How are convulsions treated in heroin toxicity?

Updated: Dec 16, 2018
  • Author: Rania Habal, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

The presence of recurrent convulsions in a patient with heroin overdose should prompt a search for causes of seizures, such as hypoxia, CNS injury, adulterants, or co-ingestions (eg, tricyclic antidepressants, cocaine, amphetamines).

Some narcotics, such as meperidine (Demerol), pentazocine (Talwin), diphenoxylate (Lomotil), and fentanyl (Actiq), may cause seizures. Seizures caused by these narcotics, excluding diphenoxylate and atropine (Lomotil), are usually of short duration and do not progress to status epilepticus.

Heroin and narcotic-related convulsions respond to conventional benzodiazepine therapy.


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