How Do Cyanide Antidotes Work?

Reviewed on 7/6/2021

HOW DO CYANIDE ANTIDOTES WORK?

Cyanide antidotes are drugs used for treating cyanide poisoning. The most common causes of cyanide poisoning are:

  • Structural fires
  • Industrial exposures
  • Medical exposures such as sodium nitroprusside
  • Certain foods
  • Domestic fires

Cyanide mixes into the bloodstream rapidly. It inhibits oxidative phosphorylation in the cells—a process where oxygen is utilized for energy production—that can cause:

  • Hypoxia (a condition where not enough oxygen reaches the cells and tissues in the body)
  • Depletion of energy
  • Metabolic acidosis (a condition in which there is excess acid in the body fluids)

Cyanide poisoning can result in:

Cyanide antidotes usually combine with cyanide to form a less toxic product that can be easily excreted from the body. Cyanide antidotes may also dilate the blood vessels to reduce oxygen demand.

HOW ARE CYANIDE ANTIDOTES USED?

Cyanide antidotes are mainly used to treat cyanide poisoning. Other uses of cyanide antidotes include:

WHAT ARE SIDE EFFECTS OF CYANIDE ANTIDOTES?

Cyanide antidotes can cause the following side effects:

The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible side effects, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure these drugs do not cause any harm when you take them along with other medicines. Never stop taking your medication and never change your dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.

WHAT ARE NAMES OF CYANIDE ANTIDOTES?

Generic and brand names of cyanide antidotes include:

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow
References
https://reference.medscape.com/drugs/cyanide-antidotes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK507796/

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