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July 22, 1968

Treatment of Propoxyphene Poisoning

Author Affiliations

USA El Paso, Tex

JAMA. 1968;205(4):250-251. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140300068024

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To the Editor:—  H F. Fraser, MD, recently (204:549, 1968) commented upon our recommendation (203: 1074, 1968) that activated charcoal be used in the treatment of propoxyphene hydrochloride ingestion. Dr. Fraser has obviously misinterpreted our letter; we did not imply that activated charcoal should be the only treatment for the ingestion of this drug. In vivo studies, in support of our recommendation, have been carried out in our institution. The timely administration of activated charcoal appears to prevent clinical symptoms of propoxyphene poisoning; dogs did not have convulsions nor did they appear to have muscle fasciculations or respiratory depression. Correlation of serum concentrations of this drug were unsuccessful; as Emmerson et al (Toxic Appl Pharmacol11:482, 1967) so clearly demonstrated, concentrations of propoxyphene in the blood are always very low and do not reflect the changing drug concentrations in other tissues.Dr. Fraser states that the principal treatment