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January 2, 1978

Toxic Reactions From a Haloperidol Overdose in Two Children: Thermal and Cardiac Manifestations

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry (Dr Scialli), Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, and the Department of Psychiatry and Family Practice (Dr Thornton), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston.

JAMA. 1978;239(1):48-49. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280280048027

REPORTS of toxic reactions to haloperidol have been scant. Hollister and Ayd have commented about the relative safety of a drug overdose; also, Davis and associates have reported an absence of fatalities and life-threatening reactions. An extensive search of the literature showed only nine reported cases of pediatrics drug overdose. In the series of Gaultier and Fahti,1 five children were reported to have reversible symptoms, including somnalence and extrapyramidal signs. Debray and Galland2 report four cases with acute dystonic reactions and convulsions. Fourteen unpublished cases of drug overdose have been reported to the McNeil Laboratories (according to a personal communication with J. C. Maerz, MD, Feb 11, 1977). These include 9 instances of impaired consciousness, 7 of extrapyramidal symptoms, and 2 of hypertension; one child had no ill effects. In all cases, recovery was complete and there was no mention of cardiovascular manifestations.

In view of the fact