Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2008 Jan 3;128(1):42-5.

[Toxicological screening of medicines and drugs of abuse in emergency cases].

[Article in Norwegian]

Author information

Avdeling for klinisk farmakologi, St. Olavs Hospital, 7006 Trondheim.



In some situations, and particularly when intoxications are suspected, it would be advantageous if medicines and drugs of abuse could be swiftly detected in serum or urine.


The Department of Clinical Pharmacology at St. Olav University Hospital has since 2004 been developing a comprehensive toxicology service (at all hours 7-days/week) for immediate quantitative analysis of between 80 and 90 substances. We here present the service in further detail and evaluate its usefulness during its first full year, 2005. Two case reports are presented to further illustrate the possible benefits of this service.


Urgent testing was requested for a total of 390 samples; 351 serum and 39 urine samples. The most common indications for requesting such analyses were suspected acute intoxication (46%) and suspected therapeutic failure/adverse drug reaction (31%). 88% of the serum samples obtained for acute intoxications were positive, and 48 different substances were detected. The substances most often found were various benzodiazepines, various antiepileptic drugs, ethanol, carisoprodol, lithium, and other psychotropic drugs. In urine, amphetamine and zopiclone were the substances most often detected.


The service seems to be used according to its intentions, and the high number of samples received indicate that clinicians consider the service to be useful. An early and continuous dialogue between the clinician and the laboratory physician is a prerequisite for rational use of the service.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Norwegian Medical Association
    Loading ...
    Support Center