Tag Archives: cardiopulmonary arrest; quetiapine; delirium; respiratory failure

Cardiopulmonary Arrest Following a Single 25 mg Dose of Quetiapine: A Case Report

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2020-0035

Introduction: Quetiapine is commonly used in intensive care units (ICU) to treat delirium. Cardiopulmonary arrest caused by low dose quetiapine is unreported. Only two cases in the literature have reported acute respiratory failure after single doses of 50mg and 100mg respectively. We report a case of cardiopulmonary arrest in a patient after the administration of a single 25mg dose of quetiapine.
Case presentation: A 72-year-old Chinese female with multiple cardiovascular co-morbidities was admitted to the ICU intubated, following complications from an elective endovascular repair of an infrarenal abdominal aortic aneurysm. She was alert and extubated the following day. She subsequently showed signs of delirium and was administered a single 25mg dose of oral quetiapine. Seven hours after ingestion, she developed type 2 respiratory failure and eventually cardiopulmonary arrest. She was successfully resuscitated and other causes for cardiopulmonary arrest were excluded. Twenty-four hours following her cardiopulmonary arrest, her respiratory failure had completely reversed and she was extubated uneventfully.
Conclusion: This case report demonstrates that a single dose of oral quetiapine 25mg is sufficient to cause respiratory failure and cardiopulmonary arrest. Caution is advised when prescribing quetiapine in the elderly, especially in those with impaired drug clearance.

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