Poison & Prevention Information By Substance

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen: Take It Safely

Acetaminophen: Take It Safely

Acetaminophen is a very safe drug to take according to label instructions. In overdose, too much acetaminophen can damage the liver. In fact, acetaminophen overdose is an important cause of liver failure and liver transplants in the US.

Acetaminophen: Easier Dosing

Acetaminophen: Easier Dosing

Acetaminophen is a very safe medicine when used in recommended doses to treat pain and fever. But too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage and even death. This has happened when parents didn't understand the concentration or measurements. New formulations of acetaminophen for children make it easier to give the correct dose.

Use Acetaminophen Safely

Use Acetaminophen Safely

Acetaminophen is a safe and effective pain reliever when taken according to label instructions. But in overdose, it is a leading cause of liver damage and death.

Cold Medicine Dosing Changes for Kids

Cold Medicine Dosing Changes for Kids

There is no evidence that cough and cold medicines are safe or effective for young children. There IS evidence that children have been harmed by overdoses of these products. Problems include seizures, coma, and death.


Activated charcoal

Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal keeps swallowed drugs and poisons from being absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream. It's a highly effective treatment for many poisons. 


Alcohol

What is a Hangover and Can It Be Cured?

What is a Hangover and Can It Be Cured?

Hangovers are unpleasant symptoms that occur after consumption of alcohol. Even though many products are marketed as hangover treatments, there is no cure for this condition. The best way to prevent a hangover is to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Alcohol: A Dangerous Poison for Children

Alcohol: A Dangerous Poison for Children

Alcohol can be a dangerous poison for children. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and causes low blood glucose (sugar). Children who drink alcohol can have seizures and coma; they could even die. This is true of beverage alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) and alcohol found in mouthwash and other personal care products.

Rubbing Alcohol Only Looks Like Water

Rubbing Alcohol Only Looks Like Water

Rubbing alcohol looks like water. Even small amounts are poisonous to children. It is also poisonous to adults, who sometimes substitute rubbing alcohol for drinking alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can also be toxic when inhaled. It should be used in a well-ventilated area. In addition, because it is flammable, it should always be kept away from open flame.

Inhaling Alcohol Is Dangerous

Inhaling Alcohol Is Dangerous

Alcohol vapors can be produced by heating up alcohol or pouring it over dry ice. Alcohol can be absorbed into your bloodstream by inhaling alcohol vapors. People who inhale alcohol vapors get drunk very quickly, because the alcohol goes straight to the brain. Also, heated alcohol vapor can injure the lungs.

Is Alcohol Dangerous? | Poison Control

Is Alcohol Dangerous? | Poison Control

Ethanol, found in alcoholic beverages, is safe for most adults in moderation. Excessive ethanol intake and consumption of other types of alcohol can be dangerous.

Drunk + Buzzed = Danger

Drunk + Buzzed = Danger

Lots of alcohol plus lots of caffeine equals danger, with possible results ranging from sexual assault to automobile crashes to alcohol-induced coma or even death.

My Child Drank Perfume

My Child Drank Perfume

Most fragrance products contain alcohol; some contain up to 95%. Alcohol can cause serious effects in children. Fragrance products can also cause skin irritation, which will usually go away if you stop using the product. 

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house - or maybe on a cruise - or perhaps to a hotel in a new city or a foreign country?  Wherever your destination for the holidays, by automobile, plane, ship or sleigh, a little planning will help keep holiday travel safe and enjoyable. 

Hand Sanitizer: What's the Real Story?

Hand Sanitizer: What's the Real Story?

A lick of hand sanitizer won't hurt a child or anyone else. Drinking it can cause alcohol poisoning, which can cause low blood sugar, coma, and seizures – though this is not common.


Antifreeze

Antifreeze: Bad for Your Kids and Pets

Antifreeze: Bad for Your Kids and Pets

It is dangerous to swallow antifreeze, even small amounts. For several hours after swallowing, everything seems fine. But don't be fooled - the body is busy breaking down the antifreeze (ethylene glycol) into a number of substances that affect blood chemistry, the nervous system, and kidneys. If the victim survives, there may be permanent damage to the kidneys and brain.

Prevent Cold Weather Poisonings

Prevent Cold Weather Poisonings

There are special poisoning concerns during the winter: family travel, family gatherings, carbon monoxide poisoning, and winter chemicals for the car. Follow Poison Control's prevention tips to keep your family safe this winter.


Aspirin

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. They are also found in combination products such as cough and cold medicines. An overdose of these medications may cause stomach upset, abdominal pain, and vomiting, kidney damage, ulcers, bleeding, seizures, and coma.

What is Aspirin? | Poison Control

What is Aspirin? | Poison Control

Aspirin is an over-the-counter medication used as an anti-inflammatory agent and for pain or fever relief. Low dose aspirin is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with existing heart disease, and sometimes in pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia. Normal side effects include stomach upset and indigestion. Aspirin overdose can be life-threatening.


Batteries

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Children will swallow anything they can reach. Most of the time, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract with no trouble; the object turns up in the child's stool. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins made up 80 percent of swallowed foreign objects that had to be removed by surgery.

Batteries Cause Devastating Injuries

Batteries Cause Devastating Injuries

Swallowed batteries burn through a child's esophagus in just 2 hours, leading to surgery, months with feeding and breathing tubes, and even death. About the size of a nickel, 20 mm, 3-volt lithium coin cells are the most hazardous as they are big enough to get stuck and burn faster. Secure battery compartments and keep loose batteries away from children.

Button Batteries Can Kill Children

Button Batteries Can Kill Children

More and more children are being injured, or even dying, from swallowing button or disk batteries. This tragedy can be prevented. Batteries stuck in the esophagus must be removed as quickly as possible as severe damage can occur in just 2 hours. Batteries in the nose or ear also must be removed immediately to avoid permanent damage.

Tape Button Batteries Before Disposing of Them | Poison Control

Tape Button Batteries Before Disposing of Them | Poison Control

A recent study of battery injuries found that 29.8% of button battery ingestions involved batteries that were discarded or sitting out. Taping button batteries before disposal can decrease or stop button batteries from causing injury and will not affect the ability of the battery to be recycled. 

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house - or maybe on a cruise - or perhaps to a hotel in a new city or a foreign country?  Wherever your destination for the holidays, by automobile, plane, ship or sleigh, a little planning will help keep holiday travel safe and enjoyable. 


Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine: Dangerous to Children

Buprenorphine: Dangerous to Children

Buprenorphine is prescribed for adults with opioid dependence or chronic pain. Most buprenorphine poisoning in children occurs due to improper storage of the medication. Symptoms of buprenorphine poisoning in children are drowsiness, vomiting, slow breathing, increased heart rate, and agitation. Coma and death have also been reported.


Caffeine and stimulants

Caffeine: Is it a Problem for Kids?

Caffeine: Is it a Problem for Kids?

Symptoms of caffeine overdose can be mild (shaky hands, stomach upset) to severe (high blood pressure, seizures, coma). Caffeine is found in traditional sources (coffee, tea, chocolate, soda) and many new sources (energy drinks, foods with added caffeine). Children are taking in more and more caffeine, but we don't know how much is safe for children.

ADHD Drugs: An Overview

ADHD Drugs: An Overview

"ADHD" stands for "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder". Symptoms include hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inability to pay attention, manage frustration, stay organized, or focus on tasks. Treatment is based on behavior therapy and/or drug therapy. ADHD drugs can cause side effects; a deliberate overdose of any amount requires immediate medical care.

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?

Many weight loss supplements contain ingredients that are contaminated, ineffective, dangerous, or actually illegal. Some people become ill after taking these products. Some have interactions with medicines. It can be hard to get your money back. Worst of all, these products often don't help.

Dry Scooping Can Be Life-Threatening

Dry Scooping Can Be Life-Threatening

Pre-workout supplements can contain caffeine and other ingredients which can be poisonous when taken in large amounts. Dry scooping, or consumption of undiluted pre-workout powder, can be life-threatening.

Drunk + Buzzed = Danger

Drunk + Buzzed = Danger

Lots of alcohol plus lots of caffeine equals danger, with possible results ranging from sexual assault to automobile crashes to alcohol-induced coma or even death.

How Much Caffeine Is In That?

How Much Caffeine Is In That?

The line between enough caffeine and too much varies from person to person. People who overdo it can experience unpleasant side effects until the caffeine wears off in a few hours. People who take too many caffeine pills to stay awake can have seizures. There have even been some deaths from caffeine overdoses.


Carbon monoxide

Planning a Home Remodel?

Planning a Home Remodel?

So many poison prevention stories are about children, but when it comes to home remodeling, adults are at risk, too. Children, adults, and pets can become sick if home renovations are not carried out carefully.

Poisons and Pregnancy

Poisons and Pregnancy

There is a lot of information about avoiding drugs, alcohol, and tobacco while pregnant. There are some other poisons to be aware of if you're pregnant, including herbal medications, supplements, lead, and carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide and Video Games

Carbon Monoxide and Video Games

Shortly after a hurricane in Texas, 75% of children treated for carbon monoxide poisoning had been playing video games powered by portable generators.

Another Reason Not To Smoke

Another Reason Not To Smoke

It is possible for heavy smokers to develop carbon monoxide poisoning. This can be severe enough to require treatment in an emergency room.

Carbon Monoxide: The Invisible Killer

Carbon Monoxide: The Invisible Killer

It's not an intriguing or novel hazard, just the persistent, invisible killer: carbon monoxide. Seriously, you still don't have a carbon monoxide alarm in every sleeping area of your home? Get one! And keep fuel-burning appliances in good repair; don't use grills or gasoline-powered tools indoors, and don't run your car in an attached garage or place a generator close to your home.

Prevent Cold Weather Poisonings

Prevent Cold Weather Poisonings

There are special poisoning concerns during the winter: family travel, family gatherings, carbon monoxide poisoning, and winter chemicals for the car. Follow Poison Control's prevention tips to keep your family safe this winter.

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house - or maybe on a cruise - or perhaps to a hotel in a new city or a foreign country?  Wherever your destination for the holidays, by automobile, plane, ship or sleigh, a little planning will help keep holiday travel safe and enjoyable. 


Chelation

Chelation: Therapy or "Therapy"?

Chelation: Therapy or "Therapy"?

