Below is a description of studies currently ongoing in our clinical unit:


Shortened NAC regimen for paracetamol poisoning

To improve patient care, first locally then internationally, we led the the Scottish and Newcastle Antiemetic Pre-treatment for paracetamol poisoning study (SNAP) which was funded by the Scottish Government Health Directorates Chief Scientist Office. This study set out to evaluate a shorter, simpler 12 h NAC regimen in comparison to antiemetic pretreatment with ondansetron in a factorial study to establish if adverse effects could be reduced.

Building on the SNAP trial, we have changed the treatment of patients in Edinburgh. This is currently being audited both by local data collection and health care data linkage. This approach to the strategic audited introduction of the first major change in management of paracetamol overdose for 40 years is being rolled out across other interested clinical units in a controlled manner.   

Chief Investigator: Dr James Dear


Identification of Novel Psychoactive Substances (IONA) study

Edinburgh Clinical Toxicology are delighted to join colleagues in Newcastle in recruiting patients to the IONA study. There has been increasing recent use of newer recreational drugs. These are officially termed ‘Novel Psychoactive Substances’ or NPS, but also sometimes called ‘legal highs’ or ‘research chemicals’. A large number of different substances have been involved and some of these have caused severe adverse effects in users, requiring hospital admission. It is important to identify the substances that are causing adverse effects as quickly as possible so that steps can be taken to inform and protect people who might consider using these drugs.

Chief Investigator: Prof SHL Thomas, Consultant Physician, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust