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Epidemiol Health. 2017;39(1):e2017050. English. Original Article.
Babak K , Mohammad A , Mazaher G , Samaneh A , Fatemeh T .
Baharloo Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Forensic Medicine, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical and demographic characteristics and some laboratory findings of hospitalized patients with acute opioid toxicity and rhabdomyolysis.


This cross-sectional study investigated 354 patients hospitalized at Baharloo Hospital in Tehran in 2014 with acute illicit drug toxicity. Data were collected using an investigator-made checklist. The collected data (such as mortality rate, demographic data, and renal function tests, as well as serum biochemical findings) were analyzed by descriptive statistics and the chi-square test.


A total of 354 patients were admitted to the hospital in 2014 with acute illicit drug toxicity, including 291 males and 63 females. The total number of patients with rhabdomyolysis was 76 (21.5% of the total), of whom 69 (90.8%) were male and 7 (9.2%) were female. Most cases of rhabdomyolysis were associated with methadone abuse, followed by opium abuse. Rhabdomyolysis was most common in those 20–29 and 30–39 years old, with methadone and opium the most commonly abused illicit drugs. The mean blood urea level was 3.8±1.0 mg/dL, and the mean serum potassium and sodium levels were 3.8±0.3 mg/dL and 140.4±4.0 mg/dL, respectively. Five patients, all of whom were male, passed away due to severe renal failure (6.5%).


Toxicity caused by opioids is associated with clinical complications and laboratory disorders, such as electrolyte disorders, which can lead to lethal or life-threatening results in some cases. Abnormal laboratory test findings should be identified in patients with opioid toxicity in order to initiate efficient treatment.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.