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A 32-year-old man is brought in by ambulance with altered mental status. He has pinpoint pupils that are minimally reactive, and apnoea. He receives high-dose naloxone with improvement in his respiratory status. Upon awaking, he states that someone slipped him a ‘mickey,’ but his friends believe he ingested some ‘old pain pills’ on the night of presentation. An hour later, the patient is found to be apnoeic and difficult to arouse, despite a normal blood glucose level. Consequently, further investigation is pursued with a normal head CT, blood chemistry tests, cerebrospinal fluid analysis and urine toxicology testing. The patient is given additional naloxone and awakens again.
What is a ‘mickey’ and would it show up on a urine toxicology screen?
What are the chances this patient had opioid toxicity given that he had a normal urine toxicology screen?
Does the response to naloxone help us with the diagnosis?
Is there a role for flumazenil in this case?
How should this patient be further managed?
‘Mickey’ is a term for an alcoholic beverage laced with a sedative-hypnotic …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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