Severe intoxication after an intentional overdose of amlodipine

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Intoxication with 280 mg of amlodipine caused severe hypotension, third-degree heart block and hyperkalaemia in a 36-year-old female patient. The patient was initially treated with fluids, dopamine, calcium chloride, and epinephrine without effect. The patient was then given a bolus injection of insulin and glucose as a temporary mean to treat the hyperkalaemia. We observed a rise in blood pressure (BP) after insulin was given and the BP was subsequently responsive to epinephrine. A possible positive inotropic effect of insulin therapy in patients with calcium channel blocker intoxication is in accordance with previous findings. In conclusion, it is suggested that hyperinsulinaemia-euglycaemia therapy may be considered as a first-line therapy in calcium channel blocker intoxication.

Keywords: amlodipine; calcium channel blocker; insulin; intoxication; severe hypotension

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Internal Medicine and Cardiology, Aarhus Amtssygehus, Aarhus University Hospital, and 2: Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus and Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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