Chemical poisoning treatment approved for children

October 1, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration has approved use of the drug Protopam (pralidoxime) as an antidote to pesticide poisoning in pediatric patients.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved use of the drug Protopam (pralidoxime) as an antidote to pesticide poisoning in pediatric patients.

The drug can be administered by either intramuscular or intravenous injection to treat the effects of exposure to nerve agents contained in organophosphate pesticides commonly found on farms and used by licensed exterminators. It works by slowing the attachment of chemical agents to nerve endings.

Children poisoned with such chemicals can present with mild symptoms such as a runny nose, teary eyes, or vomiting to more serious weakness, difficulty breathing, and convulsions. FDA says that although the drug has been used for years to treat poisoning in children, the expanded labeling gives healthcare professionals the option to treat such cases more quickly through IM injection when IV treatment may be difficult for children in emergency situations.