Chelation therapy is a treatment for heavy metal poisoning: iron, mercury, arsenic, and lead. Some people give chelation "therapy" for other conditions such as cardiovascular disease, autism, and Alzheimer's. This exposes patients to risks without benefit. A large study of chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease leads some researchers to suggest further study.


Cleaning products

Children and Spray Bottles: A Hazard

Children and Spray Bottles: A Hazard

More and more household cleaning products are found in spray bottles. More and more children are being poisoned by those products. Cleaning products in spray bottles are now the leading source of cleaning products that poison children. Most injuries are to the eyes and head. It's important to wash the skin and eyes right away with lots of running water.

Povidone-iodine: Safe Use of a Common Antiseptic

Povidone-iodine: Safe Use of a Common Antiseptic

Povidone is found in both medical and household items and can cause mild symptoms with large ingestions. Povidone iodine is a common antiseptic used to disinfect the skin, eyes, and vagina. When used correctly, povidone iodine might cause mild side effects, but it can cause major problems when used incorrectly.

Recalled Air Freshener Spray Causes Melioidosis

Recalled Air Freshener Spray Causes Melioidosis

Melioidosis is a serious infection caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei. Humans can be exposed to the bacteria through contact with contaminated water or soil in tropical countries. In 2021, an outbreak of melioidosis occurred in the United States due to contaminated aromatherapy spray.

Ammonia: History, Usage and Safety

Ammonia: History, Usage and Safety

Ammonia is a chemical that can be naturally or artificially produced. The toxicity of ammonia depends on its concentration. Most household products containing ammonia are safe when used as directed, but some have the potential to cause burns. Industrial products are typically more concentrated and more likely to cause burns.

Keep Laundry Fragrance Booster Pellets out of Reach of Kids and Pets

Keep Laundry Fragrance Booster Pellets out of Reach of Kids and Pets

Laundry fragrance boosters are scented, dissolvable beads intended to extend the smell of fresh laundry for weeks beyond the wash date. Currently available products are relatively safe even when swallowed by children.

Laundry Detergent Pods and Children

Laundry Detergent Pods and Children

Laundry pods are a huge new category of cleaning product. For unknown reasons, this type of laundry liquid has caused dangerous injury to children and at least one death. Effects of biting into a laundry pod include coughing, choking, trouble breathing, coma, and possibly death. The detergent also can irritate the skin and burn the eyes.

What’s in drain cleaner, and what happens if you drink it? | Poison Control

What’s in drain cleaner, and what happens if you drink it? | Poison Control

Liquid drain cleaners contain potentially poisonous acidic or basic compounds, enzymes, and bacteria that are effective in clearing clogged drains. Since many drain cleaners contain highly concentrated corrosive chemicals, they must be used with caution. Consumption of non-enzymatic drain cleaners can result in serious burns, permanent tissue damage, and even death.

My Child Swallowed Automatic Dishwashing Detergent!

My Child Swallowed Automatic Dishwashing Detergent!

Automatic dishwashing detergents (ADDs) are available as powders, liquids, tablets, and pods. Exposure to ADDs is common and often results in irritation. Severe effects, such as burns and tissue damage, can also occur depending on the type of ADD, the amount, and the duration of exposure.

What happens when you drink bleach? | Poison Control

What happens when you drink bleach? | Poison Control

Household bleach is used for cleaning and disinfecting and can also be used in “bleach baths” as a medical treatment for atopic dermatitis. Swallowing, inhaling, or injecting bleach can cause serious medical problems.

Caution With Caustics

Caution With Caustics

Caustic products cause burns on contact with skin, eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract. More than other household products, caustic substances do their damage instantly. Injury cannot be reversed, only treated.

What’s in Wood Floor Cleaners?

What’s in Wood Floor Cleaners?

A variety of cleaning products are available to maintain wood floors. Wood floor cleaners are usually based on hydrocarbons, detergents, or glycol ether solvents. Each type carries its own precautions and potential adverse effects. Floor cleaners can also contain alcohol, weak acids, or alkaline chemicals to strengthen their cleaning properties.

Using Oven Cleaners Safely

Using Oven Cleaners Safely

The same qualities that make oven and grill cleaners desirable and effective–dissolving tough, baked-on food and grease–also make them poisonous. Oven and grill cleaners often have a high pH, making them alkaline corrosives. Upon contact, via any route, they can cause tissue damage, burns and, at the very least, irritation.

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

A clean home provides a healthy environment for your family, but household cleaning products can contain hazardous chemicals. Acid, alkali, bleach, polish, detergent? It’s important to be aware of the most common cleaner ingredients, what they are intended (and not intended) to do, and how to use them safely.

Cleaning Wipes

Cleaning Wipes

During the past decade, the use of cleaning wipes has increased substantially. Cleaning wipes are available for a variety of surfaces. Since they are meant to be used with bare hands, they are mostly water and are not commonly associated with toxicity.

Is Windex® Toxic? | Poison Control

Is Windex® Toxic? | Poison Control

Windex® products are designed for cleaning glass, outdoor furniture, and hard surfaces. There are many different formulations of Windex®. The ingredients vary between products, but they typically contain surfactants, solvents, and dyes. These chemicals are irritating when swallowed and can cause unwanted signs and symptoms including vomiting and abdominal pain.

Laundry Products

Laundry Products

Children get into all kinds of home laundry products. Some can cause irritation, from mild to painful: stain removers, pre-treatment agents, liquid and powder detergents, and fabric softeners. A few can cause burns or even death, such as rust remover and laundry pods. Bleach generally causes mild effects except for newer, concentrated bleach products.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been used as a "natural" remedy for a long time, especially for skin afflictions. There is some scientific evidence that tea tree oil can be effective for certain skin conditions. It is poisonous if swallowed and so should not be used in or around the mouth at all.


Cosmetics and personal care products

Can Sunscreen Cause a Sunburn?

Can Sunscreen Cause a Sunburn?

We use sunscreens to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays. In some cases though, the use of sunscreen can result in allergic reactions or photoallergic dermatitis. Fortunately, in most cases, the rash is self-limiting and can be prevented in the future by avoiding use of certain sunscreen products.

Povidone-iodine: Safe Use of a Common Antiseptic

Povidone-iodine: Safe Use of a Common Antiseptic

Povidone is found in both medical and household items and can cause mild symptoms with large ingestions. Povidone iodine is a common antiseptic used to disinfect the skin, eyes, and vagina. When used correctly, povidone iodine might cause mild side effects, but it can cause major problems when used incorrectly.

Concern about Hair Dye

Concern about Hair Dye

Even when hair dyes are used correctly, they can cause toxicity. Skin damage and allergic reactions are well documented. Eye exposure can cause a range of toxicities from mild irritation to loss of vision. Accidental swallowing can cause irritation or injury to the mouth and stomach as well as life-threatening allergic reactions.

Does Boric Acid Treat Vaginal Yeast Infections? | Poison Control

Does Boric Acid Treat Vaginal Yeast Infections? | Poison Control

Boric acid has antibacterial and antifungal properties, and boric acid suppositories are used by some women to treat vaginal yeast infections. The suppositories are meant to be inserted directly into the vagina, and should not be swallowed. Consumption of large amounts of boric acid may result in gastrointestinal distress, kidney problems, or death.

Chlorhexidine Adverse Effects

Chlorhexidine Adverse Effects

Chlorhexidine is an antibacterial agent that is commonly used in dental and surgical settings. Lower concentration products sold over the counter do not typically cause serious problems, but people can have adverse effects and allergic reactions even with normal use.

Chlorine Dioxide and Sodium Chlorite Oral Rinse Product Safety

Chlorine Dioxide and Sodium Chlorite Oral Rinse Product Safety

Chlorine dioxide and sodium chlorite are highly reactive disinfectants used to treat public water systems. They are also low-concentration ingredients in some mouthwash products. A sip is unlikely to cause anything beyond mild irritation, nausea, and short-term vomiting. Large amounts can oxidize red blood cells, making them incapable of carrying oxygen.

Are Deodorant and Antiperspirant the Same Thing? | Poison Control

Are Deodorant and Antiperspirant the Same Thing? | Poison Control

Deodorants work by controlling odor, while antiperspirants reduce the amount of sweat released from the body. Although some people question whether these products cause cancer or other diseases, deodorants and antiperspirants are considered to be safe when used as directed.

Are Genital Desensitizers Safe To Use?

Are Genital Desensitizers Safe To Use?

Genital desensitizers contain local anesthetics and are designed to numb the external genitalia to enhance sexual activities. When used in excess or too frequently, genital desensitizers can cause severe toxicity. Antidotes and medical treatments are available in hospital settings, but delays in seeking medical care can result in more severe symptoms or even death.

Are Diaper Rash Products Dangerous?

Are Diaper Rash Products Dangerous?

The bottom line for parents of infants and young children: products to prevent and treat diaper rash usually will not harm a child who swallows a small amount. The exception is talcum powder, which can be fatal if inhaled.

Are Styptic Pencils Poisonous?

Are Styptic Pencils Poisonous?

Styptic pencils contain aluminum compounds and are used to stop bleeding. The most common use for styptic pencils is to treat small cuts caused by shaving. When applied to the skin, they harden or coagulate the surface of a wound. However, they are not meant to be consumed and may cause stomach upset or nausea if swallowed.

Is It Safe to Make Soap at Home? | Poison Control

Is It Safe to Make Soap at Home? | Poison Control

Soapmaking is a popular home activity, but potentially hazardous chemicals are often involved. Use of pre-made soap bases, or “melt and pour” products, is a safer way to make homemade soap.

My Child Ate Toothpaste

My Child Ate Toothpaste

Toothpaste usually contains fluoride. Swallowing it can cause stomach upset. Although fluoride can lead to more serious toxicity in very large amounts, it is unlikely to occur from small, unintentional ingestions of over-the-counter, fluoride-containing toothpaste. 

The Baby Drank Shampoo

The Baby Drank Shampoo

Shampoos contain ingredients ranging from detergents to conditioners to vitamins, botanicals, and even beer. Some are formulated to be mild enough for babies, some contain medically active ingredients. Shampoo is a minimally toxic product when used on the hair and scalp but can cause symptoms if swallowed or splashed in the eye. 

