[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 14, 2003

Ethanol in Hospital Formularies—ReplyEthanol in Hospital Formularies—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(18):2361. doi:10.1001/jama.289.18.2361-a

In Reply: As Dr Sotos points out, intravenous (IV) ethanol may be an appropriate antidote for methanol and ethylene glycol poisoning. Although methanol and ethylene glycol themselves are not highly toxic, they are converted to metabolites that are (ie, formaldehyde and formic acid, or glycoaldehyde and glycolic acid, respectively). In addition to gastric decontamination, supportive care, and hemodialysis in selected patients, the treatment strategy for these poisonings is to block the initial step in their metabolism by inhibiting alcohol dehydrogenase, which converts the alcohol to an aldehyde.