What is Alcohol Poisoning?

                                      
                                      

What is Alcohol Poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is a serious — and sometimes deadly — consequence of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. Drinking too much too quickly can affect your breathing, heart rate, body temperature and gag reflex and potentially lead to coma and death.

Alcohol poisoning can also occur when adults or children accidentally or intentionally drink household products that contain alcohol.

A person with alcohol poisoning needs immediate medical attention. If you suspect someone has alcohol poisoning, call for emergency medical help right away.

SYMPTOMS

Alcohol poisoning signs and symptoms include:

- Confusion
- Vomiting
- Seizures
- Slow breathing (less than eight breaths a minute)
- Irregular breathing (a gap of more than 10 seconds between breaths)
- Blue-tinged skin or pale skin
- Low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Passing out (unconsciousness) and can't be awakened

It's not necessary to have all these signs and symptoms before you seek help. A person who is unconscious or can't be awakened is at risk of dying.

Alcohol poisoning is an emergency
If you're with someone who has been drinking a lot of alcohol and you see any of the signs or symptoms above, here's what to do:

Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately. Never assume that a person will sleep off alcohol poisoning.

Be prepared to provide information. If you know, be sure to tell hospital or emergency personnel the kind and amount of alcohol the person drank, and when.

Don't leave an unconscious person alone. Because alcohol poisoning affects the way your gag reflex works, someone with alcohol poisoning may choke on his or her own vomit and not be able to breathe. While waiting for help, don't try to make the person vomit because he or she could choke.
Help a person who is vomiting. Try to keep him or her sitting up. If the person must lie down, make sure to turn his or her head to the side — this helps prevent choking. Try to keep the person awake to prevent loss of consciousness.

Don't be afraid to get help
It can be difficult to decide if you think someone is drunk enough to warrant medical intervention, but it's best to err on the side of caution. You may worry about the consequences for yourself or your friend or loved one, particularly if you're underage. But the consequences of not getting the right help in time can be far more serious.


CAUSES

Alcohol in the form of ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is found in alcoholic beverages, mouthwash, cooking extracts, some medications and certain household products. Ethyl alcohol poisoning generally results from drinking too many alcoholic beverages, especially in a short period of time.

Other forms of alcohol — including isopropyl alcohol (found in rubbing alcohol, lotions and some cleaning products) and methanol or ethylene glycol (a common ingredient in antifreeze, paints and solvents) — can cause another type of toxic poisoning that requires emergency treatment.
Binge drinking.

A major cause of alcohol poisoning is binge drinking — a pattern of heavy drinking when a male rapidly consumes five or more alcoholic drinks within two hours, or a female downs at least four drinks within two hours. An alcohol binge can occur over hours or last up to several days.

You can consume a fatal dose before you pass out. Even when you're unconscious or you've stopped drinking, alcohol continues to be released from your stomach and intestines into your bloodstream, and the level of alcohol in your body continues to rise.

How much is too much?

Unlike food, which can take hours to digest, alcohol is absorbed quickly by your body — long before most other nutrients. And it takes a lot more time for your body to get rid of the alcohol you've consumed.

Most alcohol is processed by your liver, and in general, it takes about one hour for your liver to process (metabolize) the alcohol in one drink.

One drink is defined as:

  • 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of regular beer (about 5 percent alcohol)
  • 8 to 9 ounces (237 to 266 milliliters) of malt liquor (about 7 percent alcohol)
  • 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine (about 12 percent alcohol)
  • 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof hard liquor (about 40 percent alcohol)
  • Mixed drinks may contain more than one serving of alcohol and take even longer to metabolize.



RISK FACTORS
A number of factors can increase your risk of alcohol poisoning, including:

  1. Your size and weight
  2. Your overall health
  3. Whether you've eaten recently
  4. Whether you're combining alcohol with other drugs
  5. The percentage of alcohol in your drinks
  6. The rate and amount of alcohol consumption
  7. Your tolerance level


COMPLICATIONS

Severe complications can result from alcohol poisoning, including:

  1. Choking: Alcohol may cause vomiting. Because it depresses your gag reflex, this increases the risk of choking on vomit if you've passed out.
  2. Stopping breathing: Accidentally inhaling vomit into your lungs can lead to a dangerous or fatal interruption of breathing (asphyxiation).
  3. Severe dehydration: Vomiting can result in severe dehydration, leading to dangerously low blood pressure and fast heart rate.
  4. Seizures: Your blood sugar level may drop low enough to cause seizures.
  5. Hypothermia: Your body temperature may drop so low that it leads to cardiac arrest.
  6. Brain damage: Heavy drinking may cause irreversible brain damage.
  7. Death: Any of the issues above can lead to death.


TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS
In addition to checking for visible signs and symptoms of alcohol poisoning, your doctor will likely order blood and urine tests to check blood alcohol levels and identify other signs of alcohol toxicity, such as low blood sugar.


