Fluoride Action Network


A 19-year-old man presented with acute fluoride poisoning. Initially his serum electrolytes were normal, but two hours later he developed ECG evidence of hyperkalemia followed by refractory ventricular fibrillation, suggesting that hyperkalemia may be important in the cardiotoxicity of acute fluoride intoxication. Treatment of fluoride-induced hyperkalemia consists of removal of fluoride from the body by dialysis, binding fluoride with aluminum or calcium, or enhancing fluoride excretion by inducing a metabolic alkalosis. Direct treatment of the hyperkalemia with glucose, insulin, and bicarbonate is ineffective. Quinidine may be an effective therapy for the hyperkalemia and ventricular irritability, but is as yet untested in human beings.