Background: Drug abuse is a common problem in the United States. Drugs can be acquired in many ways, and can be knowingly or mistakenly misrepresented when sold. Propafenone is an uncommonly encountered class IC antidysrhythmic that is a look-alike for the opioid, oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325. Objective: We report a case of propafenone overdose presenting with generalized tonic-clonic seizure and a widened QRS complex, occurring after the patient had reported ingesting “Percocet®” (Endo Pharmaceuticals, Chadds Ford, PA). Case Report: A 17-year-old boy presented to the emergency department (ED) after a witnessed seizure lasting 2 min. The patient reported having ingested 6 “Percocet®” tablets that he purchased from a classmate. He noted feeling weak and dizzy approximately 3 h after the ingestion, just before the seizure. On arrival in the ED, the patient was awake and alert with a QRS length of 168 ms. A sodium bicarbonate bolus and infusion shortened the QRS length to 90 ms. The patient was discharged the following day with no further complications. The pills were identified as propafenone hydrochloride (HCl) 225-mg tablets. The classmate surreptitiously sold the pills as “Percocet®” due to their similar “512” imprint. Conclusions: Pharmaceutical drugs are often sold on the street, and often misrepresented. Propafenone HCl 225-mg is an uncommonly encountered pharmaceutical, but is a look-alike for oxycodone/acetaminophen 5/325. An overdose due to propafenone ingestion may present with seizures and a widened QRS complex.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Journal of Emergency Medicine
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Rythmol® (Propafenone HCl) full prescribing information.©Reliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Liberty Corner, NJ2004 (Revised)
- Wide-complex tachycardia: beyond the traditional differential diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia vs supraventricular tachycardia with aberrant conduction.Am J Emerg Med. 2005; 23: 876-889
- Propafenone overdose.Ann Emerg Med. 1994; 24: 98-103
- Fatal propafenone overdoses: case reports and a review of the literature.J Anal Toxicol. 2003; 27: 595-599
- Propafenone ingestion.Ann Emerg Med. 1987; 16: 437-440
- Lack of effect of hypertonic sodium bicarbonate on QRS duration in patients taking therapeutic doses of class IC antiarrhythmic drugs.J Clin Pharmacol. 1990; 30: 789-794
- Unintentional pediatric overdose of propafenone.Ann Pharmacother. 2003; 37: 1147-1148
- Street drug misrepresentation.JAMA. 1980; 244: 332
- Duplicitous drugs: the history and recent status of look-alike drugs.J Psychoactive Drugs. 1987; 19: 21-31
- Street drug misrepresentation.JAMA. 1980; 244: 2160
- Acute dystonia reactions to “street Xanax”.N Engl J Med. 2002; 346: 1753
- Acute dystonic reactions from “street Valium”.J Emerg Med. 1987; 5: 293-297
Published online: April 26, 2010
Accepted: October 27, 2009
Received: September 14, 2009
© 2011 Elsevier Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.