TREATMENT AND DRUGS
Alcohol poisoning treatment usually involves supportive care while your body rids itself of the alcohol. This typically includes:

  1. Careful monitoring
  2. Prevention of breathing or choking problems
  3. Oxygen therapy
  4. Fluids given through a vein (intravenously) to prevent dehydration

Use of vitamins and glucose to help prevent serious complications of alcohol poisoning
Adults and children who have accidentally consumed methanol or isopropyl alcohol may need hemodialysis — a mechanical way of filtering waste and toxins from your system — to speed the removal of alcohol from their bloodstream.


LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

To avoid alcohol poisoning:

Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. When you do drink, enjoy your drink slowly.

Don't drink on an empty stomach. Having some food in your stomach may slow alcohol absorption somewhat, although it won't prevent alcohol poisoning if, for example, you're binge drinking.

Communicate with your teens. Talk to your teenagers about the dangers of alcohol, including binge drinking. Evidence suggests that children who are warned about alcohol by their parents and who report close relationships with their parents are less likely to start drinking.

Store products safely. If you have small children, store alcohol-containing products, including cosmetics, mouthwashes and medications, out of their reach. Use child-proof bathroom and kitchen cabinets to prevent access to household cleaners, and keep toxic items in your garage or storage area safely out of reach. Consider keeping alcoholic beverages under lock and key.

Get follow-up care. If you or your teen has been treated for alcohol poisoning, be sure to ask about follow-up care. Meeting with a health professional, particularly an experienced chemical dependency professional, can help you prevent future binge drinking.

Generic Dexone Dexamethasone Tablet What is This Medicine?

Generic Dexone Dexamethasone Tablet What is This Medicine?

Generic Dexone Dexamethasone Tablet 

What is This Medicine?


DEXAMETHASONE is a corticosteroid. It is commonly used to treat inflammation of the skin, joints, lungs, and other organs. Common conditions treated include asthma, allergies, and arthritis. It is also used for other conditions, such as blood disorders and diseases of the adrenal glands.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions: Cushing's syndrome diabetes glaucoma heart problems or disease high blood pressure infection like herpes, measles, tuberculosis, or chickenpox kidney disease liver disease mental problems myasthenia gravis osteoporosis previous heart attack seizures stomach, ulcer or intestine disease including colitis and diverticulitis thyroid problem an unusual or allergic reaction to dexamethasone, corticosteroids, other medicines, lactose, foods, dyes, or preservatives pregnant or trying to get pregnant breast-feeding.

How should I take this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth with a drink of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take it with food or milk to avoid stomach upset. If you are taking this medicine once a day, take it in the morning. Do not take more medicine than you are told to take. Do not suddenly stop taking your medicine because you may develop a severe reaction. Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to take. If your doctor wants you to stop the medicine, the dose may be slowly lowered over time to avoid any side effects. Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Patients over 65 years old may have a stronger reaction and need a smaller dose. Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once. NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, talk to your doctor or health care professional. You may need to miss a dose or take an extra dose. Do not take double or extra doses without advice.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following: mifepristone, RU-486 vaccines This medicine may also interact with the following: amphotericin B antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, and troleandomycin aspirin and aspirin-like drugs barbiturates like phenobarbital carbamazepine cholestyramine cholinesterase inhibitors like donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, and tacrine cyclosporine digoxin diuretics ephedrine female hormones, like estrogens or progestins and birth control pills indinavir isoniazid ketoconazole medicines for diabetes medicines that improve muscle tone or strength for conditions like myasthenia gravis NSAIDs, medicines for pain and inflammation, like ibuprofen or naproxen phenytoin rifampin thalidomide warfarin This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care providers a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

What should I watch for while taking this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular checks on your progress. If you are taking this medicine over a prolonged period, carry an identification card with your name and address, the type and dose of your medicine, and your doctor's name and address. This medicine may increase your risk of getting an infection. Stay away from people who are sick. Tell your doctor or health care professional if you are around anyone with measles or chickenpox. If you are going to have surgery, tell your doctor or health care professional that you have taken this medicine within the last twelve months. Ask your doctor or health care professional about your diet. You may need to lower the amount of salt you eat. The medicine can increase your blood sugar. If you are a diabetic check with your doctor if you need help adjusting the dose of your diabetic medicine.

What side effects may I notice from this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible: allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue changes in vision fever, sore throat, sneezing, cough, or other signs of infection, wounds that will not heal increased thirst mental depression, mood swings, mistaken feelings of self importance or of being mistreated pain in hips, back, ribs, arms, shoulders, or legs redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth trouble passing urine or change in the amount of urine swelling of feet or lower legs unusual bleeding or bruising Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome): headache nausea, vomiting skin problems, acne, thin and shiny skin weight gain This list may not describe all possible side effects.

Where can I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature between 20 and 25 degrees C (68 and 77 degrees F). Protect from light. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date.

By Dr. Sonal Saxena

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