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We present a case of a 63-year-old woman who presented to an ED with bifrontal headache, nausea and vomiting and reduced visual acuity. Examination revealed bilateral elevated intraocular pressures, corneal haze, shallow anterior chambers and poorly reactive, mid-dilated pupils. Diagnosis was made of simultaneous bilateral acute angle closure glaucoma. A complete drug history revealed that she had been using an over-the-counter cold and flu remedy whose active ingredients included atropa belladonna, an herb with anticholinergic properties. It is likely that drug-induced dilatation of the individual's pupils precipitated this angle closure emergency. In the report we discuss the risk factors for angle closure glaucoma, and review the local and systemic drugs known to trigger this sight-threatening emergency. © 2010 The Authors. Emergency Medicine Australasia © 2010 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine.


Adam K Rudkin, Tim L Gray, Mona Awadalla, Jamie E Craig. Bilateral simultaneous acute angle closure glaucoma precipitated by non-prescription cold and flu medication. Emergency medicine Australasia : EMA. 2010 Oct;22(5):477-9

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PMID: 21040488

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