Experts Consensus Recommendations for the Management of Calcium Channel Blocker Poisoning in Adults

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Abstract

Objective:

To provide a management approach for adults with calcium channel blocker poisoning.

Data Sources, Study Selection, and Data Extraction:

Following the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation II instrument, initial voting statements were constructed based on summaries outlining the evidence, risks, and benefits.

Data Synthesis:

We recommend 1) for asymptomatic patients, observation and consideration of decontamination following a potentially toxic calcium channel blocker ingestion (1D); 2) as first-line therapies (prioritized based on desired effect), IV calcium (1D), high-dose insulin therapy (1D–2D), and norepinephrine and/or epinephrine (1D). We also suggest dobutamine or epinephrine in the presence of cardiogenic shock (2D) and atropine in the presence of symptomatic bradycardia or conduction disturbance (2D); 3) in patients refractory to the first-line treatments, we suggest incremental doses of high-dose insulin therapy if myocardial dysfunction is present (2D), IV lipid-emulsion therapy (2D), and using a pacemaker in the presence of unstable bradycardia or high-grade arteriovenous block without significant alteration in cardiac inotropism (2D); 4) in patients with refractory shock or who are periarrest, we recommend incremental doses of high-dose insulin (1D) and IV lipid-emulsion therapy (1D) if not already tried. We suggest venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, if available, when refractory shock has a significant cardiogenic component (2D), and using pacemaker in the presence of unstable bradycardia or high-grade arteriovenous block in the absence of myocardial dysfunction (2D) if not already tried; 5) in patients with cardiac arrest, we recommend IV calcium in addition to the standard advanced cardiac life-support (1D), lipid-emulsion therapy (1D), and we suggest venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation if available (2D).

Conclusion:

We offer recommendations for the stepwise management of calcium channel blocker toxicity. For all interventions, the level of evidence was very low.

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