For those among the unwashed masses, a lot of scientific research isn’t necessarily found in magazines and journals. A lot is presented during medical conferences. Sometimes it’s in presentation form before an audience (like an interactive power point presentation); sometimes it’s a poster session where the researchers stand around a poster explaining their work and taking questions. Sometimes both.
The first presentation regarding Loperamide abuse and its cardiac effects was presented as a poster session at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the North American Congress of Clinical Toxicology following my overdose in February of that same year. (See research page) The authors? Those smart and impossibly good-looking folks from Syracuse’s Upstate Poison Control Center. (Seriously, those docs from Upstate University Hospital are so good-looking, they’re like wandering bands of Grey’s Anatomy actors come to life.)
The following poster session, however, was presented by researchers from University of California, San Diego, who may or may not be as smart and as good-looking as the docs from Syracuse. Or are they?
Poster Session: Life-threatening Arrhythmias Associated with Loperamide and Cimetidine Abuse
Charles W. O’Connell 1, 2; Amir A. Schricker 3; Aaron B. Schneir 1; Imir G. Metushi 4; Ulrika Birgersdotter-Green 3; Alicia B. Minns 1,2
1. Division of Medical Toxicology, Department of Emergency Medicine, UCSD
2. Department of Emergency Medicine, VA San Diego
3. Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, UCSD
4. Center for Advanced Laboratory Medicine, UCSD
Conclusions: Loperamide, taken chronically and and in high doses, can cause life- threatening cardiac conduction dysfunction and ventricular arrhythmias. The effects can be seen many days after discontinuation. Isopreterenol used to increase heart rate may be a useful medicinal modality to limit arrhythmogenic effects in the setting of loperamide overdose.
2016 American College of Medical Toxicology
ACMT Annual Scientific Meeting
Bench to Bedside: Neurologic and Metabolic Toxins
March 18-20, 2016