Does Dry Shampoo Contain Benzene? | Poison Control

Does Dry Shampoo Contain Benzene? | Poison Control

Dry shampoo products are designed to absorb excess hair oils, mask odors, and add volume to hair. Some dry shampoo products may contain the chemical benzene, most likely as a contaminant. Although benzene exposure is associated with dangerous health effects, there is no evidence that occasional dry shampoo use is harmful to humans.

Is Botox safe

Is Botox safe

Botox®, Dysport®, and Xeomin® injections are popular cosmetic procedures. These injections contain a small amount of botulinum toxin. This is the same toxin that causes botulism, but these products contain much less of the toxin than is needed to cause disease in humans.

​Can I Use Nail Polish When Pregnant?

​Can I Use Nail Polish When Pregnant?

Nail polish contains chemicals that may have dangerous health effects after high-dose or long-term exposures. There is no evidence that occasional application of nail polish is harmful to pregnant women or fetuses.

Can Menthol Have Harmful Effects?

Can Menthol Have Harmful Effects?

Natural products such as peppermint oil have many components. Menthol is the most abundant compound found in peppermint oil. Menthol can cause superficial irritation in small amounts and severe systemic symptoms in large amounts.

Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer?

Does Sunscreen Cause Cancer?

Certain brands of sunscreen have been found to contain benzene, but at levels low enough that they are not likely to cause any acute health effects. The use of sunscreen is still recommended, but concerned individuals should avoid products contaminated with benzene.

​Carbamide Peroxide Toxicity

​Carbamide Peroxide Toxicity

Carbamide peroxide is most commonly used as an ear wax removal agent, oral rinse, and in home teeth-whitening products. High concentrations of carbamide peroxide can cause serious burns. Rarely, life-threatening toxicity can occur when carbamide peroxide is swallowed and oxygen bubbles form in the body and block blood flow to tissues.

My Child Swallowed Hair Chalk!

My Child Swallowed Hair Chalk!

Hair chalks are a fun, temporary way that anyone can use to alter their hair color. Hair chalks are made of substances like bentonite, calcium carbonate, and mica with added pigment. They are considered minimally toxic and not expected to result in serious injury except in the case of allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to the dye.

My Child Drank Perfume

My Child Drank Perfume

Most fragrance products contain alcohol; some contain up to 95%. Alcohol can cause serious effects in children. Fragrance products can also cause skin irritation, which will usually go away if you stop using the product. 

My Child Swallowed Hair Relaxer

My Child Swallowed Hair Relaxer

A hair relaxer is a cream or thick paste that chemically changes the texture of curly hair to make it straighter. If swallowed or upon contact with skin or eyes, hair relaxers can cause burns.

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome? | Poison Control

What is Toxic Shock Syndrome? | Poison Control

Toxic shock syndrome is a life-threatening disease caused by certain bacteria. People who have open wounds, who have had recent surgery, or who have devices within their bodies may be at risk for toxic shock syndrome.

Dangerous Denture Creams?

Dangerous Denture Creams?

Misuse of denture creams containing zinc was the cause of zinc poisoning in some denture wearers. Problems with dental creams are uncommon; anyone with symptoms needs a complete evaluation to determine the cause.

OUCH! That Stuff Got in My Eye!

OUCH! That Stuff Got in My Eye!

Sunscreen and insect repellent can find their way into the eyes, causing pain and irritation. Immediate rinsing with running water is the best first aid.

Is Eyelash Glue Toxic?

Is Eyelash Glue Toxic?

False eyelashes and lash extensions add an extra "pop" to your eyes. Temporary lashes are attached above the natural eyelashes with a temporary adhesive, while semi-permanent lash extensions are attached to the natural lashes with cyanoacrylate, the adhesive in Super Glue. If either kind of adhesive is used incorrectly, it can cause serious toxicity and injury.

Hair Styling Products

Hair Styling Products

Hair styling products are widely used. In general, they have a low risk of toxicity when used according to the instructions. Scalp, skin, or eye irritation are the most likely adverse effects.

The Safety of Hairspray

The Safety of Hairspray

When used as directed, hairspray is minimally toxic. Unintentional eye contact, inhalation, or ingestion of small amounts of hairspray might produce minor irritating effects. Irritation should improve by rinsing the eyes or mouth or getting fresh air. Deliberately swallowing or inhaling hairspray can be very dangerous.

Hand Sanitizer: What's the Real Story?

Hand Sanitizer: What's the Real Story?

A lick of hand sanitizer won't hurt a child or anyone else. Drinking it can cause alcohol poisoning, which can cause low blood sugar, coma, and seizures – though this is not common.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is available in several different concentrations. Exposures to small amounts of household (3%) hydrogen peroxide usually cause mild irritation. Higher concentrations can cause burns. Rarely, life-threatening effects can occur when oxygen bubbles from hydrogen peroxide travel to the blood and circulatory system, and block blood flow to tissues.

Is Micellar Water Safe?

Is Micellar Water Safe?

Micellar water is a cosmetic product that is used to remove dirt, oil, and makeup from the face. Micellar water is made up of water mixed with soap, hydrating chemicals, and perfumes. If swallowed, it is unlikely that a small amount of micellar water will result in poisoning, but it may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Micellar water can also be irritating if it gets in the eyes.

Is Lube Safe to Swallow?

Is Lube Safe to Swallow?

Personal lubricants come in many varieties but are generally safe when used correctly. The most common adverse effect from personal lubricants is irritation. Poisoning is unlikely, but depends on the specific active ingredients, the concentration of the active ingredients, and the amount and route of exposure. To prevent adverse effects, follow the manufacturer's guidelines for proper use.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been used as a "natural" remedy for a long time, especially for skin afflictions. There is some scientific evidence that tea tree oil can be effective for certain skin conditions. It is poisonous if swallowed and so should not be used in or around the mouth at all.


Cough and cold

I Just Broke A Thermometer. What Do I Do?

I Just Broke A Thermometer. What Do I Do?

A broken mercury-containing thermometer can be toxic if the vapors are inhaled. The risk of poisoning from touching or swallowing mercury from a broken thermometer is low if appropriate clean-up measures are taken. 

Dextromethorphan Abuse | Poison Control

Dextromethorphan Abuse | Poison Control

Dextromethorphan is an over-the-counter cough suppressant found in more than 120 cough and cold products. Recreational abuse has become increasingly common and leads to approximately 6000 emergency room visits a year. Recreational users intentionally exceed recommended doses to experience heightened awareness, altered time perception, and visual hallucinations.

Acetaminophen: Easier Dosing

Acetaminophen: Easier Dosing

Acetaminophen is a very safe medicine when used in recommended doses to treat pain and fever. But too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage and even death. This has happened when parents didn't understand the concentration or measurements. New formulations of acetaminophen for children make it easier to give the correct dose.

Alternative Medicines for Colds

Alternative Medicines for Colds

Just about everyone gets colds. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, cough, tiredness, sneezing, sore throat, and muscle aches. Symptoms last for up to two weeks. Most people get better on their own. Treatment is according to symptoms. In general, there is no reliable evidence that alternative medicines prevent or shorten colds.

Cough and Cold Medicine Safety

Cough and Cold Medicine Safety

Home remedies such as saline drops, gentle suctioning, humidity, and fluids are more effective than medicines for young children with coughs and colds. If home remedies don't work, consult the child's health care provider.

Are Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Safe? | Poison Control

Are Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Safe? | Poison Control

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are associated with serious adverse effects. For this reason, they are not the preferred treatment for many infections, but still have an important role for resistant bacteria and in patients with allergies to other antibiotics.

Antibiotics: Overdose vs Misuse

Antibiotics: Overdose vs Misuse

Antibiotic overdoses are rarely dangerous, but stomach upset and diarrhea may occur. Taking the wrong antibiotic is a problem if someone is allergic to the drug. Misuse of antibiotics is a problem for many reasons: an infection might not be cured, antibiotic-resistant organisms can develop, or, if a specific antibiotic is needed, it might not be effective.

Are Benzonatate Capsules Poisonous? | Poison Control

Are Benzonatate Capsules Poisonous? | Poison Control

Benzonatate is an anesthetic drug and cough suppressant. When benzonatate capsules are swallowed, the medication acts directly on the lungs to reduce coughing. Benzonatate is only approved for use in individuals 10 years of age and older. Younger children who take benzonatate may experience serious toxicity or even death.

Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex)

Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex)

Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex) inhalers can be bought without a prescription for use as a nasal decongestant but can be abused to help study or to get high. They should not be used for these purposes.

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for children under the age of four. Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for anyone. Mercury thermometers are now known to be a possible health risk if they break.

Can Menthol Have Harmful Effects?

Can Menthol Have Harmful Effects?

Natural products such as peppermint oil have many components. Menthol is the most abundant compound found in peppermint oil. Menthol can cause superficial irritation in small amounts and severe systemic symptoms in large amounts.

Cold Medicine Dosing Changes for Kids

Cold Medicine Dosing Changes for Kids

There is no evidence that cough and cold medicines are safe or effective for young children. There IS evidence that children have been harmed by overdoses of these products. Problems include seizures, coma, and death.

Is NyQuil Chicken Safe to Eat? | Poison Control

Is NyQuil Chicken Safe to Eat? | Poison Control

Viral videos on social media promote a trend called “NyQuil™ chicken” that involves cooking chicken in cough and cold medication. This is dangerous and may result in poisoning, both from the ingredients in NyQuil™ and the undercooked chicken.

Vaporizer Medicine: Dangerous to Swallow

Vaporizer Medicine: Dangerous to Swallow

Vaporizers can add moisture and medication to the air. This can help people who have colds, the flu, or allergies. However, medicated vaporizer liquids are poisonous to swallow.


Covid-19

I Swallowed Liquid from a COVID-19 Test Kit

I Swallowed Liquid from a COVID-19 Test Kit

Rapid home COVID-19 antigen tests contain a small amount of the toxic chemical sodium azide, but the risk of poisoning is low when these tests are used and disposed of properly.

Can Molnupiravir Treat COVID-19 Infection?

Can Molnupiravir Treat COVID-19 Infection?

Molnupiravir is an oral medication currently being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19 infection and has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials. The pharmaceutical company Merck recently applied for an EUA for molnupiravir from the US FDA.

Is Ivermectin Safe To Use for Covid-19?

