The Toxicology Investigators Consortium Case Registry--the 2011 experience

J Med Toxicol. 2012 Dec;8(4):360-77. doi: 10.1007/s13181-012-0264-9.


In 2010, the American College of Medical Toxicology established its Case Registry, the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC). ToxIC is a prospective registry, which exclusively compiles suspected and confirmed toxic exposure cases cared for at the bedside by medical toxicologists at its participating sites. The Registry aims to fulfill two important gaps in the field: a real-time toxicosurveillance system to identify current poisoning trends and a powerful research tool in toxicology. ToxIC allows extraction of information from medical records making it the most robust multicenter database on chemical toxicities in existence. All cases seen by medical toxicologists at participating institutions were entered in a database. Information characterizing patients entered in 2011 was tabulated. 2010 data was also included so that cumulative total numbers could be described as well. The current report is a summary of the data collected in 2011 in comparison to 2010 entries and also includes cumulative data through December 31st, 2011. During 2011, 28 sites with 49 specific institutions contributed a total of 6,456 cases to the Registry. The total number of cases entered into the registry at the end of 2011 was 10,392. Emergency departments remained the most common source of consultations in 2011, accounting for 53 % of cases. The most common reason for consultation was for pharmaceutical overdoses, which occurred in 48 % of patients, including intentional (37 %) and unintentional (11 %) exposures. The most common classes of agents were sedative-hypnotics (1,492 entries in 23 % of cases), non-opioid analgesics (1,368 cases in 21 % of cases), opioids (17 %), antidepressants (16 %), stimulants/sympathomimetics (12 %), and ethanol (8 %). N-acetylcysteine was the most commonly administered antidote during 2011, similar to 2010, followed by the opioid antagonist naloxone, sodium bicarbonate, physostigmine and flumazenil. Anti-crotalid Fab fragments (CroFab) were administered in 106 out of 131 cases in which an envenomation occurred. There were 35 deaths recorded in the Registry during 2011. The most common associated agents, including when reported as sole agent or in combination with other agents, were opioids and analgesics (acetaminophen, aspirin, NSAIDS) with ten and eight deaths, respectively. Oxycodone was reported in six of the ten opioid-related deaths and heroin in three. Acetaminophen was the most common single agent reported overall being identified in all eight of the death cases attributed to analgesics. There were significant trends identified during 2011. Cases involving designer drugs including psychoactive bath salts and synthetic cannabinoids increased substantially from 2010 to 2011. The psychoactive bath salts were responsible for a large increase in stimulant/sympathomimetic-related cases reported to the Registry in 2011 with overall numbers doubling from 6 % of all Registry entries in 2010 to 12 % in 2011. Entries involving psychoactive drugs of abuse also increased twofold from 2010 to 2011 jumping 3 to 6 %, primarily due to increasing frequency of synthetic cannabinoid ("K2") related intoxications as 2011 progressed. The 2011 Registry included over 600 ADR's (10 % of Registry Cases) with 115 agents causing at least 2 ADR's. This is up from only 3 % of cases (116 total cases) in 2010. The ToxIC Case Registry continues to grow. At the end of 2011, over 10,000 cases had been entered into the Registry. As demonstrated by the trends identified in psychoactive bath salt and synthetic cannabinoid reports, the Registry is a valuable toxicosurveillance and research tool. The ToxIC Registry is a unique tool for identifying and characterizing confirmed cases of significant or potential toxicity or complexity to require bedside consultation by a medical toxicologist.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / poisoning
  • Acetylcysteine / therapeutic use
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / poisoning
  • Analgesics, Opioid / poisoning*
  • Antidepressive Agents / poisoning
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drug Overdose / epidemiology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxycodone / poisoning
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotropic Drugs / poisoning*
  • Registries*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone
  • Acetylcysteine