The use of intravenous lipid emulsion as an antidote in veterinary toxicology

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2011 Aug;21(4):309-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2011.00657.x. Epub 2011 Jun 30.


Objective: To review the use of IV lipid emulsion (ILE) for the treatment of toxicities related to fat-soluble agents; evaluate current human and veterinary literature; and to provide proposed guidelines for the use of this emerging therapy in veterinary medicine and toxicology.

Data sources: Human and veterinary medical literature.

Human data synthesis: Human data are composed mostly of case reports describing the response to treatment with ILE as variant from mild improvement to complete resolution of clinical signs, which is suspected to be due to the variability of lipid solubility of the drugs. The use of ILE therapy has been advocated as an antidote in cases of local anesthetic and other lipophilic drug toxicoses, particularly in the face of cardiopulmonary arrest and unsuccessful cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation.

Veterinary data synthesis: The use of ILE therapy in veterinary medicine has recently been advocated by animal poison control centers for toxicoses associated with fat-soluble agents, but there are only few clinical reports documenting successful use of this therapy. Evidence for the use of ILE in both human and veterinary medicine is composed primarily from experimental animal data.

Conclusions: The use of ILE appears to be a safe therapy for the poisoned animal patient, but is warranted only with certain toxicoses. Adverse events associated with ILE in veterinary medicine are rare and anecdotal. Standard resuscitation protocols should be exhausted before considering this therapy and the potential side effects should be evaluated before administration of ILE as a potential antidote in cases of lipophilic drug toxicoses. Further research is waranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antidotes / administration & dosage
  • Antidotes / therapeutic use*
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Hazardous Substances / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Poisoning / therapy
  • Poisoning / veterinary*


  • Antidotes
  • Fat Emulsions, Intravenous
  • Hazardous Substances