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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2010 Dec;58(3):354-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2010.07.003. Epub 2010 Jul 11.

The value of acute toxicity studies to support the clinical management of overdose and poisoning: a cross-discipline consensus.

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National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, London, UK.


Acute toxicity studies are no longer required to support first clinical trials of pharmaceuticals in man. However, it is unclear in the wording of the revised ICH M3 whether acute toxicity studies are required later in drug development (e.g., phase 3) in order to support the management of overdose. The NC3Rs held a workshop in January 2010 with representatives from international poison centres, the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and regulatory and government bodies to explore further whether acute toxicity studies are used to support the clinical management of overdose of pharmaceuticals and whether this work can be translated to other sectors such as the chemical industry. The consensus formed at the workshop was that acute toxicity studies are not used for managing overdose of pharmaceuticals and are of little value in treating human poisoning from chemicals. In this paper, the authors describe the key considerations in treating human overdose and poisoning, challenge the value of the classification and labelling process of chemicals for this purpose and discuss how acute toxicity studies can be improved to better inform risk assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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