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Relative toxicity of venlafaxine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in overdose compared to tricyclic antidepressants

Whyte, Ian M; Dawson, Andrew; Buckley, Nicholas

Description

Background: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and venlafaxine have been regarded as less toxic in overdose than tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Within the TCAs, dothiepin has greater toxicity. Venlafaxine may be more toxic than SSRIs. Aim: To assess the toxicity in overdose of venlafaxine and SSRIs compared to TCAs, and of dothiepin compared to other TCAs. Design: Cohort study of prospectively collected data from the Hunter area, NSW, Australia. Methods: First admissions with...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorWhyte, Ian M
dc.contributor.authorDawson, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorBuckley, Nicholas
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-13T23:07:18Z
dc.identifier.issn1460-2725
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/86146
dc.description.abstractBackground: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and venlafaxine have been regarded as less toxic in overdose than tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs). Within the TCAs, dothiepin has greater toxicity. Venlafaxine may be more toxic than SSRIs. Aim: To assess the toxicity in overdose of venlafaxine and SSRIs compared to TCAs, and of dothiepin compared to other TCAs. Design: Cohort study of prospectively collected data from the Hunter area, NSW, Australia. Methods: First admissions with antidepressant deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) (November 1994 to April 2000) were identified; the presence of seizures, life-threatening arrhythmias, coma, serotonin toxicity or ICU admission, and QRS duration were noted. Results: There were 538 admissions, with no deaths. The odds ratio (OR) for seizures with dothiepin vs. other TCAs was 3.4 (95% CI 1.2-9.9). Seizures occurred in 7/51 (14%) venlafaxine overdoses; all patients with seizures consumed ≥, 900 mg. The OR for seizures vs. TCAs was 4.4 (95% CI 1.4-13.8). Coma was less likely with venlafaxine and SSRIs. SSRIs, but not venlafaxine, were less likely to prolong the QRS to ≥, 100 ms. ICU admission was less likely for SSRIs. Serotonin toxicity was much more common with venlafaxine and SSRIs. Discussion: Venlafaxine and dothiepin are proconvulsant in overdose. Venlafaxine is more likely to cause serotonin toxicity, but less likely to cause coma than TCAs. SSRIs are less likely to cause coma, require ICU admission, or prolong the QRS, but are more likely to cause serotonin toxicity. Antidepressants other than TCAs or venlafaxine should be considered in patients at risk of seizure or suicide.
dc.publisherOxford University Press
dc.sourceQJM
dc.subjectKeywords: amfebutamone; antihistaminic agent; beta adrenergic receptor blocking agent; chloral hydrate; convulsant agent; dosulepin; moclobemide; monoamine oxidase inhibitor; neuroleptic agent; serotonin; serotonin uptake inhibitor; theophylline; thioridazine; tric
dc.titleRelative toxicity of venlafaxine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in overdose compared to tricyclic antidepressants
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.description.refereedYes
local.identifier.citationvolume96
dc.date.issued2003
local.identifier.absfor111506 - Toxicology (incl. Clinical Toxicology)
local.identifier.ariespublicationMigratedxPub14922
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationWhyte, Ian M, Newcastle Mater Hospital
local.contributor.affiliationDawson, Andrew, University of Peradeniya
local.contributor.affiliationBuckley, Nicholas, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage369
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage374
local.identifier.doi10.1093/qjmed/hcg062
dc.date.updated2015-12-12T08:08:36Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-0037598812
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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