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February 7, 1972

Fatal Poisoning Involving Methapyrilene

JAMA. 1972;219(6):756-757. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190320056027

To the Editor.—  Methapyrilene is an antihistamine used for local and systemic allergies. The sleep aid combination products such as Compoz, Mr. Sleep, Neo-Nyte, Nytol, San-Man, Sleep-Eze, Sominex, StaKalm and Sure-Sleep contain methapyrilene as one of their ingredients. These products are nonprescription drugs and are frequently advertised as safe, nonnarcotic, and nonbarbiturate sedatives. However, it must be pointed out that serious consequences, even fatalities, can result from overingestion of any of the products containing methapyrilene. Fortunately, deaths from overdosage of methapyrilene are rare. To our knowledge, only three fatalities have been reported in the literature: a 16-month-old girl died after swallowing 100 mg of methapyrilene hydrochloride, a suicide swallowed "2 bottles" of 25-mg capsules of methapyrilene hydrochloride and died 1 1/2 hours later, and a young woman who died from an overdose showed 3.0 mg/100 ml of methapyrilene in the stomach.1 The purpose of this communication is to report a