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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 21(5); 2010 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2010;21(5): 720-723.
A Case of Aconitum Intoxication After Ingestion of a Large Amount of Aconitine Decoction in a Suicide Attempt
Yoon Sung Kim, Jun Hwi Cho, Chan Woo Park, Hui Young Lee, Bong Ki Lee, Hak Jae Kim, Sang Min Park, Mi Young Ahn
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Samcheok Medical Center, Samcheok, Korea.
2Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea. cjhemd@kangwon.ac.kr
3Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.
4Department of Education and Research, Chung-Ang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Aconitine has been used as a folk remedy for centuries to treat pain and as an inotropic agent. However, because its therapeutic range is very narrow, it often causes many side effects when not controlled carefully. These include nausea, vomiting, paresthesia, cardiac arrhythmia and hypotension. Most of the aconitine intoxication cases have been attributed to accidental overdose of aconitine-containing medicines. In this case, a 53-year-old woman attempted suicide by intentionally overdosing herself with an aconitine decoction. She suffered paresthesia in both arms and showed junctional rhythm on an electrocardiogram at admission. Here we report that early gastric lavage and other symptomatic therapies were helpful for treating aconitine intoxication. Similar to intoxication with other drugs, these supportive measures can prevent the patient's hospitalization.
Key words: Aconitine, Poisoning, Suicide, Gastric lavage
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