Is Ivermectin Safe To Use for Covid-19?

Ivermectin has been safely used to treat parasites (such as heart and intestinal worms) in animals and is approved for use in humans for parasite infections, head lice, and rosacea. It has not been shown to be effective for preventing or treating COVID-19 infection and taking products not intended for human use may lead to serious adverse effects.

Turmeric: From the Kitchen to Cancer and COVID-19

Turmeric: From the Kitchen to Cancer and COVID-19

Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite its popularity, turmeric is actually poorly absorbed by the human body. Although some have advocated for its use as a treatment for COVID-19, data to support the use of turmeric for COVID-19 are lacking.

Can Oclacitinib treat COVID-19 infections?

Can Oclacitinib treat COVID-19 infections?

Janus kinase (“JAK”) inhibitors target and reduce inflammation. One JAK inhibitor, baricitinib, is used to treat COVID-19 infection. The JAK inhibitor oclacitinib (Apoquel®) has not been studied in humans and is not used to treat COVID-19 infection.

Fluvoxamine as COVID-19 Treatment?

Fluvoxamine as COVID-19 Treatment?

Fluvoxamine is a medication that has been used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. Recent clinical trials have shown that it may be effective for preventing hospitalizations and complications of COVID-19 infection, but it is not quite ready for prime time.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects

Two old drugs used for malaria, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, are being studied for their potential to treat coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Side effects from these drugs can be very serious and include irregular heart rhythms that can result in death. Check state COVID-19 website resources and telephone hotlines for more information about COVID-19 in your area.

Cleaning Wipes

Cleaning Wipes

During the past decade, the use of cleaning wipes has increased substantially. Cleaning wipes are available for a variety of surfaces. Since they are meant to be used with bare hands, they are mostly water and are not commonly associated with toxicity.

Is it Safe to Take Paxlovid® with My Other Medications?

Is it Safe to Take Paxlovid® with My Other Medications?

Paxlovid® is an oral medication that recently received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent severe COVID-19 infection in high-risk individuals who test positive for the virus. While it is generally well tolerated, Paxlovid interacts with many commonly used medications, which can lead to toxicity.


Food and drink

Turmeric: From the Kitchen to Cancer and COVID-19

Turmeric: From the Kitchen to Cancer and COVID-19

Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite its popularity, turmeric is actually poorly absorbed by the human body. Although some have advocated for its use as a treatment for COVID-19, data to support the use of turmeric for COVID-19 are lacking.

I Swallowed A Cherry Pit!

I Swallowed A Cherry Pit!

Although the seeds of stone fruits naturally contain cyanide, small unintentional ingestions generally do not cause harm. However, swallowing, crushing, or chewing the seeds should be avoided. Swallowing stone fruit pits, kernels, or seeds as complementary or alternative medicine is unsupported by scientific evidence and is dangerous and possibly deadly.

What is a Hangover and Can It Be Cured?

What is a Hangover and Can It Be Cured?

Hangovers are unpleasant symptoms that occur after consumption of alcohol. Even though many products are marketed as hangover treatments, there is no cure for this condition. The best way to prevent a hangover is to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Celebrate a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

Celebrate a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

Family, friends, delicious food...Thanksgiving is a happy time of year. Keep your gathering fun and healthy by following some simple guidelines for food preparation and home safety. Take a few minutes to review your Thanksgiving plans. And leave room for the pumpkin pie!

Grilling Meat: Is It a Cancer Risk?

Grilling Meat: Is It a Cancer Risk?

There is some evidence that people who eat a lot of charred or very well done meat have a higher risk of cancer, particularly of the breast, prostate, colon, rectum, and pancreas. To minimize the potential risks, minimize both the amount of time that meat is cooked at high heat and the amount of smoke in contact with the meat.

Sodium: Too Much of a Good Thing

Sodium: Too Much of a Good Thing

Sodium is found in table salt, rock salt, pickling salt, and sea salt; soy sauce contains high levels of sodium. Sodium is essential to human health, but too much sodium is poisonous. Sodium poisoning can cause seizures, coma, and death.

Is Smelly Urine Anything to Worry About?

Is Smelly Urine Anything to Worry About?

The characteristic odor of urine is likely due to the presence of volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s, which are eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Strong urine odors may be related to metabolic conditions, infections, or dehydration.

Bongkrekic Acid Poisoning From Fermented Food

Bongkrekic Acid Poisoning From Fermented Food

Bongkrekic acid is a deadly poison that is found in fermented food including wet noodles and presscake from China, Indonesia, and Mozambique. Bongkrekic acid attacks the mitochondria and can cause liver failure, kidney injury, and death. There is no safe dose of this poison.

Is Alcohol Dangerous? | Poison Control

Is Alcohol Dangerous? | Poison Control

Ethanol, found in alcoholic beverages, is safe for most adults in moderation. Excessive ethanol intake and consumption of other types of alcohol can be dangerous.

Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful Algal Blooms

Warm temperatures, sunlight, and added nutrients can cause an overgrowth or “bloom” of algae in bodies of water. Some algae produce toxins that can poison people or animals when they swallow, swim in, or inhale the water or when they eat fish that live there.

Vinegar is not Always Safe | Poison Control

Vinegar is not Always Safe | Poison Control

Vinegar is a common ingredient in many foods. There is limited evidence that vinegar has legitimate medicinal uses. Vinegar can cause injury if improperly used.

Cheese, Beer, and Serotonin: Making Sense of MAO Inhibitors

Cheese, Beer, and Serotonin: Making Sense of MAO Inhibitors

MAO inhibitors are commonly used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and depression. Serious medical conditions can occur if MAO inhibitors are used in higher doses or taken in overdose. In addition, people who take MAO inhibitors should avoid eating certain foods, to reduce their risk of unwanted side effects.

"Needle Spiking" and Other Drug-Facilitated Crimes

"Needle Spiking" and Other Drug-Facilitated Crimes

Needle spiking involves the secret injection of poisonous substances into unsuspecting individuals and represents a form of drug-facilitated crime. It is a scary concept but it is also fortunately a rare occurrence.

Mustard and Mustard Oil Safety

Mustard and Mustard Oil Safety

Mustard is a popular condiment worldwide, but it can cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Mustard oil is often used for cooking, but only essential mustard oil is approved for use in foods by the United States FDA. Because it may cause health problems in animals, expressed mustard oil is prohibited from use in foods in the United States.

Halloween: Tricks, Treats, and Glow Sticks

Halloween: Tricks, Treats, and Glow Sticks

Halloween treats are great. Tricks are not! Go with your children when they trick-or-treat. Look at the goodies before they're eaten. Rinse liquid from glow sticks out of eyes if it's splashed. Drink some water if it's swallowed. And, stick to actual cosmetics meant for the skin when making up.

Botulism and Honey. What's the Connection?

Botulism and Honey. What's the Connection?

Botulism is a rare but dangerous type of poisoning that affects the nervous system. Honey can contain botulism spores; these spores release a toxin that can poison infants. The most dangerous effect is paralysis of the diaphragm, which means the infants cannot breathe on their own without a respirator until the disease is cured.

Kitchen Surprises and Cautions

Kitchen Surprises and Cautions

Some ordinary kitchen ingredients can be harmful if children swallow large amounts. Examples include alcohol-based flavoring extracts, oil of wintergreen, and nutmeg. Poppy seeds can cause a positive drug screen if someone eats a lot shortly before a drug test.

Chocolate and Dogs

Chocolate and Dogs

When swallowed by dogs, chocolate can cause nausea, vomiting, tremors, and seizures. Effects can begin within a short time. Treatment should begin quickly. There are no specific antidotes for this poisoning in animals.

​Are Cured Meats Safe to Eat?

​Are Cured Meats Safe to Eat?

The “curing” process involves the addition of nitrates and nitrites to meats. While swallowing large amounts of nitrates or nitrites can be dangerous, exposure to the levels typically present in meats is not likely to be harmful.

Horse Chestnuts are Toxic

Horse Chestnuts are Toxic

All parts of the horse chestnut tree are toxic, but the greatest concern is for horse chestnut seeds. These can be easily mistaken for edible chestnuts. Horse chestnut seed pods usually contain only one seed, while edible chestnut pods contain multiple seeds. Eating horse chestnuts can result in serious stomach upset.

Are Sprouted Potatoes Safe?

Are Sprouted Potatoes Safe?

You're better off tossing potatoes that have turned green or grown sprouts. Eating them puts you at risk for potential toxicity from solanine and chaconine, two natural toxins found in green or sprouted potatoes.

Are Raw Oysters Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Are Raw Oysters Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Raw shellfish can carry bacteria and parasites that can cause life-threatening infections in pregnant women and their unborn children. Avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish, including oysters, if you are pregnant.

Are Skittles safe to eat? | Poison Control

Are Skittles safe to eat? | Poison Control

Skittles contain titanium dioxide, a chemical used as a whitening agent in foods. Titanium dioxide is associated with cancer development after inhalational exposures, and it may have effects on DNA and gastrointestinal system function.

What are Cannabis Drinks? | Poison Control

What are Cannabis Drinks? | Poison Control

Cannabis-infused drinks contain the mind-altering ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These drinks, which can be purchased at dispensaries or online, contain various amounts of THC in addition to alcohol, caffeine, or other cannabis derivatives. The safety of these drinks has not been studied extensively in humans.

​Arsenic in Baby Rice Cereals

​Arsenic in Baby Rice Cereals

Arsenic is a known human poison, and can cause severe health effects after high-level or chronic exposures. Arsenic is present in rice and is also found in infant rice cereal. Fortunately, the relatively short duration of time in which infants are given rice cereal in their diets significantly reduces the risk of arsenic poisoning. In addition, providing a balanced diet can also help reduce an infant’s exposure to arsenic.

Xylitol: Artificial Sweetener Can Poison Your Pet

Xylitol: Artificial Sweetener Can Poison Your Pet

Xylitol is a sweetener that is safe for humans but poisonous to pets.

Baby Formula Recall, Cronobacter Contamination | Poison Control

Baby Formula Recall, Cronobacter Contamination | Poison Control

Powdered infant formula is not required to be sterile, and in rare cases it may be contaminated with bacteria. Cronobacter contamination of powdered infant formula can cause serious illness in infants, including meningitis and death.

