Drug Overdose-Induced Coma Blisters: Pathophysiology and Clinical and Forensic Diagnosis

Curr Drug Res Rev. 2019;11(1):21-25. doi: 10.2174/1874473711666180730102343.


Background: Coma blisters or coma bullae are bullous lesions that have been associated with cases of drug overdose-induced coma. Previous history of suicide attempt by administering benzodiazepines, barbiturates, ethanol, antipsychotics, antidepressants or opioids have been particularly implicated. Patients may present also painful deep skin and soft tissue involvement, edema and functional impairment. The pathophysiology remains unknown and lesions are usually self-limited and typically resolve without scarring.

Objective: This work aims to fully review the state of the art regarding the causes pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of drug overdose-induced coma blisters.

Conclusion: Coma blisters are a benign, self-limiting condition that should be suspected in patients who develop pressure blisters several hours after an altered state of consciousness.

Keywords: Coma blisters; diagnosis; drug overdose; histopathology; pathophysiology; treatment..

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blister / etiology*
  • Coma / etiology*
  • Drug Overdose / complications*
  • Humans