Serum diazepam concentrations in overdose. Their significance

American Journal of Clinical Pathology
P I JatlowD Bailey


Total serum benzodiazepine concentrations were correlated with clinical manifestations in 93 cases of diazepam overdose. Diazepam and nordiazepam were also each separately determined in 101 serum specimens from cases of diazepam overdose, including 27 cases from the aforementioned clinical correlation study. In addition, serum nordiazepam concentrations were measured in five cases of chlorazepate overdose. Concentrations of total benzodiazepine ranged from 1 to 22 microgram/ml. All patients survived with supportive therapy only. Each of the 25 patients who had ingested only diazepam was awake or in grade 0 coma, even when drug concentrations were ten-fold greater than the accepted upper limit of the therapeutic range. None of the patients who had ingested only diazepam needed hospitalization; all were discharged from acute medical care after a period of emergency room observation. The ratios of parent drug to N-desmethyl metabolite (nordiazepam) in those overdose specimens analyzed by gas chromatography averaged 3:1. This high ratio may be useful in differentiating acute overdose from high concentrations resulting from chronic therapy. Although determination of diazepam concentrations aid in establishing that an overdose has oc...Continue Reading


Aug 18, 1983·The New England Journal of Medicine·D J GreenblattD R Abernethy
Jan 1, 1981·Psychopharmacology·M DivollR I Shader
Mar 21, 2012·Anesthesia Progress·Daniel E Becker
Mar 1, 1982·Acta Pharmacologica Et Toxicologica·L Aaltonen, M Scheinin

Related Concepts

Supportive Care
Coma (genus)
Anti-Anxiety Effect
Determination Aspects
Acute Care
Rooming-in Care
Benzodiazepine [EPC]
Apraxia, Oculomotor, Cogan Type

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