COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

A comparison of physostigmine and benzodiazepines for the treatment of anticholinergic poisoning.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To compare the efficacy and safety of physostigmine with benzodiazepines for the treatment of agitation and delirium associated with anticholinergic poisoning.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study of 52 consecutive patients referred to a university hospital toxicology consultation service who were treated with physostigmine, benzo-diazepines, or both for anticholinergic agitation and delirium. Patients treated with physostigmine were compared with those treated with benzodiazepines with respect to demographics, severity of poisoning, response to treatment, side effects of treatment, and complications.

RESULTS: Physostigmine controlled agitation and reversed delirium in 96% and 87% of patients, respectively. Benzodiazepines controlled agitation in 24% of patients but were ineffective in reversing delirium. Initial treatment with physostigmine (n=30) resulted in a significant decrease in the incidence of agitation (P <.001) and level of central nervous system stimulation (P <.001), whereas initial treatment with benzodiazepines (n=22) did not (P =.03 and P =.05, respectively). Patients treated initially with physostigmine had a significantly lower incidence of complications (7% versus 46%; P <. 002) and a shorter time to recovery (median, 12 versus 24 hours; P =. 004) than those treated initially with benzodiazepines. There were no significant differences between these groups in the incidence of side effects (7% versus 14%; P =0.6) and length of stay (median, 32 versus 39 hours; P =.15).

CONCLUSION: Results suggest that physostigmine is more effective and safer than benzodiazepines for the treatment of anticholinergic agitation and delirium. A prospective controlled study is necessary to confirm such findings.

Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app