"Dec. 26, 2012 -- Johnnie McKee thought she was out of the woods.
McKee, a 72-year-old grandmother of four from Bethpage, Tenn., was one of nearly 14,000 people who found out this fall that they'd been exposed to tainted medications made by "...
CAUTION! INDIVIDUALS SHOULD NOT RELY SOLELY UPON ATROPINE AND PRALIDOXIME TO PROVIDE COMPLETE PROTECTION FROM CHEMICAL NERVE AGENTS AND INSECTICIDE POISONING.
PRIMARY PROTECTION AGAINST EXPOSURE TO CHEMICAL NERVE AGENTS AND INSECTICIDE POISONING IS THE WEARING OF PROTECTIVE GARMENTS INCLUDING MASKS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS USE.
EVACUATION AND DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. MEDICAL PERSONNEL ASSISTING EVACUATED VICTIMS OF NERVE AGENT POISONING SHOULD AVOID CONTAMINATING THEMSELVES BY EXPOSURE TO THE VICTIM'S CLOTHING.
When symptoms of poisoning are not severe, DuoDote should be used with extreme caution in people with heart disease, arrhythmias, recent myocardial infarction, severe narrow angle glaucoma, pyloric stenosis, prostatic hypertrophy, significant renal insufficiency, chronic pulmonary disease, or hypersensitivity to any component of the product. Organophosphorous nerve agent poisoning often causes bradycardia but can be associated with a heart rate in the low, high, or normal range. Atropine increases heart rate and alleviates the bradycardia. In patients with a recent myocardial infarction and/or severe coronary artery disease, there is a possibility that atropine-induced tachycardia may cause ischemia, extend or initiate myocardial infarcts, and stimulate ventricular ectopy and fibrillation. In patients without cardiac disease, atropine administration is associated with the rare occurrence of ventricular ectopy or ventricular tachycardia. Conventional systemic doses may precipitate acute glaucoma in susceptible individuals, convert partial pyloric stenosis into complete pyloric obstruction, precipitate urinary retention in individuals with prostatic hypertrophy, or cause inspiration of bronchial secretions and formation of dangerous viscid plugs in individuals with chronic lung disease.
More than one dose of DuoDote, to a maximum of three doses, may be necessary initially when symptoms are severe. No more than three doses should be administered unless definitive medical care (e.g., hospitalization, respiratory support) is available. (See DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION)
Severe difficulty in breathing after organophosphorous poisoning requires artificial respiration in addition to the use of DuoDote.
A potential hazardous effect of atropine is inhibition of sweating which, in a warm environment or with exercise, can lead to hyperthermia and heat injury.
The elderly and children may be more susceptible to the effects of atropine.
The desperate condition of the organophosphorous-poisoned individual will generally mask such minor signs and symptoms of atropine and pralidoxime treatment as have been noted in normal subjects.
Because pralidoxime is excreted in the urine, a decrease in renal function will result in increased blood levels of the drug.
DuoDote temporarily increases blood pressure, a known effect of pralidoxime. In a study of 24 healthy young adults administered a single dose of atropine and pralidoxime auto-injector intramuscularly (approximately 9 mg/kg pralidoxime chloride), diastolic blood pressure increased from baseline by 11 ± 14 mm Hg (mean ± SD), and systolic blood pressure increased by 16 ± 19 mm Hg, at 15 minutes post-dose. Blood pressures remained elevated at these approximate levels through one hour post-dose, began to decrease at two hours post-dose and were near pre-dose baseline at four hours post-dose. Intravenous pralidoxime doses of 30-45 mg/kg can produce moderate to marked increases in diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
If organophosphorous poisoning is known or suspected, treatment should be instituted without waiting for confirmation of the diagnosis by laboratory tests. Red blood cell and plasma cholinesterase, and urinary paranitrophenol measurements (in the case of parathion exposure) may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis and following the course of the illness. However, miosis, rhinorrhea, and/or airway symptoms due to nerve agent vapor exposure may occur with normal cholinesterase levels. Also, normal red blood cell and plasma cholinesterase values vary widely by ethnic group, age, and whether the person is pregnant. A reduction in red blood cell cholinesterase concentration to below 50% of normal is strongly suggestive of organophosphorous ester poisoning.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
DuoDote is indicated for short-term emergency use only, and no adequate studies regarding the potential of atropine or pralidoxime chloride for carcinogenesis or mutagenesis have been conducted.
Impairment of Fertility
In studies in which male rats were orally administered atropine (62.5 to 125 mg/kg) for one week prior to mating and throughout a 5-day mating period with untreated females, a dose-related decrease in fertility was observed. A no-effect dose for male reproductive toxicity was not established. The low-effect dose was 290 times (on a mg/m² basis) the dose of atropine in a single application of DuoDote (2.1 mg).
Fertility studies of atropine in females or of pralidoxime in males or females have not been conducted.
Pregnancy Category C
Adequate animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with atropine, pralidoxime, or the combination. It is not known whether pralidoxime or atropine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or if they can affect reproductive capacity. Atropine readily crosses the placental barrier and enters the fetal circulation.
DuoDote should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the fetus.
Atropine has been reported to be excreted in human milk. It is not known whether pralidoxime is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when DuoDote is administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness of DuoDote in pediatric patients have not been established.
Last reviewed on RxList: 4/25/2013
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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