Common Street Drugs: Phencyclidine (PCP)

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Phencyclidine is a potent analgesic & dissociative anesthetic w/ hallucinogenic properties.
  • Usual 5-mg doses result in lethargy, euphoria, hallucinations.
  • Large doses can result in increased autonomic effects, including HTN, hyperthermia, tachycardia, seizures.
    • HTN is common. Most cases resolve in 4 hrs but may last >24 hrs. Treat symptomatic hypertensive crisis w/ IV nitroprusside.
    • Treat seizure activity w/ a benzodiazepine.
  • Violent behavior & combativeness are common; control w/ haloperidol or a benzodiazepine.
  • Enterohepatic/gastroenteric cycles & storage in lipids account for prolonged symptoms.

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Last updated: April 15, 2010