My Child Got Into The Baking Soda

My Child Got Into The Baking Soda

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Both sodium and bicarbonate can cause serious toxicity if too much is swallowed.

Do Protein Bars Give You Gas?

Do Protein Bars Give You Gas?

Protein bars often contain compounds called sugar alcohols, which are lower in calories than traditional sugars. Sugar alcohols are associated with multiple gastrointestinal side effects including abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.

Cake Decorating "Luster Dust" Can Be Poisonous

Cake Decorating "Luster Dust" Can Be Poisonous

Cake decorations such as luster dust often add sparkle or color to sweet confections. While some cake decorating products are edible, others may contain heavy metals that can cause poisonous effects when swallowed.

Lime Juice + Sun Can Cause Skin Rashes

Lime Juice + Sun Can Cause Skin Rashes

When human skin is exposed to ultraviolet light and certain natural plant-derived substances, a skin condition called “phytophotodermatitis” can occur. This condition is frequently reported after skin exposure to the combination of sunlight and lime juice, and can include skin rashes, blistering, and dark pigmentation. Although it may be painful, phytophotodermatitis generally resolves on its own over time.

Can Halloween candy poison me? | Poison Control

Can Halloween candy poison me? | Poison Control

Halloween is a holiday synonymous with costume contests and consumption of sugary candy. Eating certain types of sweets, including black licorice and sugar free candy, may result in unwanted toxic effects for trick-or-treaters. Consumption of cannabis edibles or rainbow fentanyl, which may resemble familiar candy or snack products, can also cause dangerous toxicity.

Capsaicin: When the "Chili" Is Too Hot

Capsaicin: When the "Chili" Is Too Hot

Capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers, can be intensely irritating on the skin, in the eyes, to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, and if inhaled.

What is the Raw Carrot Salad Social Media Trend? | Poison Control

What is the Raw Carrot Salad Social Media Trend? | Poison Control

Raw carrot salad is a social media trend, with videos promising hormone balance, fewer acne breakouts, and improved digestion after salad consumption. Carrots contain fiber that may help regulate digestion, but there is no proven association between raw carrot consumption and hormone balance. Additionally, eating large amounts of carrots may result in unwanted side effects.

Is NyQuil Chicken Safe to Eat? | Poison Control

Is NyQuil Chicken Safe to Eat? | Poison Control

Viral videos on social media promote a trend called “NyQuil™ chicken” that involves cooking chicken in cough and cold medication. This is dangerous and may result in poisoning, both from the ingredients in NyQuil™ and the undercooked chicken.

Food Poisoning from Ciguatera

Food Poisoning from Ciguatera

Ciguatera fish poisoning is caused by eating fish that have themselves eaten fish contaminated with a toxin called ciguatoxin. Ciguatoxin cannot be detected by taste or appearance or prevented by cooking or freezing the fish. Treatment is available, but symptoms may last for months or years.

​Why do onions make you cry? | Poison Control

​Why do onions make you cry? | Poison Control

Onions are pungent, contain plentiful nutrients, and have many potential health benefits. When cut or damaged, onions can cause eye irritation and tear production due to the formation of a sulfur-containing chemicals (called “lachrymatory factor”).

What is Listeria? | Poison Control

What is Listeria? | Poison Control

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial species that causes foodborne illness in humans. Listeria infection can occur after consumption of contaminated meats, dairy products, and produce. Pregnant women, children, and people with compromised immune systems are at high risk for severe complications of Listeria infection.  

Food Poisoning from Fish: Scombroid

Food Poisoning from Fish: Scombroid

Scombroid poisoning occurs when people eat fish that were not properly stored. The appearance and taste of the fish is usually normal and cooking or freezing the fish cannot prevent scombroid. Scombroid poisoning can be scary and uncomfortable, but most people recover with simple treatment.

Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

There are many possible causes of food poisoning: bacteria, viruses, pesticides, natural toxins, molds, parasites, and more. There are so many types of food poisoning that there are many possible symptoms. Food poisoning is especially dangerous for infants, young children, elderly people, and those with chronic health conditions or weak immune systems.

What Is Lycopene?

What Is Lycopene?

Lycopene is a carotenoid − a natural pigment that gives some vegetables and fruits their red color. There are several published studies that evaluate whether lycopene in tomato products or supplements could have protective effects against prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, there is not enough evidence to say that lycopene provides such health benefits.

​Is Sea Turtle Meat Poisonous?

​Is Sea Turtle Meat Poisonous?

Chelonitoxism is a rare and potentially life-threatening disease that occurs due to consumption of contaminated sea turtle meat. There is no known antidote for chelonitoxism, but the disease can be prevented by avoiding the consumption of raw or cooked sea turtles.


Gasoline and fuels

My Child just Took A Swig of Motor Oil

My Child just Took A Swig of Motor Oil

Motor oil can be very harmful if swallowed and aspirated into the lungs. Patients with respiratory symptoms after ingesting motor oil need to go to an ER for help. Used motor oil has contaminants, but a one-time exposure is unlikely to cause toxicity.

Gasoline and Toddlers: Summer Risks

Gasoline and Toddlers: Summer Risks

Children get into gasoline most often in the summertime. If they're outside the car at the gas station, they get splashed; this can irritate the eyes or skin. If someone transfers gas to a food or drink container, kids drink it. Drinking gasoline can lead to gagging on it; this can lead to pneumonia and lung damage.

Corn Oil? Torch Fuel? Apple Juice?

Corn Oil? Torch Fuel? Apple Juice?

Torch fuel can look like apple juice. Making that mistake has cost people their lives.

My Child Swallowed Lamp Oil

My Child Swallowed Lamp Oil

Lamp oil can provide warm, glowing light. If swallowed, however, lamp oil can cause serious injury that might not be apparent right away.

Dangerous Household Hydrocarbons

Dangerous Household Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons include baby oil, mineral oil, household lubricating oil, lamp oil, torch fuel, lighter fluid, gasoline, kerosene, motor oil, heating oil, hair oil, and some kinds of furniture polish. These slippery liquids easily can be breathed into someone's lungs when they try to swallow them. This can cause pneumonia and death.

Siphoning Gasoline

Siphoning Gasoline

Siphoning gasoline can lead to aspiration, gasoline entering the lungs. This can cause pneumonia, coma, and death.


Herbals and supplements

Turmeric: From the Kitchen to Cancer and COVID-19

Turmeric: From the Kitchen to Cancer and COVID-19

Turmeric is a popular spice that has been used for centuries as an herbal medicine due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Despite its popularity, turmeric is actually poorly absorbed by the human body. Although some have advocated for its use as a treatment for COVID-19, data to support the use of turmeric for COVID-19 are lacking.

5-HTP Safety Concerns

5-HTP Safety Concerns

5-HTP, which comes from tryptophan found in our diet, is the precursor of serotonin. It is available as a supplement and has appealed to researchers and the public for the treatment of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a wide range of other conditions. To date, evidence of its effectiveness has been inconclusive and there are important safety concerns.

Aconitum napellus (Monkshood): A Purple Poison

Aconitum napellus (Monkshood): A Purple Poison

Aconitum napellus flowers look beautiful, but swallowing any part of the plant could be deadly.

Can A Myers' Cocktail Help Me?

Can A Myers' Cocktail Help Me?

The Myers' cocktail contains vitamins and electrolytes and is used to treat various medical conditions. Although the ingredients are natural and seemingly safe, this treatment is associated with adverse effects and there is limited evidence supporting the benefits of its use.

Is herbal abortion safe? | Poison Control

Is herbal abortion safe? | Poison Control

When used for fertility regulation or abortion, herbal preparations may cause significant side effects. Liver damage, breathing difficulties, and death can occur after use of herbal products for contraception or pregnancy termination.

What to Know About California Poppy Products

What to Know About California Poppy Products

The California poppy (Echscholzia californica) has been used as an herbal product and can be purchased as as capsules, tablets, loose leaves for tea, and an extract. The plant contains several alkaloids which some believe can help with sleep, anxiety, and pain. However, there are no useful studies conducted in humans that support these claims.

What You Need to Know about Glucosamine

What You Need to Know about Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a natural substance found in cartilage. In the US, it is sold as a dietary supplement and promoted to reduce osteoarthritis pain. It is generally safe and well-tolerated. However, strong scientific evidence showing that it actually works is lacking and dietary supplements are not regulated in the same vigorous manner as medications.

What is N-acetylcysteine?

What is N-acetylcysteine?

N-acetylcysteine may have a role in detoxification, immune function, and cellular health, and is often used as a dietary supplement. More research is needed to better understand how N-acetylcysteine can affect human health.

Alternative Medicines for Colds

Alternative Medicines for Colds

Just about everyone gets colds. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, cough, tiredness, sneezing, sore throat, and muscle aches. Symptoms last for up to two weeks. Most people get better on their own. Treatment is according to symptoms. In general, there is no reliable evidence that alternative medicines prevent or shorten colds.

Can Fish Oil Prevent Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia?

Can Fish Oil Prevent Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia?

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with many health benefits. While omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, more studies are needed to better define the precise details of this relationship.

​Hawthorn as an Herbal Remedy

​Hawthorn as an Herbal Remedy

Hawthorn has long been used in Chinese and Western medicine to treat various illnesses. The most studied use of hawthorn is for congestive heart failure (CHF). Its effectiveness for CHF and other conditions is limited, but so is its toxicity. However, it is always best to consult with your primary care provider and pharmacist before starting any herbal regimen to avoid any potential interactions with prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Poisons and Pregnancy

Poisons and Pregnancy

There is a lot of information about avoiding drugs, alcohol, and tobacco while pregnant. There are some other poisons to be aware of if you're pregnant, including herbal medications, supplements, lead, and carbon monoxide.

Ginkgo Biloba: Risks and Benefits

Ginkgo Biloba: Risks and Benefits

Ginkgo biloba is used by many people in an effort to improve memory and slow age-related intellectual decline, but solid evidence to support these benefits is limited. Ginkgo biloba is generally considered safe, but it can cause adverse effects and interactions with other drugs.

