antidote

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antidote

Med a drug or agent that counteracts or neutralizes the effects of a poison

Antidote

 

a medicine used to cure poisoning. Antidotes counteract poisons and prevent or eliminate the toxic effects caused by them. Antidotes are applied before absorption of the poison (local-acting antidotes) or after its entry into the bloodstream (resorptive antidotes). The first group includes substances that counteract poisons in the stomach, on the skin, and on the mucous membranes before their absorption and entry into the organs and tissues (active charcoal and alkalines in cases of acid poisoning, and so on). The antidotal effect is achieved by means of the physical-chemical (absorption) and chemical (oxidation, neutralization, formation of insoluble salts) interaction of this group of substances with the poison. The second group of antidotes is composed of substances counteracting poisons in the blood and organs. The antidotal effect is achieved both by interaction with the poison circulating in the blood and by a direct “displacement” of the poison from the tissues of the organism in accordance with the principle of concentration gradients. Antidotes of this type include unitiol, the British Anti-Lewisite (BAL) and the similar Hungarian dikaptol, Czechoslovak dimerkaprol, and German (GDR) Dithio-glycerine, which counteract compounds of mercury, chrome, arsenic, and other metals (except lead), whose effect is due mainly to the presence in them of molecules of the sulf-hydryl (SH) groups; oximes, which reactivate the enzyme cholinesterase, which is blocked in cases of organic phosphorous poisoning; preparations of ethylenediaminetetra-acetic acid (EDTA), which forms complexes with the salts of heavy metals that are eliminated relatively quickly in the urine; and several others.

Antidotes that act in a functional manner contrary to that of a particular poison play an important role. Thus, the antidote of muscarine, physiostigmine, and other substances causing acute excitation of the cholinergic systems of the organism is atropine, which blocks these systems.

Together with antidotes, many medicines that eliminate individual symptoms of poisoning and substances that promote the expulsion of poison from the organism (emetics, laxatives, and diuretics) are used. These means are widely used in treatment of poisoning; however, in the strict sense of the word they are not antidotes.

An antidote must be applied as quickly as possible after the entry of poison into the organism. The introduction of an antidote does not exclude a whole series of general precautions, such as washing out of the stomach, blood transfusions, or artificial respiration.

REFERENCES

Karasik, V. M. “Protivoiadiia.” In Rukovodstvo po farmakologii. Edited by N. V. Lazarev. Vol. 2. Moscow, 1961. Pages 436–51.
Golikov, S. N. lady i protivoiadiia. Moscow, 1968.
Ludevig, R., and K. Lohs. Akute Vergiftungen, 2nd ed. Stuttgart, 1968.

S. N. GOLIKOV

antidote

[′an·tə‚dōt]
(pharmacology)
An agent that relieves or counteracts the action of a poison.
References in classic literature ?
Arkwright that there are no antidotes for native poisons--"
WE HAVE seen the necessity of the Union, as our bulwark against foreign danger, as the conservator of peace among ourselves, as the guardian of our commerce and other common interests, as the only substitute for those military establishments which have subverted the liberties of the Old World, and as the proper antidote for the diseases of faction, which have proved fatal to other popular governments, and of which alarming symptoms have been betrayed by our own.
Nature in one of her beneficient moods has ordained that even death has some antidote to its own terrors.
For the poison which SHE pours there is no antidote.
When he had gone, Monte Cristo breathed a profound sigh, and said, -- "Enough of this poison, let me now seek the antidote.
That 'yes' has been my bane and antidote," answered Tom, rallying for a new and still more desperate charge.
But he had the best antidote against imaginative dread in the necessity for getting on with the coffin, and for the next ten minutes his hammer was ringing so uninterruptedly, that other sounds, if there were any, might well be overpowered.
The iniquity of the instigation proved its antidote, and when he further added:--
He was as blithe and joyous as a young bird, and was staying the keenness of his morning's appetite by chewing the soft bark of a delicate branch he held in his hand, and he recommended the like to me as an admirable antidote against the gnawings of hunger.
He felt, himself, that he was an antidote to oppressive secrets; what he offered her was, in fact, above all things a vast, sunny immunity from the need of having any.
One little sip of this antidote would have rendered the most virulent poisons of the Borgias innocuous.
Edgar Caswall again tortured his brain to find any antidote or palliative of this greater evil than before.