phencyclidine hydrochloride


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to phencyclidine hydrochloride: methadone hydrochloride, propoxyphene hydrochloride

phencyclidine hydrochloride (PCP)

[fensī′klidēn]
a piperidine derivative administered parenterally to achieve neuroleptic anesthesia. Because of its marked hallucinogenic properties, it is not used therapeutically in the United States. Its reported use as an abused substance has declined in recent years. Also called angel dust.

phencyclidine hydrochloride

(fĕn-sĭk′lĭ-dĭn″, -sī′klĭ, -dĭn),

PCP

An anesthetic used in veterinary medicine. It is also used illegally as a hallucinogen, and referred to in slang as “PCP” or “angel dust.” The drug is potent; intoxication can occur from passive smoking, and even small doses can produce excitement, hallucinations, and psychotic or extremely violent behavior. Moderate doses also cause elevated blood pressure, rapid pulse, increased skeletal muscle tone, and sometimes, myoclonic jerking. Large doses can cause seizures, ataxia, nystagmus, respiratory depression, and death. The pupils of patients intoxicated with PCP are usually of normal size or small but not the pinpoint size seen in opiate use. This, together with the other physical findings, may help clinicians diagnose overdosed patients.

Treatment

For agitation caused by acute intoxication, diazepam is indicated. Because PCP abusers are often hostile, aggressive, and dangerous, efforts to pacify these patients are contraindicated. Instead, the patient should be isolated in a quiet room and protective measures taken to avoid injury to self or others.

Prognosis

Despite medication and psychotherapy, the psychotic symptoms produced by PCP may persist for weeks or months.