New England Journal of Medicine on “Bath Salts”

September 9, 2011, 11:07 pm


“Bath Salts” Intoxication. Ross EA et al. N Engl J Med Sep 8 2011;365:967-968.

Full Text

A letter in the current issue of New England Journal of Medicine reviews the topic of psychoactive “bath salts” (PABS) without presenting any new information, but is a concise 1-page review of a topic TPR has been discussing for the last year..  It makes the following points:

  • The most common ingredient found in “bath salts” is MDPV.
  • Because of the toxicity of MDPV, patients who present after exposure to PABS should be observed and monitored in an intensive care setting.
  • Urine drug screens will not detect PABS.
  • Products advertised as PABS may contain or be cut with other substances.
  • Treatment primarily depends on good supportive care, with benzodiazepines for sedation and to treat seizures, along with fluids.

The authors fail to mention the importance of reversing severe hyperthemia.

Unfortunately, NEJM is a little late to the table with this letter. Still, worth a read.
Related posts:

New York Times on Bath Salts

NBC’s Dateline goes undercover top investigate the “bath salt” industry

“Bath salts” in Michigan

Were “bath salts” involved in a double murder/suicide in Washington State?

Dr. Oz on bath salts (MDPV)

NBC’s Today Show reports on bath salts (MDPV)

Death in Britain: “Ivory Wave” (MDPV) or diabetic ketoacidosis

“Ivory Wave” identified as MDPV

It’s not your mom’s bath salts

To read my Emergency Medicine News column on bath salts, click here.



Comments are closed.