Accidental Methadone Poisoning in a Four-Year-Old Child Reversed With Continuous Intravenous Infusion of Naloxone

Balamurugan Supparamaniam, Rahmah Yunus, Jing Ying Fong, Kai Lun Tang


Reported case of methadone poisoning among children is infrequent in Malaysia. Since the implementation of methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) programme by Malaysian Ministry of Health in year 2006, there are only three case reports of methadone poisoning in children. Methadone toxicity in children can be deadly if antidote and supportive measures are not instituted in time. We report a case of accidental ingestion of about 25 mg of methadone in a 4-year-old boy. The methadone syrup belonged to his father, a former intravenous drug user (IVDU), who is currently a participant of the MMT detoxification programme under the supervision of a licensed general practitioner. The child presented with typical early signs and symptoms opioid toxicity. Upon examination, vital signs were normal, but he appeared lethargic and drowsy. Venous blood gas results noted mild respiratory acidosis and complete blood count revealed leukocytosis. He was treated with continuous intravenous infusion (CIVI) naloxone 10 g/kg/h for approximately 78 h. He was hospitalized for 6 days and discharged well. Advice should be given to family who has patient under MMT programme with take-home doses to be more cautious in storage of methadone syrup at home, and to keep the bottle far from the reach of children. Methadone poisoning in children can be deadly and early administration of naloxone as CIVI can effectively reverse its toxicity.

Int J Clin Pediatr. 2021;10(1):18-23


Methadone poisoning; Naloxone; Pediatric; Drug toxicity

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