Stage I. Acute Phencyclidine Toxicity

In acute Phencyclidine toxicity there are four “C’s”: combativeness, catatonia, convulsions and coma. These effects are dose-related. Combativeness and catatonia are frequently observed together at the lower dosages, while convulsions and coma are related to higher dosage effects. During this stage, one also sees hypertensive crisis sufficiently severe to be fatal, although such crises are relatively rare in our experience. Illusions can dominate: space walking, the detachment of sounds, objects changing in size, shape, and distance. Visual illusions rather than true hallucinations are common, but occasionally auditory hallucinations occur. If the dose of Phencyclidine is high enough, the patient may have many grand mal seizures and coma which require hospitalization and supportive care to stabilize and maintain the respiratory and cardiovascular function. With proper management, most patients who go into a PCP-induced coma survive, although the period of coma may be quite prolonged. Our experience indicates that the usual duration of acute Phencyclidine toxicity is 0 to 72 hours. Lab results indicate that blood is almost always positive and urine is positive. A large number of people clear after stage I, Phencyclidine Read more […]