Drug poisoning and associated factors in Western Saudi Arabia: A five-year retrospective chart review (2011–2016)

Sami Hamdan Alzahrani, Ali H. Alqahtani, Fayssal Mostafa Farahat, Mohammed Abdel Galil Elnour, Jamil Bashawri


Objective: Drug poisoning is a globally common cause of emergency-room admissions. This study explores drug-poisoning prevalence patterns, associated risk factors (gender, age and exposure circumstances), and outcomes in western Saudi Arabia.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of Clinical drug poisoning cases (2011-2016). The data were retrieved from the Saudi Ministry of Health’s record and Patients’ medical charts were analyzed.

Results: The Ministry of Health received 1,474 reports of drug poisoning during 2011–2016.More than half involved females (n=885, 60%) or young children (0-4 years old) (n=764, 51.8%) and occurred accidentally (n=786, 53.3%); almost all had an oral route of poisoning (n=1,466, 99.5%). The cases most frequently involved analgesic and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (n=373, 25.2%); antiepileptic, antipsychotic, psychoactive, and anxiolytic drugs (n=229, 16.3%); antihistamine, asthma, flu, and cough drugs (n=157, 12.0%); and antibiotic, anti-fungal; and antiprotozoal drugs (n=74, 5.0%). Antidotes were administered in only 2.2% of cases, and no deaths were reported.

Conclusion: The drug poisoning cases involved females and young children (younger than 5 years old) and the most cases were accidental, and the most commonly used drugs were analgesics (Panadol), followed by antipsychotics, antihistamines, and antiepileptics (Tegretol). 

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.335.13119

How to cite this:Alzahrani SH, Alqahtani AH, Farahat FM, Elnour MAG, Bashawri J. Drug poisoning and associated factors in Western Saudi Arabia: A five-year retrospective chart review (2011–2016). Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(5):1188-1193.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.335.13119

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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