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Hallucinogen Poisoning

Hallucinogen Poisoning is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Predominantly alters perception, cognition, and mood
  • All hallucinogens potentiate neurotransmitter release or bind directly to receptors:
    • Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT): Many hallucinogens are agonists or antagonists at 5-HT receptor subtypes.
    • Norepinephrine, N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), dopamine


  • Most exposures are intentional
  • Common hallucinogens:
    • Indoleamine:
      • Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) (duration 6–12 hr)
      • Morning glory (Ipomoea spp.)
    • Tryptamines:
      • Psilocybin (Psilocybe mushrooms); frequently adulterated with LSD
      • N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT); 5-MeO-DMT (“foxy-methoxy”), and other tryptamine congeners
    • Phenylethylamines (hallucinogenic amphetamines):
      • Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA)
      • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDEA)
      • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; “ecstasy”; duration 8–12 hr)
      • Paramethoxyamphetamine
      • Dimethoxyamphetamine
      • Mescaline (peyote cactus); frequently adulterated with LSD (duration 6–12 hr)
    • Arylcycloalkylamines:
      • Phencyclidine (PCP), (duration is variable 11–96 hr in 1 report)
      • Ketamine, (duration depends on route of administration 30–120 min)
    • Anticholinergic:
      • Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna)
      • Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium)
    • Other:
      • Piperazines: Benzyl piperazine (BZP) and trifluoromethyl phenylpiperazine (TFMPP)
      • Dextromethorphan (DXM), (duration 3–6 hr)
      • Marijuana

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Hallucinogen Poisoning." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307619/all/Hallucinogen_Poisoning.
Hallucinogen Poisoning. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307619/all/Hallucinogen_Poisoning. Accessed April 22, 2019.
Hallucinogen Poisoning. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307619/all/Hallucinogen_Poisoning
Hallucinogen Poisoning [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 April 22]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307619/all/Hallucinogen_Poisoning.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Hallucinogen Poisoning ID - 307619 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307619/all/Hallucinogen_Poisoning PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -