Beta blockers overdose

Definition 
This is poisoning from ingestion of a beta blocker.

Poisonous Ingredient  

     
  • acebutolol  
  • atenolol  
  • betaxolol  
  • bisoprolol  
  • carteolol  
  • esmolol  
  • labetalol  
  • metoprolol  
  • nadolol  
  • penbutolol  
  • pindolol  
  • propranolol  
  • sotalol  
  • timolol

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Where Found  

     
  • acebutolol  
  • atenolol  
  • betaxolol  
  • bisoprolol  
  • carteolol  
  • esmolol  
  • labetalol  
  • metoprolol  
  • nadolol  
  • sotalol  
  • oxprenolol  
  • penbutolol  
  • pindolol  
  • propranolol  
  • timolol

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Symptoms  

     
  • body as a whole       o confusion       o excessive sweating       o lightheadedness       o nervousness       o weakness  
  • respiratory       o decreased breathing rate       o difficulty breathing, wheezing (in asthmatics)       o stop breathing  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o blurred vision       o double vision  
  • heart and blood vessels       o irregular heartbeat       o low blood pressure       o rapid heartbeat or slow heartbeat       o shock  
  • nervous system       o drowsiness       o fatigue       o coma       o convulsions

Home Treatment  
Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by Poison Control or by a physician.

Before Calling Emergency  
Determine the following information:

     
  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)  
  • the time it was swallowed  
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number  
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room  

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

     
  • induce vomiting  
  • administer activated charcoal  
  • monitor vital signs ( blood pressure, pulse, and so forth)  
  • monitor EKG (monitors heart function)  
  • maintenance of blood pressure within normal limits  
  • lavage  
  • correction of abnormal heart rhythms

Expectations (prognosis)
 
The prognosis (probable outcome):
Most overdose patients require hospitalization. Death may follow low blood pressure or heart arrhythmias.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Gevorg A. Poghosian, Ph.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.