Pharmaceutical-induced hallucinations amplified by relative hypoglycemia
Type of Spiritual Experience
Clozapine is an atypical antipsychotic medication used in the treatment of schizophrenia, and is also sometimes used off-label for the treatment of bipolar disorder. The first of the atypical antipsychotics to be developed, it was first introduced in Europe in 1971, but was voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturer in 1975 after it was shown to cause agranulocytosis, a condition involving a dangerous decrease in the number of white blood cells, that led to death in some patients.
Benperidol is a drug which is a highly potent butyrophenone derivative. It is in fact the most potent neuroleptic on the European market, with chlorpromazine equivalency as high as 75 to 100 (about 150 to 200% potency in terms of dose compared to haloperidol). It is an antipsychotic, which can be used for the treatment of schizophrenia, but it is primarily used to control antisocial hypersexual behaviour
A description of the experience
Nervenarzt. 1996 Apr;67(4):323-6.
[Drug-induced asterixis amplified by relative hypoglycemia].
[Article in German]
Poersch M1, Hufnagel A, Smolenski C. 1Dr. von Ehrenwall'sche Klinik, Ahrweiler.
A 58-year-old man with chronic paranoid-hallucinatoric psychosis had transient episodes with marked paranoid delusions, auditory hallucinations without confusion, shakiness of both upper extremities, tachycardia and sweating.
EMG performed with surface electrodes revealed many silent periods in postural active muscles with maximum duration of 120 ms; blood glucose was 65-75 mg/dl.
At other times, blood glucose was 135-140 mg/dl, EMG revealed few silent periods in postural active muscles with maximal duration of 50 ms and the patient noted some vibration in his outstretched hands only.
Drug-induced asterixis (clozapine, benperidol) amplified by relative hypoglycemia was therefore assumed, and symptoms disappeared after oral antidiabetics were reduced.