Opioid overdose in women, “Green Rolex”, and The Frozen Noses: Weekly Web Review in Toxicology

July 7, 2013, 11:20 pm

New York Times editorial takes note of a recent CDC report about the alarming rise in prescription opioid pain reliever (OPR) overdoses among women. Deaths from such overdoses increased 500% in women from 199 to 2010, compared to an increase of 360% among men in that same period.

Late last week, the Belfast (Ireland) Telegraph claimed that police in Northern Ireland had linked the deaths of 8 people to overdose from “Green Rolex”, apparently a form of ecstasy contaminated with PMMA. The next day, BBC News (Northern Ireland) reported that police could find no link common to the 8 deaths. The investigation continues.

The Daily Mail reviewed the book Coke: The Biography by Natalia Naish and Jeremy Scott. One question answered by the review: which half of which rock group were known as “the Frozen Noses”?

The Ottawa Citizen ran a story about a great program in a local hospital to “de-prescribe” and get seniors off medications that they do not need but that may cause significant adverse effects. Studies established that Canadian citizens over the age of 85 were on an average of 10 different drugs. Researchers at the Bruyère geriatric day center found that when some of these medications were discontinued, symptoms such as confusion, loss of balance and falling, diarrhea, and headaches often improved dramatically. (Hat tip of @DavidJuurlink).

It ain’t tox, but EMCrit has posted Part 1 of a very interesting discussion with Bryan Hayes (@PharmERToxGuy) about how to avoid common drug dosing errors during resuscitations.