Dosage errors are surprisingly common. However, the strangest incidents show how quickly things can go wrong. Some cases come from stupidity, such as distributing smoking aids at school and choosing your insecticide drugs. But sometimes people overdose by mistake because they trust over-the-counter medications, during fun challenges, and even when they go for a walk in their sleep
Sildenafil brings fun times. This is the active ingredient in Viagra, the pill that treats erectile dysfunction. As with all drugs and chemicals, patients are advised to stick to a trusted brand and to maintain the correct dosage. Of course, some never listen.
In 2019 a man visited his doctor and complained about eye problems. For the past two months, donut-shaped drops have appeared in his field of vision that have refused to disappear. After the survey, the patient admitted to buying liquid sildenafil over the Internet. There was no connection to Viagra because the company that makes the pill does not offer a liquid equivalent.
The Massachusetts man's decision to buy a shady brand was not his only mistake. He also ignored the dosage instructions. For some reason, he drank the entire bottle – more than ten times the recommended dose. When tests showed that he had irreparable eye damage, the doctors were not entirely surprised. Before this case, several other patients with retinal damage had injured themselves by overdosing on sildenafil.
9 Sleepwalkers are exposed to additional dangers
Sleepwalking, also known as somnambulism, poses a number of dangers. Those affected can leave their homes, drive in traffic and open the medicine cabinet without being aware of what they are doing. A case a few years ago demonstrated how deadly chewing sleep can be. A 55-year-old woman who went to bed with normal eyesight but woke up almost blind the next morning.
After arriving in the emergency room, she told the staff about her medical history, which included leg cramps, in which she took quinine sulfate once a day. A red flag went up. This medication prevents malaria, but is so dangerous to the eyes that the Food and Drug Administration specifically warned doctors not to prescribe it for leg cramps. There are also several deaths associated with this drug.
Your doctor forgot the memo or didn't care. Even worse, she also fell into an at-risk group for quinine sulfate and that was a sleepwalker. In fact, the woman ate the entire batch in her sleep. Her eyesight has improved slightly, but she suffers from permanent damage to her central eyesight, which is used for reading. She also lost her peripheral vision.
8 The Hidden Danger of Paracetamol
Paracetamol is a widely used pain reliever that can be bought without a prescription. Since a prescription is not required, many people believe that acetaminophen is always safe. The truth is that too much liver damage and a slippery slope can occur immediately.
A notable case was that of Desiree Phillips. The young mother, aged 20, had breast nodes removed in 2011. To relieve the pain after the operation, the doctor gave her antibiotics and asked her to buy over-the-counter acetaminophen tablets. She was back in the hospital nine days after the operation and was in excruciating pain. The acetaminophen had irreparably damaged her liver. Despite a liver transplant, she died a week later.
Phillips only took a few additional tablets more than the recommended daily dose. However, it became clear what experts later confirmed: taking these two or three additional pills leads to an overdose. Ironically, these tiny, undetected overdoses of the liver do more harm than suicides who swallow a lot of pills at once.
7 Deadly pain plasters
Fentanyl plasters relieve the pain. They look like adhesive plasters, can be applied to the skin and were prescribed around 12.5 million times in 2013. The patches are not available without a prescription. These are incredibly powerful pain relievers that are commonly used by people who need continuous relief, including cancer patients and terminally ill patients. In 2014, two children were overdosed.
In some cases, the small children played with the patches. One child thought they were normal adhesive plasters and stuck two to their own bodies. The second child only reached for a stain worn by an adult. Both children were shockingly overdosed with fentanyl with life-threatening complications.
Despite years of knowledge of the effectiveness of the drug, the regulatory authorities only warned doctors, patients and parents of the dangerous plasters after they had been overdosed twice. They have been instructed to dispose of them more safely and to keep them away from uninformed people and children. As a bonus, the two toddlers recovered.
6 A teenager who almost died from Nicorette
In 2009, the anti-smoking group Decca (education, counseling and confidential advice) distributed nicotine chewing gum to Nicorette students without their parents' knowledge. The gum was given to the smokers, but was passed around the school grounds. So Aiden Willams got a pack in hand.
The 14-year-old did not consider the smoking aid to be dangerous. After all, the variety was of low strength, with each piece containing 2 mg of nicotine. But Aiden's nonchalance went too far. The teenager chewed 30 pieces in an hour – that's 900 cigarettes. Worse, he swallowed it. At some point, he broke down with severe abdominal pain and was hospitalized. The doctors who treated him said the boy may have died.
