• Article highlight
  • Article tables
  • Article images

Article History

Received : 26-04-2021

Accepted : 15-05-2021

Available online : 10-09-2021

Article Metrics

Downlaod Files


Article Access statistics

Viewed: 62

PDF Downloaded: 42

Tyagi, Bisht, Saini, Tyagi, Agarwal, and Gupta: Neonatal Dhatura like poisoning - A premedication error in neonatal anesthesia

Case Report

25 days old, 3.75 Kg male baby underwent lid surgery (adhesiolysis for symblepharon). He was given Ketamine 4.0mg and glycopyrrolate 0.1 mg (recommended dose: 4-8 mcg/kg) as pre-anaesthetic medication for antisialogogic action. Baby immediately had a tonic clonic convulsion, which responded on giving Inj. Midazolam(0.1mg/kg, IV). Heart rate was more than 200/min. Pulses were feeble, thready, and skin was mottled. Blood pressure was not recordable by non invasive BP monitor. Pupils were dilated and baby was crying excessively, irritable and febrile (temp 390C). Bladder was palpable till umbilicus. Surgery was deferred in view of above condition.

Baby was immediately given normal saline boluses, followed by Dobutamine infusion. HR increased to 250/min. ECG showed sinus tachycardia. After giving digoxin and hydrotherapy, HR decreased to 200/min. Dobutamine was tapered and stopped in 1 hour and neonate shifted to Neonatal ICU for observation. Feeds were gradually restarted. Tachycardia resolved over next three days. Patient was discharged after 4 days of hospital stay.


Medication errors are common but under recognized, in primary care settings where neonatal surgeries are not commonly performed.

Table 1



Onset of Action

Duration of Action

Common Adverse Effects 1


10-20 mcg/kg

1-2 min

30-120 min

Tachycardia, dry hot skin


5 mcg/kg

1-10 min

360 min

Tachycardia, arrhythmias, Bronchospasm

Neonatal anesthesia

Sometime ago, few scientists and healthcare providers believed that infants and young children were unable to localize and/or perceive painful stimuli. Today we know well that newborn can localize and perceive pain from 26-28 weeks of gestation. Now infants routinely receive analgesia and sedation for surgical procedures in the operating room, but the extent to which infants routinely receive medication for other painful procedures varies. In 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that premedication be used for all intubations in neonates, except in the case of emergent intubation during resuscitation.2 The goal of premedication is to eliminate pain, discomfort, traumatic injury to the airway, and physiologic instability (e.g., bradycardia, hypotension/hypertension, decreased oxygen saturation) associated with endotracheal intubation procedure. Vagolytic agents help prevent reflex bradycardia during intubation because of an exaggerated vagal response and decrease oral and bronchial secretions. Atropine and glycopyrrolate are the most commonly administered vagolytic agents.3

Glycopyrrolate: Indications and usage

Glycopyrrolate is indicated for use as a preoperative antimuscarinic to reduce salivary, tracheobronchial, and pharyngeal secretions; to reduce the volume and free acidity of gastric secretions; and to block cardiac vagal inhibitory reflexes during induction of anesthesia and intubation. It may be used intraoperatively to counteract surgically or drug-induced or vagal reflexes associated arrhythmias.

Dosage and administration

Glycopyrrolate Injection may be administered intramuscularly, or intravenously.

Pediatric dose is 0.004 mg/kg intravenously, maximum 0.1 mg in a single dose which may be repeated, at intervals of 2 to 3 minutes. The another safe alternative is atropine in children.1 (Table 1)


  1. CNS symptoms - excitement, restlessness, psychosis, ataxia, hallucinations, convulsion, coma

  2. Neuromuscular blockade leading to muscular weakness and possible paralysis. Respiratory muscle paralysis can also occur.

  3. Dryness of the skin and mouth, dermal flushing,

  4. Fever, abdominal distention,

  5. Urinary retention, feeding intolerance,

  6. Tachycardia with normal blood pressure, arrhythmia, hypotension

Management of toxicity

  1. Mainly symptomatic.

  2. Specific antidote is Physostigmine.4

  3. Physostigmine infusion with a dose of 0.02 mg/kg (maximum of 0.5mg/dose) over 3 minutes is recommended in infants/children (before infusion, conduction abnormalities e.g., PR, QRS, or QTc interval prolongation should be checked).


  1. Neonatal Dhatura (atropine–like) poisoning needs to be suspected in babies who show postoperative or per operative deterioration in case premedication with atropine or glycopyrrolate is done. The possibility of central anticholinergic syndrome (CAS) should be considered with post-operative flushing, mydriasis, dry skin and mucous membranes, altered mental status or fever.

  2. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that when choosing premedication, medications with rapid onset and a short duration of action are preferred. Thus, the AAP-preferred vagolytic agent is atropine because of the rapid onset and shorter duration of action compared to glycopyrrolate.

  3. Physostigmine, a tertiary amine, should be available in the operating room for treatment of central anticholinergic syndrome (CAS).

Source of Funding


Conflict of Interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.



I Desalu OT Kushimo CO Bode A comparative study of the hemodynamic effects of atropine and glycopyrrolate at induction of anesthesia in childrenWest Afr J Med2005241159


AAP Committee on Fetus and Newborn and Section an Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Prevention and Management of Procedural Pain in the Neonate: An UpdatePediatrics20161372e20154271


P Kumar SE Denson TJ Mancuso Premedication for nonemergency endotracheal Intubation in the neonatePediatrics201012560815


N Frascogna Physostigmine: is there a role for this antidote in pediatric poisonings?Curr Opin Pediatr2007192201205


© This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Wiki in hindi