About Jill Logan, PharmD BCPS

Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Emergency Medicine
University of Maryland Medical Center

Esmolol Use in Cardiac Arrest


There is an abundance of sympathetic stimulation in patients who present in ventricular fibrillation (VF) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (VT) whether endogenously released as a stress response or exogenously administered in a resuscitation attempt.1 The hope is that sympathetic stimulation will increase the coronary and cerebral perfusion pressure of the patient and aid in resuscitation. However, there are numerous detrimental effects associated with epinephrine such as an increase in myocardial oxygen demand leading to increased ischemia.2

Contrary to traditional teaching, interesting evidence exists in both animal models as well as in limited reports in human subjects that show a potential benefit with beta blockade in cardiac arrest.


Valproic Acid-Induced Hyperammonemic Encephalopathy

Valproic AcidValproic acid is used for a variety of clinical indications including seizures, migraine prophylaxis and treatment, and bipolar disorder. A metabolite of valproic acid, thought to be propionic acid, has the ability to increase ammonia levels by inhibiting a step in the hepatic urea cycle, which may lead to valproic acid-induced hyperammonemic encephalopathy. As a result, patients treated with valproic acid presenting with signs and symptoms of acute mental status changes, increased seizure frequency, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms should be evaluated for elevated ammonia concentrations.


By |2016-11-16T09:41:30-08:00Oct 16, 2014|Tox & Medications|

Atypical Antipsychotic Medication Re-initiation in the Emergency Department

PillsThe acute episode of intoxication and agitation has subsided and your patient is calm. She has been medically cleared and is ready to be moved to a less acute, less monitored portion of the ED to await further assessment and treatment for her underlying psychiatric conditions. As a well-intentioned emergency medicine practitioner, you wish to give your patient the tools she needs to maintain this calm status by restarting her home atypical antipsychotic medication. What is the best way to go about doing this?


By |2016-11-11T19:20:40-08:00Apr 22, 2014|Psychiatry, Tox & Medications|

Cyclobenzaprine vs TCA Toxicity

CyclobenzaprineShould we treat a cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) overdose similar to a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) overdose? With the only difference between the commonly prescribed muscle relaxant, cyclobenzaprine, and the TCA amitriptyline consisting of a single double bond, should the emergency provider be concerned for life threatening arrhythmias in cyclobenzaprine overdose?


By |2016-11-20T07:20:37-08:00Feb 13, 2014|Tox & Medications|

Tramadol: When to avoid it

TramadolTramadol is a popular agent for the treatment of pain and offers an alternative to opioid therapy. Tramadol exerts its analgesic effects through weak stimulation of the mu opioid receptor as well as inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine similar to some antidepressant medications. While tramadol may be an effective option for mild to moderate pain in otherwise healthy individuals, the following patients may benefit from an alternative analgesic selection. 1–4


By |2016-11-11T19:18:03-08:00Jan 6, 2014|Tox & Medications|
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