Methapyrilene hydrochloride overdose

Definition

Methapyrilene hydrochloride is an uncommon antihistamine found in cold or flu medicines. Methapyrilene hydrochloride overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Methapyrilene hydrochloride

Where Found

Methapyrilene hydrochloride is found in older antihistamine medications. It was removed from the market in 1979 because it was found to contribute to cancer after long-term use.

Symptoms

Home Treatment

Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed
  • If the medication was prescribed for the patient

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing support
  • Fluids by IV
  • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Expectations (prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Recovery is likely if the patient survives the first 24 hours. Few patients actually die from an antihistamine overdose.

References

Kirk MA, Baer AB. Anticholinergics and antihistamines. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 39.

Revision

Last reviewed 2/16/2012 by Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

Disclaimers

  • The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
  • A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
  • Call 911 for all medical emergencies.
  • Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. adam.com