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Hypokalemia in Patients With Cough Mixture Abuse: A Retrospective Chart Review

Zheng, Dong PhD, MD; Li, Yi PhD, MD; Liu, Yuping MD; Rong, Xiaoming MD; Tang, Yamei PhD, MD; Peng, Ying MD, PhD; Shen, Qingyu MD, PhD

Journal of Addiction Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0000000000000033
Original Research
Abstract

Background: In past 2 decades, nonmedical consumption of cough mixture has become a serious social problem in certain regions of China. Cough mixture abuse causes psychiatric symptoms. Moreover, there has been an increasing concern about the physical disorders associated with cough mixture abuse.

Methods: A retrospective chart review of hypokalemia related to cough mixture abuse between January 2009 and December 2012 was conducted in Guangzhou Brain Hospital, China.

Results: The charts were reviewed for 34 subjects with cough mixture abuse. Seven of 34 cough mixture abusers (20.6%) presented hypokalemia, with symptoms ranged from mild to severe limb weakness. Hypokalemia in these patients reduced after normalization of potassium.

Conclusions: A high incidence of hypokalemia presents in cough mixture abusers. Cough mixture abuse might be one of the secondary causes of hypokalemia paralysis in young patients presenting to emergency departments.

Author Information

From the Department of Neurology (DZ, YL, XR, YT, YP, QS), Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China; Department of Neurology (QS), Zengcheng People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China; and Departments of Neurology (DZ) and Substance Abuse (YL), Guangzhou Brain Hospital, Guangzhou, China.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Qingyu Shen, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, No. 107 W Yanjiang Rd, Guangzhou 510120, China. E-mail: super-shen@126.com. Or Ying Peng, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, No. 107 W Yanjiang Rd, Guangzhou 510120, China. E-mail: 2353352460@qq.com.

Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81200922), Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (S2011010004615), and the Sun Yat-Sen Scholarship for Young Scientists to Yi Li.

Dong Zheng and Yi Li contributed equally to this work.

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Received June 07, 2013

Accepted January 18, 2014

© 2014 American Society of Addiction Medicine