Clenbuterol: Unapproved and Unsafe

Clenbuterol: Unapproved and Unsafe

Clenbuterol is a medication used to treat asthma and COPD in some countries, but it is not FDA-approved for human use in the United States. It is widely misused for possible anabolic and fat-burning effects, which have only been shown in animals. Clenbuterol causes toxicity at low doses. Symptoms include tremors, high heart rate, low blood potassium, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

Safety and Benefits of Lutein

Safety and Benefits of Lutein

Lutein, a nutrient found mainly in leafy green vegetables, is thought to protect against light-induced retina damage. While some studies show positive results from lutein use, more research is needed to determine its definitive benefits and safety.

Is My Medication or Dietary Supplement Making Me Tired and Depressed?

Is My Medication or Dietary Supplement Making Me Tired and Depressed?

Multiple medications, including dietary supplements, can cause fatigue or other mood disorders. People with excessive fatigue, depression, or anxiety should seek medical care for further evaluation, including a review of all medications and supplements used.

Mixing Meds, Herbs and Supplements

Mixing Meds, Herbs and Supplements

There are nearly 1500 documented interactions between drugs, herbal medicines, and dietary supplements. These interactions can cause a wide variety of harmful effects. Taking an herb or supplement could change the way a prescription medicine works in the body, causing symptoms like an overdose. Or, it might cause the medicine not to work at all.

Valerian Benefits and Risks | Poison Control

Valerian Benefits and Risks | Poison Control

Valerian is an herbal dietary supplement sold over-the-counter (OTC) for its sedative and calming effects. It is generally considered safe and well-tolerated; however, scientific evidence showing its effectiveness is inconclusive.

Herbal Medicines and Orthopedic Surgery

Herbal Medicines and Orthopedic Surgery

Some herbal medicines and dietary supplements can affect blood clotting. This can complicate surgery and recovery if patients and doctors don't discuss ALL the medicines a patient is taking.

Safety and Characteristics of Sleep Medications

Safety and Characteristics of Sleep Medications

Sleep deprivation is a common condition among US adults. Non-drug approaches should be tried first. Medicines for sleep include prescription agents, OTC drugs, and dietary supplements. Many sleep aids can cause dependence or next-day drowsiness. Dietary supplements and herbals promoted to help sleep are not approved by the FDA as safe or effective.

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?

Many weight loss supplements contain ingredients that are contaminated, ineffective, dangerous, or actually illegal. Some people become ill after taking these products. Some have interactions with medicines. It can be hard to get your money back. Worst of all, these products often don't help.

​What are Safe Treatments for Morning Sickness?

​What are Safe Treatments for Morning Sickness?

Morning sickness is quite common during pregnancy and can lead to severe complications for some women. Fortunately, there are multiple treatment options available, including both prescription and non-prescription medications.

Caution When Using Arnica Products

Caution When Using Arnica Products

Arnica is used as a flavoring for food and drinks and as a homeopathic treatment for many ailments. It is fairly safe when used for short periods or in very diluted forms. However, eating the plant, the topical creams or ointments, or the plant extracts or oils can result in serious poisoning.

Dry Scooping Can Be Life-Threatening

Dry Scooping Can Be Life-Threatening

Pre-workout supplements can contain caffeine and other ingredients which can be poisonous when taken in large amounts. Dry scooping, or consumption of undiluted pre-workout powder, can be life-threatening.

Is White Mulberry Poisonous? | Poison Control

Is White Mulberry Poisonous? | Poison Control

White mulberry is a leafy tree that grows across the United States. The leaves contain considerable amounts of fiber and protein, and white mulberry leaf extracts are used as a dietary supplement for management of blood sugar, weight, and other conditions. White mulberry is generally associated with few adverse effects in humans.

Kombucha Tea: Health Tonic or Dangerous?

Kombucha Tea: Health Tonic or Dangerous?

Kombucha tea is a slightly effervescent, slightly alcoholic liquid for which many health claims are made. Home-brewed kombucha tea has been associated with several adverse health events. There are no scientific studies to support the many health claims made for kombucha tea, though it has a long history of use.

Don't Give Herbal Supplements to Infants

Don't Give Herbal Supplements to Infants

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be fed only with breast milk or formula until at least four to six months of age. Children have developed seizures and infections from herbal teas and remedies, lead poisoning and mercury poisoning from traditional remedies, and liver damage from dietary supplements.

Side Effects of Ginseng

Side Effects of Ginseng

"Natural" does not always mean "safe." Like all medicines, herbal products and supplements are expected to have some side effects, and ginseng is no exception. Some side effects are related to the natural toxicity of the plants they come from or from problems in manufacturing.

Essential Oils: Poisonous when Misused

Essential Oils: Poisonous when Misused

Essential oils are derived from plant parts. Because they have a scent, essential oils are often used in perfumes, cosmetics, room fresheners, and flavorings. Many have a history of medicinal use, too. Misuse of essential oils can cause serious poisoning.

​Is it Safe to Take Thyroid Hormones for Weight Loss?

​Is it Safe to Take Thyroid Hormones for Weight Loss?

Thyroid hormones can be found in prescription medications and in some over-the-counter weight loss supplements. Thyroid hormones should not be used for routine weight loss.

What Is Lycopene?

What Is Lycopene?

Lycopene is a carotenoid − a natural pigment that gives some vegetables and fruits their red color. There are several published studies that evaluate whether lycopene in tomato products or supplements could have protective effects against prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, there is not enough evidence to say that lycopene provides such health benefits.

Kava Kava

Kava Kava

Kava kava is an herbal product sold over the counter for its possible calming effect. Recently, the FDA has offered recommendations on restricting kava kava in some groups because certain formulations might cause liver damage. 

Took Too Much Melatonin?

Took Too Much Melatonin?

Melatonin occurs naturally in the body and is involved in the natural regulation of sleep. Melatonin is sometimes used as a dietary supplement to help people sleep. Like other dietary supplements, there are few studies that have examined its effectiveness. Toxicity from melatonin appears to be mild.

Melatonin

Melatonin

To date, there are no definite answers about how well melatonin works, how safe it is when taken for long periods, or what constitutes a melatonin overdose.

Pennyroyal oil

Pennyroyal oil

Pennyroyal oil is an herbal extract from a plant in the mint family and has been used for centuries as a folk remedy. Pennyroyal oil is highly toxic, and its use has resulted in severe illness, liver failure, and death.


Holiday and travel

How to Treat a Lionfish Sting

How to Treat a Lionfish Sting

Lionfish are invasive, meat-eating fish that reproduce quickly. They have spread to non-native waters and can quickly destroy reef ecosystems. They have defensive spines on the top and bottom of their bodies that can cause painful stings. Symptoms following lionfish stings can include swelling, tenderness, redness, sweating, and muscle weakness.

Celebrate a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

Celebrate a Healthy and Happy Thanksgiving

Family, friends, delicious food...Thanksgiving is a happy time of year. Keep your gathering fun and healthy by following some simple guidelines for food preparation and home safety. Take a few minutes to review your Thanksgiving plans. And leave room for the pumpkin pie!

Can Sunscreen Cause a Sunburn?

Can Sunscreen Cause a Sunburn?

We use sunscreens to protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays. In some cases though, the use of sunscreen can result in allergic reactions or photoallergic dermatitis. Fortunately, in most cases, the rash is self-limiting and can be prevented in the future by avoiding use of certain sunscreen products.

Pets and Holiday Hazards

Pets and Holiday Hazards

A number of holiday decorations and treats can be hazards to a pet's health. Batteries can cause internal burns, water from tree stands and left-over food can contain bacteria, and decorations and plants can be choking hazards. Also, human medicines may be more easily in reach.

Halloween: Tricks, Treats, and Glow Sticks

Halloween: Tricks, Treats, and Glow Sticks

Halloween treats are great. Tricks are not! Go with your children when they trick-or-treat. Look at the goodies before they're eaten. Rinse liquid from glow sticks out of eyes if it's splashed. Drink some water if it's swallowed. And, stick to actual cosmetics meant for the skin when making up.

Are Holi Colors Safe?

Are Holi Colors Safe?

Holi is a colorful spring Hindu festival. Part of the celebration is throwing brightly colored powders into the air and onto others. These powders should be from safe and natural sources, but some contain metals and other potentially dangerous substances. Safely enjoy your Holi celebrations by covering your skin, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Are poinsettias poisonous? | Poison Control

Are poinsettias poisonous? | Poison Control

The poinsettia plant is often considered deadly. That's wrong. Poinsettia can be irritating but it is not fatal if eaten. If children and pets eat it, they can develop a mouth rash and stomach upset. The sap can cause a skin rash, too.

Bubble Lights - The Hazards of Nostalgia

Bubble Lights - The Hazards of Nostalgia

Bubble lights may contain methylene chloride. If swallowed or absorbed through the skin, methylene chloride becomes carbon monoxide inside the body.

Christmas Tree Preservatives

Christmas Tree Preservatives

Christmas tree preservatives aren't necessary. Commercial preservatives may cause stomach upset and vomiting in children and pets who swallow them. Home-made preservatives may contain ingredients that are harmful to children and pets.

Christmas Ornament Hazards

Christmas Ornament Hazards

Glass Christmas ornaments can be attractive to young children and can break easily. Stepping or crawling on the glass is a problem, but some ornaments also contain lead, mercury, or methylene chloride, which can poison children if they touch, taste, or swallow them. Even though they are sharp, small glass pieces usually pass through the digestive tract uneventfully.

Is mistletoe poisonous? | Poison Control

Is mistletoe poisonous? | Poison Control

Mistletoe has a reputation for being deadly, but is that reputation deserved? Until recent studies were published, the American mistletoe genus, Phoradendron, was widely considered to be extremely poisonous. Swallowing American mistletoe can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset but is not likely to cause serious poisoning in small, unintentional ingestions. 

Glow Sticks: Ouch in the Eyes

Glow Sticks: Ouch in the Eyes

Liquid from glow sticks can cause alarming eye pain but rarely cause injury.

Fireplace Perils

Fireplace Perils

Fireplace flame color enhancers may contain heavy metals and/or caustic agents. Fire gel starter may contain methanol or hydrocarbons; both are toxic in small quantities. Fires can release poisonous carbon monoxide into the air.

Fireworks Safety Tips

Fireworks Safety Tips

When used responsibly, fireworks are a fun way to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, serious injuries, poisonings, and fatalities can occur when they are mishandled, unintentionally swallowed, or when they malfunction. For this reason, it is extremely important to understand the risks and follow safety guidelines when handling them.

