Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Emergency Medicine


Dr. Mary Walton, DMSc, PA


In recent years and since the legalization of cannabis throughout the United States, emergency departments have seen a significant rise in patients who overuse cannabis and present with symptoms related to cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. These symptoms may present with cyclical vomiting, nausea, and abdominal discomforts not relieved by standard treatment modalities. As a result, emergency department providers have increasingly used haloperidol, a butyrophenone and potent dopamine antagonist, commonly used to treat acute psychosis or agitation, as an off-label, second-line treatment for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome symptoms. This review aims to evaluate the role of haloperidol by emergency department providers in treating cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome for chronic marijuana users. Haloperidol, as the first-line treatment for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, may lead to fewer hospital admissions, shorter emergency department visits, and less frequent returns to the emergency department. However, there are no specific treatment guidelines using haloperidol in treating cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. Therefore, more research is necessary.


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