Sunday, December 27, 2015

Is there a difference in mad honey poisoning between geriatric and non-geriatric patient groups?

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Dec;19(23):4647-53


This study aims to investigate the demographic, toxicological characteristics of the mad honey intoxication at ages 65 and above, to analyze the electrocardiographic parameters, and to compare with the mad honey intoxication at ages below 65 years.


Eighty-two patients, who had been treated and followed-up between June 2013 and November 2014 in the Emergency Service of the Findikli State Hospital, Turkey, due to diagnosis of mad honey intoxication, were included in our observational study. Age, gender, toxicological characteristics, laboratory parameters, heart rates, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, laboratory analyses and electrocardiographic data of the patients were recorded and analyzed. Patients with known coronary artery disease, chronic renal failure, arrhythmias, valvular heart disease, history of thyroid disease and electrolyte imbalance were not included in the study.


Eighty-two (80.5% was male and the mean age was 53 ± 15 years) patients followed-up due to mad honey intoxication were included in our study. There were 64 (78%) patients aged below 65 years, and 18 (22%) patients aged 65 and above. The mean heart rate was 45 ± 7 beats/min, systolic blood pressure was 83 ± 12 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure was 52 ± 9 mmHg on admission. The onset of symptoms of the patients was found as 0.84 hours on average after mad honey consumption, the average amount of honey consumed was 3.7 ± 1.1 tablespoons, and the mean recovery time of the symptoms was found to be 1.04 hours. The most common presenting symptoms were nausea-vomiting in 82 (100%) patients and dizziness in 73 (89%) patients. Patients were found to consume mad honey mostly for achieving a remission in gastrointestinal complaints (n=18, 22%), and for utilizing its blood pressure lowering properties (n=11, 13.4%), in addition to the dietary consumption. Looking at the heart rates of the patients on admission to the emergency service, 65 (79.3%) patients had normal sinus rhythm/sinus bradycardia, 12 (14.6%) patients had a 1st degree atrioventricular block, 3 (3.7%) patients had nodal rhythm, 1 (1.2%) patient had atrial fibrillation and 1 (1.2%) patient had preexcitation. There were no significant pathological findings in the routine laboratory examinations of patients. It was found that all patients achieved normal sinus rhythm and normal blood pressure values after medical treatment, and were discharged approximately 5.65 hours after observation and follow-up. In our study, prolonged intensive-care need, pacemaker need and mortality caused by mad honey intoxication were not found. In the comparison of data of all patients above and below 65 years of age, there was a statistically significant finding that the geriatric patients consume mad honey mostly for hypotensive purposes and gastrointestinal complaints; in addition, the symptoms were starting early and the recovery period was longer in geriatric patients.


The mad honey poisoning should be considered in previously healthy patients with unexplained symptoms of bradycardia, hypotension, and atrioventricular block. Therefore, diet history should carefully be obtained from the patients admitted with bradycardia and hypotension. And, in addition to the primary cardiac, neurological and metabolic disorders, mad honey intoxication should also be considered in the differential diagnosis. In geriatric patients admitted due to mad honey intoxication, the mad honey is usually consumed to reduce blood pressure and resolve gastrointestinal problems; and, their symptoms begin early, and last longer after mad honey consumption. In terms of other parameters, the geriatric age group has similar characteristics to non-geriatric age group.

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