Esmolol Overdose

As with any medication, it is possible to take too much esmolol. If this happens, symptoms may include loss of consciousness, constriction of the airway, cardiac arrest, or even loss of life. Generally, overdoses of this drug are caused by inaccurate preparation of the IV solution (accidentally making the concentration too high).

Can You Take Too Much Esmolol?

Esmolol hydrochloride (Brevibloc®) is a prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as beta blockers. It is used to treat high blood pressure and irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) or rapid heart rates in emergency or surgical situations. As with most medications, an overdose with esmolol is possible. The specific effects of an esmolol overdose can be dangerous but will vary, depending on a number of factors, including the esmolol dosage and whether it was taken with any other medications or substances.

Effects of an Overdose

An overdose with esmolol or other beta blockers may cause the following problems:
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Constriction of the airway, which may cause breathing problems
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of life.
Generally, esmolol overdoses are usually caused by inaccurately preparing the IV solution.

Treatment for an Esmolol Overdose

The treatment for an overdose will vary. Because esmolol is very short-acting, the first step is to stop the medication. Often, this will quickly reverse many of the problems. Treatment will also involve supportive care, such as:
  • Giving medications to increase the heart rate
  • Giving IV fluids and medications to increase blood pressure
  • Giving asthma medications to reverse airway constriction
  • Giving medications to help the heart beat more forcefully.
Extra care should be given if such treatments are used, as they may worsen the original problem (for which the drug was initially given).
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Esmolol Drug Information

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