Isopropanol

Isopropanol is commonly found in readily available rubbing alcohol (70% isopropanol), antifreeze, skin lotions, and some home-cleaning products. It has up to three times the potency of ethanol and causes hypotension and cardiac and respiratory depression more readily than ethanol. Peak levels of isopropanol occur approximately 30 min following ingestion. Death from ingestion of isopropanol is uncommon. Serum isopropanol concentrations >50 mg/dL are associated with signs of intoxication, whereas concentrations >150 mg/dL are associated with coma (4).

Up to half the ingested isopropanol is excreted unchanged by the kidney, whereas 50-80% is converted in the liver to acetone. Acetone also exhibits CNS depression effect. Acetone is excreted primarily by the kidneys, with some excretion through the lungs. The elimination half-life of isopropanol is 4-6 h whereas that of acetone is 16-20 h. The prolonged CNS depression seen with isopropanol ingestion is partially related to CNS-depressant effects of acetone itself. Isopropanol or acetone may by followed when monitoring patients.

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