Irritants - Riot Control Agents Medication

Updated: Aug 20, 2021
  • Author: Paul P Rega, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Zygmunt F Dembek, PhD, MS, MPH, LHD  more...
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Medication Summary

In general, only decontamination with water is necessary when a patient's skin has been grossly exposed to riot control agents. Bronchodilators, analgesics, and pulmonary support may be needed, depending upon the severity of injury.

Diphoterine and vegetable oil  have chelating and amphoteric properties that show some promise in managing dermal exposures, but more studies are required to prove efficacy. [26]

Antibiotics may be reserved for dermal and pulmonary complications.  An antiobitic ointment may be helpful with ocular involvment.

Analgesics for pain, preferably non-steroidal agents;



Class Summary

Use only for patients with evidence of significant bronchospasm after exposure.

Albuterol 0.5% (Proventil, Ventolin)

Beta-agonist for bronchospasm refractory to epinephrine. Relaxes bronchial smooth muscle by action on beta 2-receptors with little effect on cardiac muscle contractility.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs)

Class Summary

NSAIDs have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antipyretic activities. Their mechanism of action is not known, but they may inhibit cyclooxygenase activity and prostaglandin synthesis. Other mechanisms, such as inhibition of leukotriene synthesis, lysosomal enzyme release, lipoxygenase activity, neutrophil aggregation, and various cell-membrane functions, may exist as well.

Ibuprofen (Motrin, Ibuprin)

Acts as an analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory agent.



Class Summary

Pain control is essential to quality patient care. Analgesics ensure patient comfort, promote pulmonary toilet, and have sedating properties, which are beneficial for patients who have sustained trauma or injuries.

Oxycodone/acetaminophen (Percocet, Roxicet, Roxilox)

Drug combination indicated for relief of moderate to severe pain.



Class Summary

Therapy must cover all likely pathogens in the context of the clinical setting.

Gentamicin 0.3 % solution (Genoptic, Ocu-Mycin)

Indicated for corneal abrasions. Aminoglycoside antibiotic used for gram-negative bacterial coverage.

Erythromycin ophthalmic (E-Mycin)

Indicated for corneal abrasions and infections caused by susceptible strains of microorganisms and for prevention of corneal and conjunctival infections.