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    Contac overdose

    Contac is the brand name for a cough, cold, and allergy medicine that contains several ingredients. Contac overdose occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally takes more than the normal or recommended amount of this medication.

    This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

    Poisonous Ingredient

    • Acetaminophen(Tylenol)
    • Chlorpheniramine
    • Phenylpropanolamine
    • Dextromethorphan hydrobromide
    • Diphenhydramine hydrochloride
    • Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride

    Note: Not all of these ingredients are found in every form of Contac.

    Where Found

    The ingredients are found in Contac as well as some over-the-counter herbal products advertised for weight loss and athletic performance–enhancing effects.

    Symptoms

    • Blurred vision
    • Cannoturinate or completely empty the bladder
    • Convulsions
    • Depression
    • Delirium
    • Disorientation
    • Drowsiness
    • Enlarged pupils
    • Fever
    • Hallucinations
    • Increased blood pressure
    • Irregular heartbeat
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Muscle pain and spasms
    • Nauseaand vomiting
    • Nervousness
    • Tremor
    • Unsteadiness
    • Yellow eyes

    Before Calling Emergency

    Determine the following information:

    • Patient's age, weight, and condition
    • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
    • Time it was swallowed
    • Amount swallowed
    • If the medication was prescribed for the patient

    Poison Control

    The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

    This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    See: Poison control center - emergency number

    What to Expect at the Emergency Room

    The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Blood tests will be done to check the level of acetaminophen in the blood.

    Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

    • Activated charcoal
    • Antidote to prevent liver failure if acetaminophen levels are high (See: Acetaminophen overdose)
    • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
    • Laxative
    • Tube through the nose into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

    Outlook (Prognosis)

    This type of overdose tends to be mild. However, if enough product is taken, serious complications can occur from the acetaminophen part of this product. How well a patient does depends on how much product was taken and how soon they receive medical treatment. Death can occur.

    References

    Murphy NG, Benowitz NL, Goldschlager N. Cardiovascular toxicology. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 8.

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          Tests for Contac overdose

            Review Date: 2/2/2012

            Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

            The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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