Despite medical expertise, the West Bromwich School supported the organization's decision not to inform parents that up to 105 children of 12 years and older had been given nicotine gum. Politics upset more people than just parents. Other anti-smoking organizations also criticized the school and Decca as irresponsible.
5 users passed out. What does the police do if they find them? Opioid abuse is so widespread in the United States that officials are seeing more and more people driving in their cars while fainted. Even worse, most of them have a small child in the vehicle.
To highlight this dangerous and tragic turn of the opioid epidemic, the police are now photographing unconscious addicts in the position where they found them. The pictures are made public to draw attention to the growing problem.
In 2016 Erica Hurt was overdosed while driving with her baby in the back seat. When the Indiana police found her, she stopped responding. The 10-month-old boy cried, but was not injured. The picture shows the young mother who is still holding the syringe with which she injected herself. A month earlier, another shocking photo showed an unconscious couple who overdosed in Ohio while driving with a 4-year-old in the back. Rhonda Pasek and James Acord were both charged with child harm – but not before the police took a few snapshots.
4 The Deadly Wii Challenge
In 2007, Radiological Associates of Sacramento employees participated in a challenge. The competition was organized by the radio station KDND 107.9 and was called "Hold your wee for a Wii". The goal was to drink as much water as possible without using the bathroom. One of the participants was Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old mother who wanted the prize for her three children. If she won, Strange could surprise her family with a Nintendo Wii video game system. Instead, she died.
Everyone had to drink a bottle of water every fifteen minutes. The bottles kept getting bigger. At some point, Strange failed due to a headache. The pain brought her to tears and she told her manager that she would go home where her body was later found.
A coroner ruled that the victim had died of a water overdose. Technically known as hyponatremia, water poisoning is triggered when too much sweating or water consumption dilutes the sodium level in the blood. Severe headaches are a telltale sign, but in severe cases, seizures, coma, and deaths also occur.
3 The Wasp Spray Trend
The search for the perfect high leads to strange places. Say hello to Wasping, a drug culture oddity in West Virginia. As bizarre as it sounds, practice is fatal. Addicts mix wasp spray with methamphetamine or misuse the insecticide as a meth substitute. To generate the artificial meth, they spray the liquid onto hot sheets, where it crystallizes.
In 2019 there was an increase in wasp overdoses. But since the trend is a real high that is very similar to that of meth, addicts are ignoring the fact that more and more people are stopping consuming too much. The ingredients of the bug spray are incredibly dangerous. Some of the chemicals interfere with the nerve signal and, in extreme cases, can cause seizures, paralysis, breathing problems and heart defects.
2 The Two-Day Overdose Bender
When the emergency personnel rush to an overdose, they usually meet one or three patients. But when the first ambulance raced into a park in 2018 (many more should follow), the paramedics came across a surreal scene.
They replied to reports that people in New Haven Green Park near Yale University were sick. Symptoms suggested an overdose, including hallucinations, difficulty breathing, and fainting. Some people were in trouble on arrival. But when the doctors treated one person, another would suddenly fall over. When they rushed to help the new victim, another victim nearby collapsed. A total of over 70 people were overdosed on the first-aiders.
The consumers were coated with synthetic cannabinoids called K2 or Spice. That particular supply contained a highly effective chemical called Fubinaca that caused the strange event. The park overdoses continued the next day and amounted to over 100 cases. The craziest part came after that. Some of those who ended up in the hospital immediately went back to the park and overdosed.
1 Mass overdose at the homeopathic conference
This is intended for the homeopathic history books. In 2015 there was a massive overdose of delegates attending a homeopathic conference in Germany. This is the last meeting where a severe overdose is expected, as most of the products offered at the event are essentially water. They curled up on the floor in pain, became incoherent, and suffered seizures, hallucinations, and delusions. When the first paramedics arrived, they were quickly overwhelmed and called for help. As a result, 160 emergency personnel came into the conference hall, including several ambulances and helicopters.
Tests confirmed that the group was not taking any homeopathic remedy. Instead, they get drunk on 2C-E, also known as Aquarust. This psychedelic was banned in Germany the previous year. The question was, did they knowingly take the drug or did someone skewer a product?
There was no sympathy for the victims. The owner of the seminar center and the German Naturopathic Association distanced themselves from the incident. The latter even threatened to expel members who had taken the drug, suggesting that the victims knew what they were doing. However, drug experts believe otherwise. Those who overdosed included doctors, naturopaths, and homeopaths, all of whom were trained in hard drugs and who worked in the field of naturopathy. A plausible explanation is that a homeopathic hater made a bad joke about them.