Cortisporin otic suspension such as paracetamol is supplied

Medicines: poisoning and first aid

Many popular pain medications are available over the counter. Nevertheless, an overdose can lead to serious clinical pictures; There are big differences in terms of danger. Medication like Mefenamic acid, Paracetamol or Salicylates belong to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These work against pain, inflammation and reduce fever.

Paracetamol and mefenamic acid in particular are often used in children. The risk of overdosing or poisoning comes from freely accessible drugs on the one hand and from wrongly dosed drugs on the other. More on the topic: painkillers

Mefenamic acid

Mefenamic acid can be used in various forms and dosages in both children and adults.

Symptoms of overdose:

  • States of confusion
  • dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • nausea
  • Vomit
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Rashes
  • general tendency to bleed
  • Muscle spasms, epileptic fits
  • Kidney failure

The initial symptoms are unspecific. It can be completely absent and does not have to be related to the severity. If poisoning is suspected, early therapy in a hospital is necessary, especially in children.

First aid measures:

  • If necessary, remove tablet residues from the mouth.
  • Poison Information Center +43 (0) 1 406 43 43 to contact.

  • When unconscious:
    • Emergency number 144 choose.
    • Keep your airway clear. An unconscious person lying on their back is at risk of suffocation. A simple, stable side position can prevent this.
    • If you have stopped breathing, perform a resuscitation immediately.

Paracetamol

Paracetamol has not only proven itself in adults, but also in pediatrics. However, it is dangerous if overdosed. The toxicity depends on the amount, the body weight and the time interval in which the overdose was taken. Symptoms of poisoning can be caused by too high a single dose or too frequent intake - both in adults and in children. People with chronic liver disease, the elderly and young children, among others, are particularly at risk.

Symptoms of overdose:

  • Nausea, vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • sweat
  • paleness
  • after massive overdoses there is a risk of irreversible liver damage; this can subsequently become life-threatening.

First aid measures:

  • If necessary, remove tablet residues from the mouth.
  • Poison Information Center +43 (0) 1 406 43 43 to contact.

NoteIf there is a suspicion of acetaminophen poisoning, a medical examination and treatment should be carried out within the first ten hours!

Salicylates

The best-known representative of this active group is Acetylsalicylic acid. In principle, drugs in this group are not suitable for children under the age of twelve; Reye's syndrome (life-threatening disease of the brain and liver) can occur.

An overdose can lead to moderate or severe symptoms of intoxication, depending on the amount ingested.

Symptoms of moderate overdose:

  • Hearing impairment, tinnitus
  • sweat
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Headache, dizziness

At severe poisoning additionally

  • fever
  • Hyperventilation
  • Disorders of the acid-base balance
  • Severe hypoglycaemia
  • coma
  • Respiratory and circulatory failure

Danger!Acetylsalicylic acid poisoning can be life-threatening, especially in small children and the elderly!

First aid measures:

  • If necessary, remove any tablet residue from the mouth.
  • Poison Information Center +43 (0) 1 406 43 43 to contact.

  • When unconscious:
    • Emergency number 144 choose.
    • Keep your airway clear. An unconscious person lying on their back is at risk of suffocation. A simple stable side position can prevent this.
    • If you have stopped breathing, perform a resuscitation immediately.

opiate

Opiates (including opioid analgesics) do not belong to the NSAID group. The active ingredients of this group are derivatives of opium (obtained from the milk sap of the opium poppy), well-known representatives are morphine, codeine, heroin, pethidine and methadone. Opiates or opioids have a variety of effects; morphine is primarily used as a strong pain reliever.

Opiates must not be taken by children (especially small children) (keep them in a safe place!). Opiate poisoning or overdoses also occur mainly in people with drug addiction (heroin).

More on the topic: Alcohol & Drugs: Poisoning

Symptoms of overdose:

  • Constriction of the pupil
  • Confusion, disorientation
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Slowing down of the heart rate
  • unconsciousness
  • Slowing of breathing, there is a risk of breathing arrest
  • Circulatory failure up to a deep coma

Danger!Overdosing on opiates is always life-threatening due to the risk of respiratory failure. Children in particular must be closely monitored and given medical care if they are suspected of taking opiates.

First aid:

  • If necessary, remove any tablet residue from the mouth.
  • It is also important to monitor a conscious person after excessive opiate use. Don't leave it alone!
  • Emergency number 144 choose.
  • When unconscious additionally:
    • Keep your airway clear. An unconscious person lying on their back is at risk of suffocation. A simple, stable side position can prevent this.
    • If you have stopped breathing, perform a resuscitation immediately.