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Pharmacobezoars may prolong effects of overdose

Pharmacobezoars are a possibility to be kept in mind when, after intentional overdose with drugs taken in a solid form, symptoms of overdose persist or reappear after initial improvement.

  • A bezoar is a mass of foreign material mixed with gastrointestinal secretions that aggregate in the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the stomach.
  • In rare circumstances, it can consist of a concretion of ingested drugs, in which case it is termed a pharmacobezoar.
  • In cases of massive ingestion of drugs in a solid form, the presence of a pharmacobezoar should be considered when, contrary to the known elimination characteristics of the drugs, the symptoms of overdose persist or worsen, or when the plasma concentrations remain elevated, or even increase further, without any new administration.

©Prescrire 1 May 2022

Source: "Pharmacobezoars may prolong effects of overdose (continued)" Prescrire International 2022; 31 (237): 128. Subscribers only.

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See also:

"Venlafaxine and
quetiapine bezoars"
Prescrire Int 2012;
 21 (131): 239.
Pdf, subscribers only

"Drug bezoars"
Prescrire Int 1999;
8 (39): 20-21.
Pdf, subscribers only

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