Background. The number of new (novel) psychoactive substances (NPS) available in the illegal market is increasing; however, current monitoring of the drug situation in Europe focuses mainly on classical drugs of abuse, with limited emphasis on clinical presentation in the emergency department (ED). The European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN) is a European Commission-funded project that aims to improve the knowledge of acute drug toxicity of both classical recreational drugs and NPS. As a baseline for this project, we performed a study to establish which data are currently being collected and reported in Europe on ED presentations with acute toxicity related to NPS and classical drugs of abuse. Methods. We used a three-pronged approach to identify any systematic collection of data on NPS toxicity in Europe by i) performing a literature search, ii) utilising an online survey of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction Re seau Europe en d'Information sur les Drogues et les Toxicomanies national focal points and iii) exploiting the knowledge and resources of the Euro-DEN network members. Results. The literature search revealed 21 papers appropriate for assessment, but only one described a systematic collection of clinical data on NPS. Twenty-seven of thirty countries responded to the online survey. More than half of all the countries (52%) did not perform any registration at all of such data, 37% collected systematic clinical data on NPS at a national level, while 44% collected data on classical drugs. A few examples for good practice of systematic collection of clinical data on ED presentations due to acute toxicity were identified. Conclusion. The systematic collection of data on ED presentation of toxicity related to NPS and classical drugs in Europe is scarce; the existing collection is limited to single centres, single countries, groups of patients or not focused on novel drugs; the collection of data is highly variable between the different countries. Euro-DEN, a European Commission funded project, aims at closing some of these gaps.
Patients with a history of deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) are prescribed a greater amount of medication than the general public. DSP is the most robust risk factor for repeat episodes of DSP and subsequent death by suicide, and one might therefore expect that access to prescribed medication would be reduced following an episode of DSP. However, it is unclear whether access to prescribed medication changes after an episode of DSP. The objectives of this study were to investigate changes in 1) overall, psychotropic, non-psychotropic and the psychotropic subgroup antidepressant prescribed medication availability in DSP patients following an episode of DSP, 2) prescribing of the medication ingested in the episode, and 3) potential effects of gender, age and repeater status on such change.
Hospitalized patients with acute poisoning come from all classes of society. The relationship between living conditions and pattern of poisoning is, however, unclear. The aim of this study was to examine the connection between living conditions in Oslo and the pattern of acute poisonings, measured by incidence, main toxic agents and intention.
Opioids may enhance pain sensitivity resulting in opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH). Activation of spinal cyclooxygenase may play a role in the development of OIH. The aim of this study was to demonstrate remifentanil-induced postinfusion hyperalgesia in an electrical pain and a cold pain model, and to investigate whether COX-2 (parecoxib) or COX-1 (ketorolac) inhibition could prevent hyperalgesia after remifentanil infusion. Sixteen healthy males were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Each subject went through 4 sessions: control, remifentanil, parecoxib+remifentanil, and ketorolac+remifentanil. Transcutaneous electrical stimulation induced acute pain and areas of pinprick hyperalgesia. The areas of pinprick hyperalgesia were assessed before, during, and after a 30-minute infusion of either remifentanil or saline. The cold-pressor test (CPT) was performed before, at the end of, and 1 hour after the infusions. The subjects received a bolus of either saline, 40 mg parecoxib, or 30 mg ketorolac intravenously after the first CPT. The areas of pinprick hyperalgesia and CPT pain after the end of remifentanil infusion increased significantly compared to control (P < 0.001 and P = 0.005, respectively). Pretreatment with parecoxib or ketorolac reduced the postinfusion area of pinprick hyperalgesia (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively), compared to the remifentanil group. Parecoxib reduced the area significantly more than ketorolac (P = 0.009). In the CPT, pretreatment with parecoxib or ketorolac did not prevent postinfusion hyperalgesia. These results demonstrated OIH in both models, and may suggest that COX-2 inhibition is more important than COX-1 inhibition in reducing hyperalgesia. Remifentanil-induced hyperalgesia was demonstrated for both electrically induced pain and cold-pressor pain. Both parecoxib and ketorolac prevented hyperalgesia in the electrical model, parecoxib to a larger extent.
Each year, nearly 100 deaths and more than 10,000 admissions to Norwegian hospitals can be attributed to acute poisoning from non-medical substances and drugs in supra-therapeutic doses. The aim of this study was to evaluate hospitals routines for coding of acute poisoning deaths and to provide information on the toxic agents involved.
Patients treated for self-poisoning have an increased risk of death, both by natural and unnatural causes. The follow-up of these patients is therefore of great importance. The aim of this study was to explore the differences in psychosocial factors and referrals to follow-up among self-poisoning patients according to their evaluated intention.
Acute poisonings are common and are treated at different levels of the health care system. Since most fatal poisonings occur outside hospital, these must be included when studying characteristics of such deaths. The pattern of toxic agents differs between fatal and non-fatal poisonings. By including all poisoning episodes, cause-fatality rates can be calculated.
The availability of prescribed medication to patients who engage in deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) is not known, and it is not clear whether patients choose drugs prescribed to them for self-poisoning. The objectives of this study were to investigate (1) prescribed medication availability in DSP patients compared to the general population, (2) whether patients use their prescribed medication in their DSP episodes, (3) differences between patients who ingest prescribed medication and those who do not, and (4) the time between the last collection of prescribed medication used for DSP and the DSP episodes.
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