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Curr Treat Options Neurol. 2005 Mar;7(2):91-98.

Nerve Agent Toxicity and Treatment.

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Division of Medical Toxicology, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 800774, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


The clinical syndrome of nerve agent toxicity varies widely, ranging from the classic cholinergic syndrome to flaccid paralysis and status epilepticus. All nerve agents are capable of producing marked neuropathology. Seizure control is strongly associated with protection against acute lethality and brain pathology. The mainstays of therapy of nerve agent poisoned patients are atropine, pralidoxime, and benzodiazepines. Fosphenytoin provides little therapeutic anticonvulsant effectiveness for nerve agent-induced status epilepticus. Tachycardia is not a contraindication to treatment with atropine in nerve agent toxicity. Atropine should be administered to alleviate respiratory distress, symptomatic bradycardia, and as an adjunct to benzodiazepines and pralidoxime to alleviate seizure activity. In significant nerve agent toxicity, a continuous pralidoxime infusion may be considered.


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