JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Management of Calcium Channel Blocker Toxicity in the Pediatric Patient.

Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) are commonly prescribed cardiovascular medications used in several disease states including hypertension, coronary artery disease, and atrial fibrillation. Inadvertent exposure or intentional overdose of CCBs may result in hypotension, bradycardia, dysrhythmias, conduction disturbances, and hyperglycemia. In the most severe cases, CCB toxicity can lead to rapid cardiovascular collapse. Given the risk of significant morbidity and mortality associated with CCB toxicity, it is important that health care professionals are able to recognize and treat patients who present with a potentially toxic ingestion. Due to the paucity of literature in managing pediatric patients with severe CCB toxicity, treatment strategies for pediatric patients are mostly limited to case reports and extrapolation from expert consensus recommendations for adults. All pediatric patients with a potentially toxic CCB ingestion should be evaluated in the emergency department. Activated charcoal may be considered for asymptomatic patients presenting within an hour of ingestion. Symptomatic patients should be placed under cardiac monitoring and treatments to stabilize the patient's hemodynamics should not be delayed. Traditional first-line IV therapies include small boluses of fluids, calcium, and vasopressors. High-dose insulin has been proposed to independently increase inotropy and improve CCB-induced hypoinsulinemia and insulin resistance that results from CCB inhibition of insulin release from pancreatic β-islet cells. High-dose insulin is recommended as first-line therapy for adults and shows promising efficacy and safety in several pediatric case reports. Intravenous lipid emulsion may be considered in patients who are refractory to first-line therapies, although the data for pediatric patients are extremely limited.

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