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Salvia divinorum: exposures reported to a statewide poison control system over 10 years

Salvia divinorum: exposures reported to a statewide poison control system over 10 years

  1. Anonymous
    Vohra R, Seefeld A, Cantrell FL, Clark RF.
    J Emerg Med. 2009 Sep 16

    Background: Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic herb, has in recent years become popular among teenagers and young adults. Salvia is presently marketed as a “legal” alternative to other drugs of abuse, but little is known about the clinical toxicity of this substance. Objectives: The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical and demographic features of this emerging substance of recreational abuse using data obtained from the records of a poison control center. Methods: We performed retrospective review of exposures to the herbal hallucinogen Salvia divinorum as reported to the California Poison Control System (CPCS) over the last 10 years. Demographic and clinical data were collected and compiled from the computerized records of the CPCS for the search terms “salvia” and “sage.” Results: There were 37 exposures to S. divinorum and 96 exposures to non-hallucinogenic Salvia species. Eighteen (49%) of the exposures were to S. divinorum alone. Intentional Salvia exposures resulted in a variety of neurologic, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal effects. Notably, the use of concomitant substances of abuse was associated with a high rate of complications and psychomotor disturbances. Conclusions: Intentional use of S. divinorum, whether alone or in combination with alcoholic beverages and other drugs, causes neurologic, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal effects. This poison-center-based review helps to characterize the clinical toxicity of S. divinorum, but more clinical and pharmacologic research is warranted for this rapidly emerging substance of abuse.