Intravenous Lipids: Antidotal Therapy for Drug Overdose and Toxic Effects of Local Anesthetics

Author(s): Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Pharmacology Hours 1.00

Expires Oct 01, 2018

Topics: Multisystem, Pharmacology

Population: Adult

Role: Staff, APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Intravenous lipid emulsion is an accepted therapy for the treatment of severe cardiac toxic effects caused by local anesthetics. Lipid emulsion therapy has also been used successfully to treat cardiac arrest and intractable arrhythmias caused by overdoses of antiepileptic drugs, cardiovascular drugs, and psychotropic medications, but experience with intravenous lipids as antidotal therapy in these clinical situations is limited. However, intravenous lipids are relatively safe, widely available, and easy to administer, and many published case reports document their dramatic effectiveness. Patients who have not responded to standard therapies have been quickly revived by administration of intravenous lipids. Use of lipids most likely will increase, and critical care nurses should be familiar with lipid therapy.


  • Summarize clinical decision-making approaches to use of intravenous (IV) lipids as antidotal therapy
  • Relate two likely mechanisms of action in the use of IV lipids as antidotal therapy
  • Outline the adverse effects of IV lipids when used as an antidote

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