub ahead of print]

No abstract available online

Injuries from high-pressure paint guns can be treacherous and misleading.  Initially, the affected area can look relatively benign, showing merely an unimpressive puncture wound.  But over the next hours to a day, the wound begins to look …

Read More »

Life in the TOO fast lane

December 21, 2010, 12:32 pm

Over at Life in the Fast Lane, Chris Nickson and I have put together a guide to new recreational drugs that have been prominent in the news over the last year or so.  It’s done in a question-and-answer format so you can check your knowledge.  Also, be sure not to miss the astounding pictures of “Bromo-dragonFLY hand”.

By the …

Read More »

Tox Tunes #37: Six Days on the Road (Flying Burrito Brothers)

December 19, 2010, 12:46 pm

httpv:// "Six Days on the Road" -- a hit for Dave Dudley in 1963 -- has been covered by many artists, including The Flying Burrito Brothers. This is a great live version of their cover; the band can also be seen performing the song live at Altamont in the movie Gimme Shelter. The version posted here features Chris Hillman singing, Rick Roberts on guitar, and Michael Clarke on drums. "Six Days on the Road" has been described as the "ultimate overworked rig driver's lament". It refers to many components of the truckers' life: log books, highway patrolmen, weight checks at roadside scales, and loneliness. It also refers to amphetamines: I got ten forward gears And a Georgia overdrive. I'm taking little white pills, And my eyes are open wide. I just passed a 'Jimmy' and a 'White', I've been passin' everything in sight. Six days on the road and I'm gonna make it home tonight. By the way, Dave Dudley's last hit was "Rolaids, Doan's Pills and Preparation H".

Read More »