[Pharmwaste] of possible interest

Stevan Gressitt gressitt at gmail.com
Fri Feb 11 22:26:42 EST 2011

Alsop JA, Welch RA. California Poison Control System—Sacramento, Sacramento,
California, USA.
Background: The incidence of diabetes is 12.1% in people aged 45–64 yrs and
21.6% in ages 65–74 yrs. Diabetic control
is maintained with oral medications in 49% of patients. We observed that
many pediatric calls about exposures to oral
hypoglycemic agents involved children having access to grandparent’s
medications. We selected to study the frequency of
this occurrence. Method: All ingestions of oral hypoglycemics agents in
children under age 6 years reported to CPCS in
the year 2001were examined to determine the source of the exposure. Results:
A total of 335 pediatric oral hypoglycemic
ingestions were reported. A grandparent’s medication was mentioned in 155
cases (46.3%). Demographics: male 55%,
female 45%, average age 20 mos. The primary oral hypoglycemic agents
involved were glyburide 26%, metformin
22.6%, glipizide 18.6%. Exposure scenarios included children opening the
original medication containers 53.6%,
opening days-of-the-week pill dispensers 18.7%, meds left in reach on
counter or table 13.5%, tablets that had fallen to
the floor 12.3%, tablets stored in a purse 1.3%, or tablets stored in a
baggie 0.6%. In 45% of cases, the exposure involved
multiple medications that were sometimes more dangerous than the oral
hypoglycemic agent. Exposures were treated at a
HCF 78%, at home 17%, and unknown 5%. Cases followed to a known outcome: no
effect 58.7%, minor 5.8%, moderate
14.2%, unrelated 3.9%. Conclusions: In this review, pediatric ingestions of
oral hypoglycemic medications were a result
of children obtaining their grandparent’s medications in 46.3% of cases. In
45% of those cases, children were also
exposed to multiple other potentially dangerous medications. Proper storage
of grandparent’s medications may prevent
some pediatric poisonings.

Stevan Gressitt, M.D.
Faculty Associate, University of Maine Center on Aging
Academic Member, Athens Institute for Education and Research
Athens, Greece
Founding Director, International Institute for Pharmaceutical Safety
University of New England, College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine
716 Stevens Avenue
Portland, Maine 04103
gressitt at gmail.com
Cell: 207-441-0291
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