Athens, GA, United States
Athens, GA, United States

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Schier J.G.,National Center for Environmental Health | Schier J.G.,Georgia Poison Control Center | Schier J.G.,Emory University | Rubin C.,National Center for Environmental Health | And 12 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2010

Abstract: In December 2002, the medical toxicology sub-board, which consists of representatives from emergency medicine, preventive medicine, and pediatrics, released revised core content for medical toxicology, aiming to better meet the academic challenges imposed by the continually expanding knowledge base of medical toxicology. These challenges included the addition of relatively new areas of interest in medical toxicology, including population health, while simultaneously ensuring that a structural framework existed to accommodate future areas of interest. There is no evidence readily available to assess how well the educational curricula of existing fellowship programs are meeting these needs. In an effort to address this, the authors describe a medical toxicology fellowship program that consists of a partnership among the Emory University School of Medicine, the Georgia Poison Control Center, and the CDC, as well as the results of a reorganization of its academic curriculum that occurred in 2006. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first published report describing such a curriculum redesign. Suggestions and potential resources proposed as enhancements for the public health-associated education of medical toxicology fellows are discussed. The authors also seek to initiate a discussion among programs about how to optimally meet the new challenges developed by the medical toxicology sub-board.


Jann M.,Mercer University | Kennedy W.K.,Mercer University | Lopez G.,Georgia Poison Control Center
Journal of Pharmacy Practice | Year: 2014

The misuse and abuse of prescription medications in the United States continues to increase despite interventions by health care professionals, regulatory, and law enforcement agencies. Opioid analgesics are the leading class of prescription drugs that have caused unintentional overdose deaths. Benzodiazepines when taken alone are relatively safe agents in overdose. However, a 5-fold increase in deaths attributed to benzodiazepines occurred from 1999 to 2009. Emergency department visits related to opioid analgesics increased by 111% followed by benzodiazepines 89%. During 2003 to 2009, the 2 prescriptions drugs with the highest increase in death rates were oxycodone 264.6% and alprazolam 233.8%. Therefore, benzodiazepines have a significant impact on prescription drug unintentional overdoses second only to the opioid analgesics. The combination prescribing of benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics commonly takes place. The pharmacokinetic drug interactions between benzodiazepines and opioid analgesics are complex. The pharmacodynamic actions of these agents differ as their combined effects produce significant respiratory depression. Physician and pharmacy shopping by patients occurs, and prescription drug-monitoring programs can provide important information on benzodiazepine and opioid analgesic prescribing patterns and patient usage. Health care professionals need to inform patients and work closely with regulatory agencies and legislatures to stem the increasing fatalities from prescription drug unintentional overdoses. © 2013 The Author(s).

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