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Pharmacological Error
by Chromodynamix
Citation:   Chromodynamix. "Pharmacological Error: An Experience with 1,4-Butanediol (exp29274)". Dec 22, 2005.

6.0 ml oral 1,4-Butanediol (liquid)


I am a qualified Pharmacologist, so I 'should' have known better.

I purchased 250 mls pure 1,4 Butanediol off the internet at a reasonable price, supplied as Video Equipment cleaner. I used a graduated 1 ml syringe to measure into my drinks, which were occasionally alcoholic. This was usually at bedtime. I never had a problem, never exceeding 2-3 mls.

On a Sunday afternoon, I decided to read the newspaper and have a 'nap'. Instead of measuring the amount of 1,4 Butanediol into some grapefruit juice, I 'estimated' the amount and sloshed it in. BAD MOVE! An hour or so later, my kids noticed me asleep, but not breathing well, and they alerted my partner. I came round in a dream like state, but was unable to tell them what was happening, and I kept passing out. Next thing I remember were paramedics checking me out and coming round in Emergency resuscitation with drips in both arms. I had already had a brain scan as they suspected a stroke, and I had been intubated.

They then started discussing doing a lumbar puncture, and possible brain surgery, and all this time I am trying to explain I was a qualified Pharmacologist, and I was not in any danger. In my confused state I could not remember the chemical I had taken, which was critical to managing my medical emergency.

Eventually, I recovered enough to explain what had happened, and apologise profusely for wasting valuable medical emergency resources.
I will not try this stuff again.
Anyone tempted, make sure you accurately measure the dose, and do not consume any more, as absorption times vary.

June 2009 Addendum by author:

I would like to add a significant fact regarding my story which has since come to light.

I mention mixing the 1,4 Butanediol with grapefruit juice. There are many drug interactions with grapefruit juice, which inhibits an enzyme Cytochrome P 450 in the intestinal wall. This can cause much higher concentrations of a drug to get to the blood stream with dangerous results.

I am convinced this led to the OD reaction.

Exp Year: 2003ExpID: 29274
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Dec 22, 2005Views: 26,848
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1,4-Butanediol (51) : Hospital (36), Overdose (29), Train Wrecks & Trip Disasters (7)

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