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Travel Safely: Tips for the Holiday Season

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house - or maybe on a cruise - or perhaps to a hotel in a new city or a foreign country?  Wherever your destination for the holidays, by automobile, plane, ship or sleigh, a little planning will help keep holiday travel safe and enjoyable. 

Holiday Poison Prevention

Holiday Poison Prevention

Keep your children safe during travel and holiday events by following seasonal tips from Poison Control.

Holiday Poison Safety

Holiday Poison Safety

Don't invite poison to your holidays! Poisonings increase when families travel. Some holiday decorations and plants can be poisonous. Button batteries and tiny magnets are VERY dangerous if children swallow them! There are several ways to prevent food poisoning. Cleaning up after a party could prevent children from swallowing poisons the next morning.

Prevention & Treatment of Stingray Injuries

Prevention & Treatment of Stingray Injuries

Stingrays have long, thin, whip-like tails equipped with one to three barbed venomous spinal blades. Although they are generally shy, they may strike when unintentionally stepped on. Their venom causes intense pain, but the main risk of a stingray injury is the puncture wound. Hot water immersion and good wound care are central to managing stingray injuries.


Homeopathic products

Can A Myers' Cocktail Help Me?

Can A Myers' Cocktail Help Me?

The Myers' cocktail contains vitamins and electrolytes and is used to treat various medical conditions. Although the ingredients are natural and seemingly safe, this treatment is associated with adverse effects and there is limited evidence supporting the benefits of its use.

Recalled Air Freshener Spray Causes Melioidosis

Recalled Air Freshener Spray Causes Melioidosis

Melioidosis is a serious infection caused by the bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei. Humans can be exposed to the bacteria through contact with contaminated water or soil in tropical countries. In 2021, an outbreak of melioidosis occurred in the United States due to contaminated aromatherapy spray.

​Hawthorn as an Herbal Remedy

​Hawthorn as an Herbal Remedy

Hawthorn has long been used in Chinese and Western medicine to treat various illnesses. The most studied use of hawthorn is for congestive heart failure (CHF). Its effectiveness for CHF and other conditions is limited, but so is its toxicity. However, it is always best to consult with your primary care provider and pharmacist before starting any herbal regimen to avoid any potential interactions with prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Caution When Using Arnica Products

Caution When Using Arnica Products

Arnica is used as a flavoring for food and drinks and as a homeopathic treatment for many ailments. It is fairly safe when used for short periods or in very diluted forms. However, eating the plant, the topical creams or ointments, or the plant extracts or oils can result in serious poisoning.

Homeopathic Medications for Children

Homeopathic Medications for Children

Most homeopathic medications are not poisonous IF they are diluted correctly and don't contain alcohol. Some homeopathic products have caused toxicity, adverse reactions, and allergic reactions. Others don't contain any active ingredients and may not be appropriate treatment for a condition. FDA does not evaluate homeopathic


Ibuprofen

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. They are also found in combination products such as cough and cold medicines. An overdose of these medications may cause stomach upset, abdominal pain, and vomiting, kidney damage, ulcers, bleeding, seizures, and coma.


Indoor hazards

My Child Ate a Match!

My Child Ate a Match!

Unintentionally swallowing a few match tips is not dangerous but would be expected to cause some minor irritation to the mouth and stomach. Swallowing a large number of matches can cause serious effects including damage to red blood cells and organs such as the kidneys and liver.

When Is Drywall A Problem?

When Is Drywall A Problem?

While there have been concerns about contaminated drywall emitting sulfurous gases, there is little evidence to show that uncontaminated drywall is linked to serious health risks.

Children and Spray Bottles: A Hazard

Children and Spray Bottles: A Hazard

More and more household cleaning products are found in spray bottles. More and more children are being poisoned by those products. Cleaning products in spray bottles are now the leading source of cleaning products that poison children. Most injuries are to the eyes and head. It's important to wash the skin and eyes right away with lots of running water.

Planning a Home Remodel?

Planning a Home Remodel?

So many poison prevention stories are about children, but when it comes to home remodeling, adults are at risk, too. Children, adults, and pets can become sick if home renovations are not carried out carefully.

What You Need to Know About Caulk

What You Need to Know About Caulk

There are various kinds of caulking compounds on the market, each geared to a specific kind of project. Most caulks are made up of acrylic, latex, silicone, or a combination of all three. In general, caulk is only a mild irritant.

​Taste Aversive Agents

​Taste Aversive Agents

Taste aversive agents are unpleasant tasting substances often added to potentially dangerous chemicals with the intent of preventing poisoning from accidental ingestion by humans or pets. They are also used in over-the-counter products to help discourage nail-biting and thumb sucking; however, there is no evidence indicating that their usage decreases the incidence or severity of poisonings.

Air Fresheners: Are They Safe?

Air Fresheners: Are They Safe?

The toxic effects of air fresheners differ depending on the formulation. Small amounts of most air fresheners are usually not dangerous. Swallowing the gel-type evaporative beads or reed diffuser solutions can cause serious effects in children. There are concerns about adverse effects on the environment and health with repeated exposures to air fresheners.

What's Inside an Ice Pack?

What's Inside an Ice Pack?

Ice packs are common household items, which makes them accessible to small children. There are many different types of reusable ice packs. Typically, unintentionally swallowing some of their liquid contents causes minor effects such as mouth irritation. However, depending on the ingredients and the amount swallowed, ice packs do have the potential to cause toxicity.

Keep Laundry Fragrance Booster Pellets out of Reach of Kids and Pets

Keep Laundry Fragrance Booster Pellets out of Reach of Kids and Pets

Laundry fragrance boosters are scented, dissolvable beads intended to extend the smell of fresh laundry for weeks beyond the wash date. Currently available products are relatively safe even when swallowed by children.

Fumes from Burning Plastic, Welding, and "Teflon Flu" | Poison Control

Fumes from Burning Plastic, Welding, and "Teflon Flu" | Poison Control

Fumes from heated metal and burning plastic products can cause flu-like illnesses in people and animals. People who weld metals at work are at risk, as are those who overheat PTFE (Teflon)-coated cookware.  Getting away from the source of the fumes is the most important treatment.

Is Ant Bait Safe Around Children?

Is Ant Bait Safe Around Children?

Ant bait products have a variety of forms and active ingredients. Generally, unintentional exposures pose little risk of toxicity due to their low concentration. Toddlers who taste ant bait products might develop nausea and vomiting. Contact with the skin or eyes can cause irritation. Treatment of exposure to ant baits involves rinsing the mouth, skin, or eyes.

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Children will swallow anything they can reach. Most of the time, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract with no trouble; the object turns up in the child's stool. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins made up 80 percent of swallowed foreign objects that had to be removed by surgery.

Are Water Beads Toxic? | Poison Control

Are Water Beads Toxic? | Poison Control

Water beads contain superabsorbent polymers that can expand to hundreds of times their original size, after exposure to water. These beads, which are often sold as toys for young children, can cause life-threatening intestinal blockage if swallowed.

Is It Safe to Make Soap at Home? | Poison Control

Is It Safe to Make Soap at Home? | Poison Control

Soapmaking is a popular home activity, but potentially hazardous chemicals are often involved. Use of pre-made soap bases, or “melt and pour” products, is a safer way to make homemade soap.

Tape Button Batteries Before Disposing of Them | Poison Control

Tape Button Batteries Before Disposing of Them | Poison Control

A recent study of battery injuries found that 29.8% of button battery ingestions involved batteries that were discarded or sitting out. Taping button batteries before disposal can decrease or stop button batteries from causing injury and will not affect the ability of the battery to be recycled. 

What happens when you drink bleach? | Poison Control

What happens when you drink bleach? | Poison Control

Household bleach is used for cleaning and disinfecting and can also be used in “bleach baths” as a medical treatment for atopic dermatitis. Swallowing, inhaling, or injecting bleach can cause serious medical problems.

My Child Swallowed Lamp Oil

My Child Swallowed Lamp Oil

Lamp oil can provide warm, glowing light. If swallowed, however, lamp oil can cause serious injury that might not be apparent right away.

Keep Spackle out of Reach of Children

Keep Spackle out of Reach of Children

Spackle is a general term for products used to repair small holes in drywall. It contains finely ground minerals and a liquid binder. When the liquid evaporates, it leaves behind a solid plug filling the hole. While the typical components are safe in small amounts, spackle is not meant to be swallowed.

What’s in Wood Floor Cleaners?

What’s in Wood Floor Cleaners?

A variety of cleaning products are available to maintain wood floors. Wood floor cleaners are usually based on hydrocarbons, detergents, or glycol ether solvents. Each type carries its own precautions and potential adverse effects. Floor cleaners can also contain alcohol, weak acids, or alkaline chemicals to strengthen their cleaning properties.

Why Do Mattresses Contain Fiberglass? | Poison Control

Why Do Mattresses Contain Fiberglass? | Poison Control

Fiberglass is often used by mattress manufacturers to meet fire safety standards. Fiberglass may be present in mattress foam or covers, and human exposures to fiberglass can occur when mattress covers are unzipped or removed. Health effects from fiberglass exposure can include eye injuries, skin irritation, and lung disease.

Reed Diffusers: Household Risk

Reed Diffusers: Household Risk

Reed diffusers are liquid air fresheners in a narrow-necked bottle with long "sticks" inserted in to the liquid. Ingredients vary, but two common ingredients can be dangerous to a child who swallows them.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Proper use of fire extinguishers is generally safe; however, there is some risk for mild respiratory, skin, or eye irritation. Use in areas with poor air flow, use with intent to harm someone, or intentional inhalation of fire extinguishers can produce serious toxicity and would require medical evaluation.

Fireplace Perils

Fireplace Perils

Fireplace flame color enhancers may contain heavy metals and/or caustic agents. Fire gel starter may contain methanol or hydrocarbons; both are toxic in small quantities. Fires can release poisonous carbon monoxide into the air.

Paints for Indoor Use

Paints for Indoor Use

Most paints for indoor use are very safe to use. Solvent-based or oil-based paints may cause more irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract than water-based paints. There's no evidence that paint fumes harm pregnant women or the fetus, but pregnant women are advised to limit their exposure to fresh paint fumes.

