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Case Reports in Medicine
Volume 2010, Article ID 546904, 3 pages
Case Report

Levosimendan as Treatment Option in Severe Verapamil Intoxication: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

Medical Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital Basel, 4031 Basel, Switzerland

Received 20 January 2010; Revised 9 May 2010; Accepted 8 July 2010

Academic Editor: Bruno Megarbane

Copyright © 2010 Mirjam Osthoff et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cardiovascular shock due to verapamil intoxication is often refractory to standard resuscitation methods. Recommended therapy includes prevention of further absorption of the drug, inotropic therapy, calcium gluconate, and hyperinsulinemia/euglycemia therapy. Often further measures are needed such as ventricular pacing or mechanical circulatory support. Still, mortality remains high. Levosimendan, an inotropic agent, that enhances myofilament response to calcium, increases myocardial contraction and could therefore be beneficial in verapamil intoxication. Here, we report the case of a 60-year-old patient with clinically severe verapamil poisoning who presented with shock, bradycardia, and sopor. Standard therapy including high-dose inotropes failed to ameliorate the signs of intoxication. But additional therapy with levosimendan led to rapid improvement. Based on this observation, the literature is reviewed focusing on utilization of levosimendan in the treatment of calcium channel blocker overdose. We suggest to consider levosimendan as additional treatment option in patients with cardiovascular shock due to verapamil intoxication that are refractory to standard management.