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      Novel Clinical Toxicology and Pharmacology of Organophosphorus Insecticide Self-Poisoning

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      Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Organophosphorus insecticide self-poisoning is a major global health problem, killing over 100,000 people annually. It is a complex multi-organ condition, involving the inhibition of cholinesterases, and perhaps other enzymes, and the effects of large doses of ingested solvents. Variability between organophosphorus insecticides—in lipophilicity, speed of activation, speed and potency of acetylcholinesterase inhibition, and in the chemical groups attached to the phosphorus—results in variable speed of poisoning onset, severity, clinical toxidrome, and case fatality. Current treatment is modestly effective, aiming only to reactivate acetylcholinesterase and counter the effects of excess acetylcholine at muscarinic receptors. Rapid titration of atropine during resuscitation is lifesaving and can be performed in the absence of oxygen. The role of oximes in therapy remains unclear. Novel antidotes have been tested in small trials, but the great variability in poisoning makes interpretation of such trials difficult. More effort is required to test treatments in adequately powered studies.

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          The endocannabinoid system and the brain.

          The psychoactive constituent in cannabis, Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was isolated in the mid-1960s, but the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, and the major endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol) were identified only 20 to 25 years later. The cannabinoid system affects both central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral processes. In this review, we have tried to summarize research--with an emphasis on recent publications--on the actions of the endocannabinoid system on anxiety, depression, neurogenesis, reward, cognition, learning, and memory. The effects are at times biphasic--lower doses causing effects opposite to those seen at high doses. Recently, numerous endocannabinoid-like compounds have been identified in the brain. Only a few have been investigated for their CNS activity, and future investigations on their action may throw light on a wide spectrum of brain functions.
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            Management of acute organophosphorus pesticide poisoning

            Summary Organophosphorus pesticide self-poisoning is an important clinical problem in rural regions of the developing world, and kills an estimated 200 000 people every year. Unintentional poisoning kills far fewer people but is a problem in places where highly toxic organophosphorus pesticides are available. Medical management is difficult, with case fatality generally more than 15%. We describe the limited evidence that can guide therapy and the factors that should be considered when designing further clinical studies. 50 years after first use, we still do not know how the core treatments—atropine, oximes, and diazepam—should best be given. Important constraints in the collection of useful data have included the late recognition of great variability in activity and action of the individual pesticides, and the care needed cholinesterase assays for results to be comparable between studies. However, consensus suggests that early resuscitation with atropine, oxygen, respiratory support, and fluids is needed to improve oxygen delivery to tissues. The role of oximes is not completely clear; they might benefit only patients poisoned by specific pesticides or patients with moderate poisoning. Small studies suggest benefit from new treatments such as magnesium sulphate, but much larger trials are needed. Gastric lavage could have a role but should only be undertaken once the patient is stable. Randomised controlled trials are underway in rural Asia to assess the effectiveness of these therapies. However, some organophosphorus pesticides might prove very difficult to treat with current therapies, such that bans on particular pesticides could be the only method to substantially reduce the case fatality after poisoning. Improved medical management of organophosphorus poisoning should result in a reduction in worldwide deaths from suicide.
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              Self poisoning with pesticides.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
                Annu. Rev. Pharmacol. Toxicol.
                Annual Reviews
                0362-1642
                1545-4304
                January 06 2019
                January 06 2019
                : 59
                : 1
                : 341-360
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Therapeutics Unit, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, and Centre for Pesticide Suicide Prevention, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, United Kingdom;
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010818-021842
                © 2019

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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