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Clonidine Overdose in a Toddler Due to Accidental Ingestion of a Compounding Cream.
Pediatric emergency care
  • Alexis L Cates, OMS IV
  • Scott Wheatley, MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Kenneth D Katz, MD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
Publication/Presentation Date

A 22-month-old girl without any significant medical history accidentally consumed a small amount of a therapeutic compounding cream that contained camphor, gabapentin, clonidine, ketoprofen, and lidocaine. Upon presentation to the emergency department, the child exhibited immediate onset of altered mental status with wide fluctuation in her vital signs, which included intermittent apnea requiring bag-valve mask assistance and endotracheal intubation. Serum laboratory analysis measured a clonidine level of 2.6 ng/mL and undetectable camphor, gabapentin, and ketoprofen levels. While on mechanical ventilation, the patient exhibited hypothermia, bradycardia, and hypotension; all of which responded to supportive care. After approximately 12 hours in the intensive care unit, the patient was successfully extubated and remained asymptomatic. This unique case of a patient with brief, unintentional oral exposure to a compounding cream, who demonstrated severe toxicity despite only a measured, supratherapeutic clonidine concentration, is discussed. Emergency physicians and pediatricians should be alert to the potential for exposure of pediatric patients to these medicinal compounds. Furthermore, parents must be made aware of the potential dangers of compounded medications and ensure their proper usage and storage.

Document Type
Citation Information

Cates, A. L., Wheatley, S. M., & Katz, K. D. (2016). Clonidine Overdose in a Toddler Due to Accidental Ingestion of a Compounding Cream. Pediatric Emergency Care, 34(4), e79-e81.