Fomepizole as an adjunctive therapy for acetaminophen poisoning: cases reported to the toxicology investigators consortium (ToxIC) database 2015–2020

On behalf of the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Fomepizole inhibits formation of toxic acetaminophen (APAP) metabolites and may prevent or reverse mitochondrial toxicity. Given these mechanisms, it may be beneficial in patients with severe APAP toxicity. Current patterns of use for this indication are not well-studied. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of patients enrolled in the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) database from January 2015 to July 2020. We queried cases in which APAP was listed as an ingested agent and fomepizole was also administered. We excluded cases in which APAP was not the primary agent, N-acetylcysteine (NAC) was not administered, or fomepizole was explicitly administered for another indication. Additionally, we sent a survey to each ToxIC site that administered fomepizole for APAP toxicity to better understand when, why, and how they were using it for this indication. Results: Twenty-five cases of fomepizole administration following an APAP ingestion met our inclusion criteria. There were one to four cases per year between 2015 and 2019 and eight cases in 2020. Seventeen of 25 (68%) cases were for a known acute ingestion. Eighteen of 25 (72%) patients developed hepatotoxicity (AST or ALT > 1000 IU/L) and 10 of 25 (40%) developed coagulopathy (PT > 15s). This was an ill patient population, with 18 of 25 (72%) developing metabolic acidosis (pH <7.20), 12 of 25 (48%) were intubated, 9 of 25 (36%) receiving vasopressors, and 6 of 25 (24%) receiving continuous renal replacement therapy. Overall, mortality was 24%. Conclusion: The use of fomepizole is increasing in frequency in a small subset of critically ill and acutely APAP-poisoned patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Toxicology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • 4-methylpyrazole
  • Acetaminophen
  • fomepizole
  • hepatotoxicity
  • paracetamol

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