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Cardiac glycoside overdose
Cardiac glycosides are a class of medications used to treat heart failure. Cardiac glycoside overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Alternative Names
Digoxin overdose; Digitoxin overdose; Lanoxin overdose; Purgoxin overdose; Allocar overdose; Corramedan overdose; Crystodigin overdose
- Poisonous Ingredient
Cardiac glycoside is a chemical that has effects on the heart, stomach, intestines, and nervous system. It is the active ingredient in many different heart medicines. It can be poisonous if taken in large amounts.
- Where Found
Cardiac glycosides are the main (active) ingredients in certain prescription medicines, including:
- Deslanoside (cedilanin-D)
- Digitoxin (Crystodigin)
- Digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin)
Cardiac glycosides also occur naturally in certain plants. For information on poisoning from such plants, see:
Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.
- Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
- Loss of appetite*
- Stomach pain
- Heart and blood
- Nervous system
- Psychological system
- Apathy (not caring what happens)
* These symptoms are usually only seen with chronic overdose cases.
- Home Treatment
Do not make the person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care provider.
- Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of product (as well as the ingredients and strength, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
- Poison Control, or a local emergency number
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
- What to expect at the emergency room
The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:
- Expectations (prognosis)
The greatest risk of death and bad outcomes are seen in young children and older adults. Older persons are especially likely to suffer from problems of chronic (long-term) cardiac glycoside poisoning.
Review Date: 2/3/2009
Reviewed By: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (1/23/2008).