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Poisoning & Drug Overdose provides practical advice for the diagnosis and management of poisoning and drug overdose and concise information about common industrial chemicals.

The manual is divided into four sections and an index, each identified by a black tab in the right margin. Section I leads the reader through initial emergency management, including treatment of coma, hypotension, and other common complications; physical and laboratory diagnosis; and methods of decontamination and enhanced elimination of poisons. Section II provides detailed information for approximately 150 common drugs and poisons. Section III describes the use and side effects of approximately 60 antidotes and therapeutic drugs. Section IV describes the medical management of chemical spills and occupational chemical exposures and includes a table of over 500 chemicals. The Index is comprehensive and extensively cross-referenced.

The manual is designed to allow the reader to move quickly from section to section, obtaining the needed information from each. For example, in managing a patient with isoniazid intoxication, the reader will find specific information about isoniazid toxicity in Section II, practical advice for gut decontamination and management of complications such as seizures in Section I, and detailed information about dosing and side effects for the antidote pyridoxine in Section III.


The success of the first and second editions of this manual would not have been possible without the combined efforts of the staff, faculty, and fellows of the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Poison Control Center, to whom I am deeply indebted. From its inception, this book has been a project by and for our poison center; as a result, all royalties from its sale have gone to our center’s operating fund and not to any individual editor or author.

In January 1997, four independent poison control centers joined their talents to become the California Poison Control System, administered by the University of California, San Francisco. With the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth editions, the manual became a project of our statewide system, bringing in new authors and editors.

On behalf of the authors and editors of the seventh edition, my sincere thanks go to all those who contributed to one or more of the first six editions:


Timothy E. Albertson, MD, PhD

Judith A. Alsop, PharmD

Ilene Brewer Anderson, PharmD

Patil Armenian, MD

Margaret Atterbury, MD

Georgeanne M. Backman

John Balmes, MD

Shireen Banerji, PharmD

James David Barry, MD

Charles E. Becker, MD

Neal L. Benowitz, MD

Bruce Bernard, MD

David P. Betten, MD

Kathleen Birnbaum, PharmD

Paul D. Blanc, MD, MSPH

Stephen Born, MD

Christopher R. Brown, MD

Randall G. Browning, MD, MPH

James F. Buchanan, PharmD

Alan Buchwald, MD

Cindy Burkhardt, PharmD

Chris Camillieri, DO

F. Lee Cantrell, PharmD

Terry Carlson, PharmD

Shaun D. Carstairs, MD

Gregory Cham, MD

Chulathida Chomchai, MD

Summon Chomchai, MD

Richard F. Clark, MD

Matthew D. Cook, MD

G. Patrick Daubert, MD

Delia Dempsey, MD

Charlene Doss

Chris Dutra, MD

Jo Ellen Dyer, PharmD

Brent R. Ekins, PharmD

Andrew Erdman, MD

Gary Everson, PharmD

Jeffrey Fay, PharmD

Thomas J. Ferguson, MD, PhD

Donna E. Foliart, MD, MPH

Frederick Fung, MD

Mark J. Galbo, MS

Fabian Garza, PharmD

Richard J. Geller, MD, MPH

Robert L. Goldberg, MD

Joanna Goralka, PharmD

Colin S. Goto, MD

Gail M. Gullickson, MD

Christine A. Haller, MD

Jennifer Hannum, MD

Sandra Hayashi, PharmD

Patricia H. Hiatt, BS

Raymond Ho, PharmD

B. Zane Horowitz, MD

Yao-min Hung, MD

David L. Irons, PharmD

Leslie M. Israel, DO, MPH

Sam Jackson, MD, MBA

Thanjira Jiranankatan, MD

Gerald Joe, PharmD

Jeffrey R. Jones, MPH, CIH

Paul A. Khasigian, PharmD

Thomas E. Kearney, PharmD

Kathryn H. Keller, PharmD

Michael T. Kelley, MD

Susan Y. Kim-Katz, PharmD

Lada Kokan, MD

Michael J. Kosnett, MD

Allyson Kreshak, MD

Amy Kunihiro, MD

Grant D. Lackey, PharmD

Chi-Leung Lai, PharmD

Rita Lam, PharmD

Shelly Lam, PharmD

John P. Lamb, PharmD

Belle L. Lee, PharmD

Darrem Lew, PharmD

Diane Liu, MD, MPH

Jon Lorett, PharmD

Derrick Lung, MD, MPH

Binh T. Ly, MD

Richard Lynton, MD

Tatiana M. Mamantov, MD

Beth H. Manning, PharmD

Anthony S. Manoguerra, PharmD

Kathy Marquardt, PharmD

Michael J. Matteucci, MD

Timothy D. McCarthy, PharmD

Howard E. McKinney, PharmD

Kathryn H. Meier, PharmD

Michael A. Miller, MD

Alicia Minns, MD

S. Todd Mitchell, MD

Eileen Morentz

Walter H. Mullen, PharmD

Stephen W. Munday, MD, MPH, MS

Nancy G. Murphy, MD

Frank J. Mycroft, PhD, MPH

Joshua Nogar, MD

Sean Patrick Nordt, MD, PharmD

Steve Offerman, MD

Kent R. Olson, MD

Michael O’Malley, MD, MPH

Gary Joseph Ordog, MD

John D. Osterloh, MD

Kelly P. Owen, MD

Gary Pasternak, MD

Manish Patel, MD

Paul D. Pearigen, MD

Cyrus Rangan, MD

Brett A. Roth, MD

Freda M. Rowley, PharmD

Thomas R. Sands, PharmD

Aaron Schnier, MD

Jay Schrader, CPhT

Kerry Schwarz, PharmD

Dennis J. Shusterman, MD, MPH

Craig Smollin, MD

Karl A. Sporer, MD

Jeffrey R. Suchard, MD

Mark E. Sutter, MD

Winnie W. Tai, PharmD

David A. Tanen, MD

S. Alan Tani, PharmD

John H. Tegzes, VMD

R. Steven Tharratt, MD

Josef G. Thundiyil, MD, MPH

Christian Tomaszewski, MD

Ben T. Tsutaoka, PharmD

Mary Tweig, MD

Rais Vohra, MD

Peter H. Wald, MD, MPH

Michael J. Walsh, PharmD

Jonathan Wasserberger, MD

Janet S. Weiss, MD

R. David West, PharmD

Timothy J. Wiegand, MD

Saralyn R. Williams, MD

Joyce Wong, PharmD

Olga F. Woo, PharmD

Alan H. B. Wu, PhD

Lisa Wu, MD

Evan T. Wythe, MD

Peter Yip, MD

Shoshana Zevin, MD

We are also grateful for the numerous comments and suggestions received from colleagues, students, and the editorial staff at McGraw-Hill, which helped us to improve the manual with each edition.

Kent R. Olson, MD
San Francisco, California
September 2017

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