Background: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a powerful antioxidant and has been used extensively in the treatment of paracetamol overdose with great success. Aluminum phosphide (ALP) ingestion results in significant oxidative stress. In this study, we evaluated the effects of NAC on mortality in patients with severe ALP poisoning.
Subjects and Methods: This prospective intervention study was carried out in the emergency medical unit attached to the Nehru Hospital at PGIMER, Chandigarh, over a period of 1 year. All the patients presenting with severe ALP poisoning were randomized into two group. The treatment group received NAC in the dose of 150 mg/kg intravenous over 1 h, followed by 50 mg/kg over 4 h, followed by 100 mg/kg 16 h in 5% dextrose. The placebo group received 5% dextrose. The primary end point was mortality.
Results: A total of 50 patients were recruited. The baseline parameters were comparable in both groups. The survivors in the treatment group received 19 g of NAC, but the nonsurvivors received only 12.15 g of NAC. The overall mortality in the study group was 88% with 87.5% mortality in the treatment group and 88.5% in the placebo group.
Conclusions: Antioxidant therapy in the form of NAC in severe ALP poisoning did not confer any survival benefit.
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