Antidotal use of lipid emulsion–the pendulum swings

Michael E. Mullins, Donna L. Seger

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

1 Scopus citations


Intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) is a widely accepted treatment for local anesthetic systemic toxicity (LAST), particularly resulting from bupivacaine. The past decade has seen interest in antidotal use of ILE for other poisonings wax and wane. Numerous anecdotes have raised enthusiasm while more rigorous reviews have cast skepticism. The truth may lie between these two poles. We illustrate the recent trends in published reports on ILE. We highlight the gaps in our knowledge and suggest sources of data that may clarify how useful ILE may be for poisonings other than LAST. We offer the example of bupropion, which is hazardous in overdose and which has a Log P (octanol-water partition coefficient) similar to that of bupivacaine. Current data sources including the AAPCC National Poison Data System (NPDS), the ACMT Toxic Investigators Consortium (ToxIC), and a voluntary online registry ( each give an incomplete view of the problem. We propose analysis of newer NPDS data, which will include ILE as a treatment field code beginning with the 2019 data, and a structured, prospective registry of antidotal use of ILE for poisonings other than LAST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1283
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2020


  • antidote
  • commentary
  • intravenous lipid emulsion
  • poisoning

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