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Late Brain Recovery Processes after Drug Overdose

Br Med J 1970; 2 doi: (Published 09 May 1970) Cite this as: Br Med J 1970;2:318

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Ijaz Haider,
  2. Ian Oswald


    Though recovery of consciousness after drug overdose may occur within a day or two, the drug itself may not finally leave the brain for another one to three weeks, and at this late time a withdrawal syndrome can occur, with insomnia, restlessness, raised paradoxical (R.E.M.) sleep, epileptic phenomena, and even delirium. It is proposed that a high degree of drug-tolerance and dependence can be rapidly acquired after overdose.

    Abnormal sleep features of 10 patients resolved only slowly over a period of up to two months after overdose. The data support the view that R.E.M. sleep is concerned with processes of brain repair.