A 38-yr-old woman who by history ingested 13 g methylphenobarbital, alcohol, and 6 g acetaminophen became comatose slowly over 4 d. Acute hepatic injury appeared to impair the oxidative N-demethylation of methylphenobarbital to its product, phenobarbital. On the eighth day after ingestion she was treated because of protracted coma with Amberlite XAD-4 resin hemoperfusion. Hemoperfusion, which removed 0.83 g methylphenobarbital and 2.10 g phenobarbital, led to transient clinical improvement. When supportive patient management fails to produce a satisfactory clinical course in a methylphenobarbital-intoxicated patient, hemoperfusion could be a useful adjunct to therapy.
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