CHEMPACKs are containers of nerve agent antidotes placed in secure locations at local levels around the state to allow rapid response to a chemical incident. These medications treat the symptoms of nerve agent exposure and can be used even when the actual agent is unknown.
Because these antidotes must be administered quickly, DPH, along with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Drug Control Division, works with CDC’s CHEMPACK team to maintain CHEMPACK containers strategically placed in locations across the state. One hundred percent of Connecticut’s population is within one hour of a CHEMPACK location. Most are located in hospitals or fire stations selected by local authorities to support a rapid hazmat response and can be accessed quickly if hospitals or first responders need them.
The medications in CHEMPACKs work by treating the symptoms of nerve agent exposure. The CHEMPACK formulary consists of three types of drugs: one that treats the excess secretions caused by nerve agents, such as excess saliva, tears, urine, vomiting, and diarrhea; a second one that treats symptoms such as high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, weakness, muscle tremors and paralysis; and a third that treats and can prevent seizures.
For more information about Connecticut's CHEMPACK program, please contact the DPH Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response at (860) 509-8282.