Background: Benzodiazepine is one of the most important causes of substance abuse
and intoxication throughout the world and Iran.
Objective: The aim of our study is to determine the role of stimulants in reversing CNS level in
acute Benzodiazepine poisoning patients who were hospitalized at referral poison center.
Method: This was a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial study on 32 cases with pure
acute Benzodiazepine poisoning from March 2016 to February 2017. Diagnosis of pure acute poisoning
was based on history, and laboratory confirmation. We gathered the demographics, clinical
data, laboratory data, hospitalization and outcome. Participants were randomized into two groups:
Methylphenidate Group (MPH) and Placebo Group (PBO).
Results: The randomized sample consisted of 32 participants who were predominately female
(83%). The majority of the PBO group and the MPH group reported improvement in their consciousness
with a significant difference between the two groups (p = .005). Paired sample t-test
analyses on Reed Scale data revealed an increase in the probability of improvement during the trial
for the MPH group compared to the PBO group. Furthermore, the HCo3 (bicarbonate) level has a
significant p-value with respect to age groups (p = .02). None of our cases required either the ICU
facility or intubation.
Conclusion: Our study provided the MPH superiority over PBO in reversing CNS symptoms in loss
of consciousness in acute BZD poisoned patients. Thus, this trial provides concrete evidence that
improvement in consciousness levels (Reed Scale rated) among those patients receiving MPH was
associated with a methylphenidate use.