Iatrogenic lipid emulsion overdose in a case of amlodipine poisoning

Patrick L. West, Nathanael J. McKeown, Robert G. Hendrickson

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44 Scopus citations


Introduction.Intralipid therapy has been used successfully as "rescue therapy" in several cases of overdose. We present a case of iatrogenic lipid emulsion overdose because of a dosing error.Case Report.A 71-year-old female overdosed on 27 tablets of 5 mg amlodipine. Although initially stable in the Emergency Department, she became hypotensive, oliguric, and respiratory failure developed despite medical therapy. The primary treating team felt that meaningful recovery was unlikely to occur without rapid improvement in clinical status, and 12.5 h after presentation, intralipid rescue therapy was initiated. A protocol for intralipid specifying a maximum infusion of 400 mL of 20 lipid emulsion was faxed, but the infusion was continued until 2 L of lipid emulsion was infused. There were no detectable adverse hemodynamic effects of the intralipid infusion. After this time, laboratory values were difficult to obtain. Three hours after the infusion, a metabolic panel was obtained from ultracentrifuged blood showing hyponatremia. A white blood cell (WBC) was obtained from a complete blood count (CBC) performed 22 h after the infusion, hemoglobin and hematocrit could not be obtained from this blood. A platelet count was obtained by smear estimate. Hematocrits were obtained from centrifuged blood and appeared elevated. No oxygenation could be obtained on blood gas. The patient's family chose to withdraw care on hospital day 2 and no further laboratory draws were obtained. Amlodipine was 1,500 ngmL (ref. 311 ngmL).Discussion.Lipid emulsion overdose caused no detectable acute adverse hemodynamic effects. The following laboratory values were unobtainable immediately after infusion: white blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, platelet count, and a metabolic panel of serum electrolytes. Ultracentrifugation of blood allowed for detection of a metabolic panel 3 h after the infusion. Centrifuged hematocrits appeared to be higher than expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)393-396
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Antidote
  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Intralipid
  • Overdose
  • Toxicology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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