Monday, 15 May 2017

SCS medical student’s research sheds light on commonly overdosed drug, quietiapine

Lucy Taylor
Monash University final year medical student Lucy Taylor was recognised for her outstanding research, winning best poster presentation at the Australian clinical toxicology conference last month in Melbourne.

The School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health student presented her research into quetiapine overdose at the TAPNA Toxicology and Poisons Network Australia (TAPNA) Scientific meeting.

Lucy completed her BMedSc(Hons) last year at SCS in the toxicology unit, where she examined the association of extended-release quetiapine overdose with delayed development of peak toxicity and prolonged recovery when compared to immediate-release quetiapine.

Quetiapine is one of the most common antipsychotic agents taken in deliberate self poisoning. During the time period of Lucy’s study, 8.8% of all referrals made to the Monash Health toxicology service involved quietiapine.

“My study involved a retrospective analysis of the clinical outcomes for patients presenting to Monash Health Emergency Departments with quetiapine overdoses, comparing the clinical outcomes for those who took quetiapine immediate release and quetiapine extended release in overdose,” Lucy said. 

“The results of our study will help inform clinicians on the expected course and management of patients presenting with quetiapine poisoning.”

“In particular we defined the clinical outcomes of extended release quetiapine for the first time, and our research suggests that an absence of sedation or tachycardia 12 hours post ingestion is a reasonable time frame to rule out significant poisoning.”

With a keen interest in emergency medicine, Lucy said she learnt a lot at the conference and her experience has encouraged her to continue pursuing research as part of her future career.

Lucy said she is very grateful to Professor Andis Graudins, Associate Professor Robert Meek and the Toxicology unit at Monash Emergency for their expert guidance and support during her BMedSci year, as well as their continued support of her project.

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