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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 36-41

Profile of patients presenting with deliberate drug overdose and outcome

Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Kundavaram P P. Abhilash
Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_715_20

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Background: Deliberate self-poisoning (DSP) is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in India. Drug overdose is one of the most common methods for the same and is a growing public health concern globally. It is important to know the spectrum of drugs used for the same and to identify any specific groups at risk. Methodology: This retrospective cohort study included patients presenting with medication drug overdose to the emergency department (ED) from January 2017 to December 2018. Patient data were obtained from the ED triage registry software and clinical workstation. Following this, their hospital outcome was determined. Results: During the study period, 1802 patients presented with DSP among which drug overdose comprised 27.6% (498/1802). The mean age was 32.8 years (SD-12.6) with a higher incidence in the age group comprising young adults (16–30 years, 52%), majority being females (68%). The most commonly consumed drugs belonged to the drug class of benzodiazepines (22%), NSAIDs (19.2%), antihistamines (15%), antidepressants (12%), and antipsychotics (10.2%). The mortality rate was 0.2%. Conclusion: Benzodiazepines were the most commonly consumed class of drugs used for DSP, followed closely by NSAIDs. Drug overdose showed a higher incidence in the age group of highly productive young adults. The incidence exhibited a seasonal pattern with peak in April and May. Although the mortality rate following drug overdose remains low, drug overdose is a commonly used method for DSP and continues to be a growing public health concern.

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