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Phencyclidine (PCP)

Author: Dana Bartlett, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI
(Click author's name for bio)

CE: 2.5 hours Pharmacology: 2.5 hours
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 581 reviews

Course Summary

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a dissociative anesthetic. Animal and human studies showed that PCP was an effective anesthetic and analgesic. There are multiple mechanisms of action of PCP that are responsible for its clinical effects. Phencyclidine mainly works as an NMDA receptor antagonist. Phencyclidine can also inhibit the reuptake of the biogenic amines dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Phencyclidine causes significant adverse effects, delirium, depersonalization, dysphoria and hallucinations. As a consequence, PCP is no longer used in humans as an anesthetic. Phencyclidine continues to be used as an illicit drug. Although PCP is far less popular now than it was, its use continues. Phencyclidine intoxication can lead to PCP substance use disorder and it can cause serious, long-lasting morbidities.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.              Introduction

II.           Pharmacological Profile

1.         N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Antagonist

2.         Biogenic Amine Reuptake

III.        Epidemiology

IV.         Phencyclidine Intoxication

1.   Anesthetic Properties

2.   Dissociative Symptoms

3.   Hallucinogenic Symptoms

4.   Intoxication Treatment

V.            Substance Use Disorder

1.   DSM-5 Criterion for Substance Use Disorder

2.   Phencyclidine Use Disorder

3.   Basic Principles of Treatment

VI.         Treatment Model for a Substance Use Disorder

VII.       Treatment of Phencyclidine Use Disorder

VIII.    Case Study

1.   Discussion

IX.         Summary


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