Archive for December 2013

The 4th Annual Alexander Awards: Best Tox Reading of 2013

December 31, 2013, 5:49 pm

Alexander Gettler

Alexander Gettler

The coveted Alexander award is named in honor of Alexander Gettler (1883-1968), the chief toxicologist with the Office of the Medical Examiner of the City of New York during the first half of the 20th century. Gettler was a key figure in the development of modern forensic toxicology. By the way, Gettler will certainly be a key figure …

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The Top 7 Tox Articles of 2013

December 30, 2013, 8:48 pm

scooby-snax-250x300As we celebrate the year just ending, and welcome in 2014, let’s pause and remember some of the articles in the field of medical toxicology that most impressed TPR during 2013. The following 7 papers are listed in chronological order (links connect to TPR‘s discussion of each article):

  • Pediatric Marijuana Exposures in a Medical Marijuana State. Wang GS et

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Tox Tunes #76: Cocaine Blues (Dave Van Ronk)

December 30, 2013, 3:21 am

A snippet of “Cocaine Blues” shows up in  Inside Llewyn Davis, a film based partly on Dave Van Ronk’s book The Mayor of MacDougal Street: A Memoir. Van Ronk’s memoir is a fiercely intelligent and level-headed reminiscence of the music scene in Greenwich Village in the 1950s and 60s — what Van Ronk called the “Great American Folk …

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Case Conference: agitated delirium from snorting “bath salts”

December 27, 2013, 4:12 pm

★★★½☆

Case 40-2013: A 36-Year-Old Man with Agitation and Paranoia. Benzer TI et al. N Engl J Med 2013 Dec 26;369:2536-2545.

Abstract

This case conference and discussion involves a 36-year-old man who was brought to the emergency department because of extreme paranoia and agitation. He had been found by the police running naked outside, combative and confused. On arrival at the …

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Painful Priapism, ADHD Drugs, and other News of Tox on the Web

December 24, 2013, 3:19 pm

tramadol2

Tramadol: neither risk-free nor non-addictive: In an important and must-read collaboration between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today, John Fauber reports that nearly two decades after the analgesic drug tramadol hit the market, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is recommending that the drug be regulated under the Controlled Substances Act, as its dangers and addiction potential …

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Do we need to change the dosing regimen for IV N-acetylcysteine

December 21, 2013, 7:58 pm

Tylenol-1★½☆☆☆

Reduction of adverse effects from intravenous acetylcysteine treatment for paracetamol poisoning: a randomized controlled trial. Bateman DM et al. Lancet 2013 Nov 28 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

The authors argue that since there is a high incidence of adverse events — nausea and vomiting, anaphylactoid reactions —  associated with the standard protocol for administering intravenous N-acetylcysteine (IV-NAC), a …

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Eight cases of botulism from home-made prison hooch

December 17, 2013, 2:51 pm

Clostridium botulinum

Clostridium botulinum

★★★★☆

Emergency Department Identification and Critical Care Management of a Utah Prison Botulism Outbreak. Williams BT et al. Ann Emerg Med 2013 Dec 12 [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract

Pruno (aka “hooch” or “white lightning”)  is a home-brewed alcoholic beverage made by prisoners out of readily available ingredients. Typically, some combination of fruits. water, sugar, and bread are enclosed …

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Toxicology comic books and cartoons: Tox on the Web

December 16, 2013, 6:14 pm

Best Tox on the Web This Week: In anticipation of its January 7 broadcast of a documentary based on Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook as part of the “American Experience” series, the Public Broadcasting System has posted an interactive comic book “Tales from the Poisoner’s Handbook” highlighting some cases crucial to the history of forensic toxicology. Great fun!…

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Must-read: The NY Times on the marketing of ADHD drugs

December 15, 2013, 11:50 pm

In a long front-page article in the New York Times today, Alan Schwarz reports on the decades-long marketing campaign that has attempted to expand the market of patients eligible to be treated with medications that treat attending deficit hyperactivity disorder (A.D.H.D.)

The campaign has been remarkably successful, to the point that — according to the C.D.C. — 15% of high-school …

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