Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome with extreme hydrophilia
Hilary A Enuh,1 Julia Chin,1 Jay Nfonoyim2
1Department of Medicine, 2Critical Care Unit, Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island, NY, USA
Abstract: Marijuana is the most widely used recreational drug in the US. Hyperemetic hydrophilic syndrome is a previously described but infrequently recognized condition of cannabinoid abuse with hyperemesis and obsessive hot showering. We present a 47-year-old male known marijuana addict with intractable abdominal pain who could not wait for physical examination, meal, or medication, because of obsessive compulsive warm baths. He had a history of epilepsy and addiction to marijuana, which he took on the day of admission. He presented to the hospital with a seizure, complicated by nausea, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain. His examination was unremarkable, except for mild epigastric tenderness. His laboratory and radiological tests were within normal limits, except for a positive urine drug screen for marijuana and opiates. He took himself immediately to the bathroom and remained under a hot shower with the exception of two 15-minute breaks for the rest of the day. He stated that it made him feel better than medication. Receiving medication and even eating was a problem because of this compulsive showering. Abstinence from marijuana during the hospital stay made the patient's nausea and vomiting resolve significantly. Cannabinoid hyperemesis is a differential diagnosis among patients with intractable nausea, vomiting, and obsessive hot bathing. The syndrome is an unmistakable indication of marijuana addiction. A thorough history and observation is very valuable. Recognition of this entity will reduce unnecessary testing and utilization of health care resources.
Keywords: cannabinoid, compulsive bathing, cyclic vomiting, hyperemesis, hydrophilia, marijuana
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