Selected Topics: Toxicology| Volume 57, ISSUE 4, e105-e108, October 2019

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Toxicity From Unintentional Pediatric Ingestion of a Performance-Enhancing Drug: A Case Report With Review of Clenbuterol Toxicity and Treatment

Published:September 04, 2019DOI:



      Clenbuterol is a long-acting β-adrenergic agonist that is not Food and Drug Administration–approved for use in the United States, but may be obtained without a prescription from various unregulated sellers. It has seen increasing use as a performance-enhancing drug for sports. Literature on pediatric toxicity and treatment is limited.

      Case Report

      We report a case of a 2-year-old female presenting after an exploratory ingestion of clenbuterol.

      Why Should an Emergency Physician Be Aware of This?

      Use of performance-enhancing agents is increasing and physicians should be aware of the potential toxicity of intentional and unintentional ingestions of β-adrenergic agonists. Patients may exhibit nausea, vomiting, tremor, tachycardia, and hypotension, along with laboratory abnormalities, including hyperglycemia, hypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, and hyperglycemia. Hypotension might not respond to adrenergic agents and may require administration of β-adrenergic antagonists to maintain adequate perfusion.


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