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Life-Threatening Dextromethorphan Intoxication Associated with Interaction with Amitriptyline in a P

Life-Threatening Dextromethorphan Intoxication Associated with Interaction with Amitriptyline in a P

  1. Metomni
    Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 2008 e-published March 20

    Forget P (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), le Polain de Waroux B (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Wallemacq P (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus), Gala JL (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/e...l.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_RVAbstractPlus)

    We report a case of life-threatening intoxication and a controlled re-exposure study to dextromethorphan. A 60-year-old man developed postsurgical neuropathic cervical pain treated by hydromorphone, gabapentin, clonazepam, and amitriptyline. He received a dextromethorphan preparation for a catarrhal syndrome. Two days later, he was admitted into an emergency department in a profound coma. Thirty-six hours later, after withdrawal of all drugs, the situation normalized. A genotyping for UDP-glucuronyltransferase 1A1 and CYP2D6 was followed by a re-exposure study. During the three days, vital parameters and side effects of drugs were prospectively recorded. The second day, dextromethorphan was introduced. No significant impairment in parameters nor influence on analgesic efficacy were noted. Dextromethorphan concentrations suggest an accumulation without reaching any steady state. Somnolence was noted for plasma concentrations around 100ng/mL. The CYP2D6*4 variant leading to a poor metabolizer phenotype was founded. Moreover, this phenotype was potentially aggravated by amitriptyline intake. This study allowed the identification and the confirmation of the cause of the coma. In conclusion, it is probably wise to recommend avoiding dextromethorphan in patients taking tricyclic antidepressants or another inhibitor of CYP2D6. Drug-drug interactions are probably underdiagnosed and underreported, and drugs considered as safe may induce serious complications.