Purpose:To investigate the relationship between different types of adverse drug reaction (ADR) and late time to N-acetylcysteine (NAC) infusion in patients presenting to the hospital with acetaminophen overdose.
Methods: This is a retrospective study of patients admitted to the hospital for acute acetaminophen overdose over a period of 5 years (1 January 2004 to 31 December 2008). The primary outcome of interest was the relationship between ADR, if any, and late time to NAC infusion. Parametric and non-parametric tests were used to test differences between groups depending on the normality of the data. SPSS 15 was used for data analysis.
Results: Of 305 patients with acetaminophen overdose, 146 (47.9%) were treated with intravenous NAC and 139 (45.6%) were included in this study. Different types of ADR were observed in 94 (67.6%) patients. Late time to NAC infusion was significantly associated with cutaneous anaphylactoid reactions when compared to patients without this type of ADR (p < 0.001). However, there were no significant differences in time to NAC infusion between patients with and without the following ADR: gastrointestinal reactions (p = 0.11), respiratory reactions (p = 0.77), central nervous reactions (p = 0.64), and cardiovascular reactions (p = 0.63(
Conclusion: Late time to NAC infusion is a risk factor for developing cutaneous anaphylactoid reactions, suggesting, rather than proving, that early NAC infusion (≤8 hours) may be protective against this type of ADR.