2020 ACLS Guidelines on Medications for Toxicology-Related Conditions
The 2020 ACLS guidelines provide recommendations on the medication-specific management recommendations for toxicology . Although the name of the guidelines emphasize they are ‘Advanced,’ these are still relatively basic toxicology recommendations and largely apply to patients in cardiac arrest or refractory shock. There are also our 2020 ACLS guideline summaries on vasopressor and non-vasopressor medications used during cardiac arrest and arrhythmia management.
- Flumazenil if NOT recommended in undifferentiated coma (COR3, LOE B-R)
- Benzodiazepines, alpha blockers, calcium channel blockers, nitroglycerin, and/or morphine can be beneficial for hypertension, tachycardia, agitation, or chest discomfort (COR 2a, LOE B-NR)
- Pure beta-adrenergic blockers may be reasonable to avoid, although “contradictory evidence exists (COR 2b, LOE C-LD)
- IV lipid emulsion may be reasonable (COR 2b, LOE C-LD)
Sodium Channel Blockers (e.g. tricyclic antidepressants)
- Sodium bicarbonate can be beneficial for cardiac arrest or life-threatening conduction delays, such as QRS >120 msec (COR 2a, LOE C-LD)
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be considered for cardiac arrest or refractory shock (COR 2b, LOE C-LD)
- Antidigoxin Fab should be administered in severe toxicity (COR 2b, LOE B-R)
- Hyperbaric oxygen may be helpful in severe toxicity (COR 2b, LOE B-R)
- Hydroxocobalamin can be beneficial, along with oxygen +/- sodium thiosulfate (COR 2a, LOE C-LD)
Atrioventricular Nodal Blockers
|Intervention||Beta-adrenergic blocker||Calcium channel blocker||Evidence (COR/LOE)|
|Glucagon IV||Reasonable||May be considered||2a/C-LD and 2b/C-LD|
|Calcium||May be considered||Reasonable||2b/C-LD and 2a/C-LD|
|ECMO||Might be considered||Might be considered||2b/C-LD|
Table: Medications and interventions in the management of beta-adrenergic and calcium channel blocker toxicity (COR: class of recommendation, LOE: level of evidence, ECMO: extracorporeal membrane oxygenation)
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