Household Product Labels

Household Product Labels

Household product labels often contain the wrong information - or no information - about treating poisonings.


Inhalants

Parents: Know about Inhalant Abuse

Parents: Know about Inhalant Abuse

Inhalant abuse means trying to get high by breathing in vapors, fumes, or aerosol sprays. Thousands of products can be abused by inhaling. These are ordinary household products – and they are poisons. Nearly 20 percent of eighth-graders admit to abusing inhalants, but most parents don't even know about it. Inhalants can kill – even the first time.

Inhalant Abuse - New Study Findings

Inhalant Abuse - New Study Findings

Most inhalant abusers, though not all, are in their teens. Thousands of household products have been abused by inhalation. Only 25 percent of inhalant abusers treated in emergency room had no effects; many others suffered serious effects or died.

Air Fresheners: Are They Safe?

Air Fresheners: Are They Safe?

The toxic effects of air fresheners differ depending on the formulation. Small amounts of most air fresheners are usually not dangerous. Swallowing the gel-type evaporative beads or reed diffuser solutions can cause serious effects in children. There are concerns about adverse effects on the environment and health with repeated exposures to air fresheners.

The Safety of Hairspray

The Safety of Hairspray

When used as directed, hairspray is minimally toxic. Unintentional eye contact, inhalation, or ingestion of small amounts of hairspray might produce minor irritating effects. Irritation should improve by rinsing the eyes or mouth or getting fresh air. Deliberately swallowing or inhaling hairspray can be very dangerous.


Insects and spiders

Bee Stings: Is It an Allergic Reaction?

Bee Stings: Is It an Allergic Reaction?

Stings from bees, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are common and painful. Pain, swelling, and itching at the site of the bite are common. An allergic reaction includes trouble breathing, chest tightness, and swelling on the body someplace other than the bite site. Allergic reactions to a bite or sting are medical emergencies. Call 911 right away.

Stung by an Ant?

Stung by an Ant?

Ant stings are common but rarely serious unless they are from imported fire ants. Problems can occur with multiple stings or with allergic reactions.

Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease

Kissing Bugs and Chagas Disease

Kissing bugs can transmit a parasite that leads to a potentially serious illness called Chagas disease. Most cases of Chagas disease occur in Latin America. Although infection directly from exposure to the kissing bug is rare in the US, it is still important to take steps to prevent kissing bug bites.

Danger of Tarantula Bites and Scorpion Stings

Danger of Tarantula Bites and Scorpion Stings

Tarantula bites typically only cause pain at the bite site, but contact with tarantula hairs can cause redness, itching, and swelling. Most scorpions in the US are not very dangerous, but painful stings are common. Serious effects can occur with stings from the bark scorpion.

Is Ant Bait Safe Around Children?

Is Ant Bait Safe Around Children?

Ant bait products have a variety of forms and active ingredients. Generally, unintentional exposures pose little risk of toxicity due to their low concentration. Toddlers who taste ant bait products might develop nausea and vomiting. Contact with the skin or eyes can cause irritation. Treatment of exposure to ant baits involves rinsing the mouth, skin, or eyes.

Are Itch Mite Bites Dangerous?

Are Itch Mite Bites Dangerous?

Itch mite bites cause intense itching and skin redness that may last for weeks. Because the mites are very small, most people do not remember being bitten. Over-the-counter products, including topical steroids and oral antihistamines, can be used to treat the itching caused by these bites.

Asian Lady Beetles | Poison Control

Asian Lady Beetles | Poison Control

Asian lady beetles (Harmonia axyridis) were introduced by the US Department of Agriculture to help control crop pests like aphids. Although they were invited guests, they have become branded as an invasive species and household pests. Asian lady beetles can bite, but they are not venomous.

Bedbugs: Sleep Tight

Bedbugs: Sleep Tight

Bedbugs are becoming more common. They are alarming and can cause uncomfortable bites. They do not cause human illness. Eliminating an infestation may require the assistance of a professional pest control operator.

Brown Recluse Spider Bites | Poison Control

Brown Recluse Spider Bites | Poison Control

Brown recluse spiders are rarely seen or identified in the United States and a bite often is not felt when it happens. Treatment includes treating the wound and preventing infection.

Treating Tick Bites

Treating Tick Bites

Ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September), but tick bites can happen during any time of the year. Ticks live in grassy, wooded, brush-filled areas or even on animals. Tick exposure can happen in your own backyard. See a healthcare provider if you experience fever, rash, or aches within a few weeks of a tick bite.

Black Widow Spiders

Black Widow Spiders

Black widow spider bites can be dangerous but fatal bites are rare. Black widow spider bites often are painful right away. After a bad bite, severe pain and muscle cramps can start in a couple of hours. Pain and muscle cramps can be treated. Antivenin is available but is needed only rarely.

Tick-borne Diseases

Tick-borne Diseases

Ticks are experts at feeding on your blood and, in return for your generosity, transmitting disease to you. There are several different kinds of bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases transmitted by ticks, and tick-borne diseases are on the rise. Prevention is key: do what you can to prevent them from having access to you.

Eating Bugs

Eating Bugs

Kids eat bugs all the time. Few if any symptoms are likely to occur. In fact, insects form a regular part of the diet for many human cultures. Though most ingestions of edible insects tend to be harmless, people who have shellfish allergies should avoid eating insects due to the potential for cross-reactivity.

Take Care with Head Lice Treatments

Take Care with Head Lice Treatments

Head lice can affect just about any one. They are not dangerous but they cause miserable itching. Treating head lice involves combing the lice and their eggs (nits) from each strand of hair. Often a chemical also must be used to prevent additional lice from hatching. Follow instructions carefully. Keep products out of eyes, because they can be irritating.

Centipede Stings

Centipede Stings

Centipedes can inflict painful stings, but most are small and rarely sting humans. They live in damp places and hunt for prey at night. Centipedes are considered beneficial because they help control household pests such as cockroaches, silverfish, and ants.

Is the “internal shower” drink from TikTok safe? | Poison Control

Is the “internal shower” drink from TikTok safe? | Poison Control

The “internal shower” drink popularized by TikTok contains chia seeds, lemon juice, and water, and is reported to help bowel function. Although the nutritional benefits of chia are well-recognized, adverse health effects may occur after chia seed consumption.

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection caused by tick bites. Infected ticks are carried by deer and other outdoor animals. Lyme disease usually causes a rash around the bite. Other early symptoms can include chills, fever, headache, fatigue, and joint pain. Joints, the nervous system, and the heart are sometimes damaged. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.

Is My Pet's Flea Medication (Lufenuron) Poisonous to Humans?

Is My Pet's Flea Medication (Lufenuron) Poisonous to Humans?

Lufenuron is used to control fleas on dogs and cats. It is not used in humans, but humans might accidentally take an animal’s medication or come into contact with it in the form of an agricultural spray. Minor side effects such as GI upset and drowsiness might occur if that happens. No human overdoses have been published.

True Stories for Springtime

True Stories for Springtime

In the woods or in the garden, nature can surprise the unprepared.

Insect Repellents

Insect Repellents

Protection against disease transmission from insect bites is an important worldwide public health issue. DEET has been the most widely used and most effective insect repellent for 60 years. Newer repellents such as picaridin, IR3535, and plant-derived oils may be somewhat safer but are not more effective than DEET.


Ipecac syrup

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for children under the age of four. Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for anyone. Mercury thermometers are now known to be a possible health risk if they break.

Ipecac - don't use it. | Poison Control

Ipecac - don't use it. | Poison Control

For years, parents were told to keep ipecac syrup at home. This medicine was used to make a child vomit after swallowing poison. Now, your doctor doesn't tell you to keep it. Poison control doesn't tell you to use it. You can’t even buy ipecac in the drugstore. It is NOT necessary to keep ipecac syrup in your home.


Jellyfish

Jellyfish: A Pain at the Beach

Jellyfish: A Pain at the Beach

Jellyfish swim in waters off beaches and so pose a risk to human swimmers. When their tentacles touch skin, they pierce the skin and release a pain-causing substance. Treatment involves removing the tentacles and stopping the pain; both can be hard to do! Allergic reactions are possible, too.

Seabather's Eruption Symptoms and Treatment

Seabather's Eruption Symptoms and Treatment

Seabather’s eruption is an itching, burning rash that occurs when jellyfish larvae are trapped between the skin and swimming garments. While it can be very uncomfortable, the rash is easily treated at home with over-the-counter antihistamines and topical steroids.


Lead

Planning a Home Remodel?

Planning a Home Remodel?

So many poison prevention stories are about children, but when it comes to home remodeling, adults are at risk, too. Children, adults, and pets can become sick if home renovations are not carried out carefully.

Toxic Twists: Ancient Rome

Toxic Twists: Ancient Rome

Question: Ancient Romans sweetened their wine with this substance. What was it?

Poisons and Pregnancy

Poisons and Pregnancy

There is a lot of information about avoiding drugs, alcohol, and tobacco while pregnant. There are some other poisons to be aware of if you're pregnant, including herbal medications, supplements, lead, and carbon monoxide.

Lead and Pregnancy

Lead and Pregnancy

Pregnant women with high blood lead levels can have high blood pressure, spontaneous abortion, small babies, and brain damage in the infant. All pregnant women with even one risk factor for lead poisoning should have a blood lead level done. Pregnant women with lead levels at or above 5 micrograms/deciliter must have further assessment and treatment.

Toxic Twists: White Lead Cosmetic

Toxic Twists: White Lead Cosmetic

Question: This substance was used as a cosmetic to give skin a fashionable, artificial pallor. What was it? (Don't try this at home, either.)

Paints for Indoor Use

Paints for Indoor Use

Most paints for indoor use are very safe to use. Solvent-based or oil-based paints may cause more irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract than water-based paints. There's no evidence that paint fumes harm pregnant women or the fetus, but pregnant women are advised to limit their exposure to fresh paint fumes.

Unusual Sources of Lead Poisoning

Unusual Sources of Lead Poisoning

At one time, the usual sources of lead poisoning were lead paint and leaded gasoline. Now, more unusual sources of lead poisoning include jewelry, cosmetics, imported herbal and traditional medicines, and even hobby supplies. Lead poisoning damages the nervous system but the symptoms can be misleading. Lead poisoning can only be diagnosed with a blood test.


Look alikes

Pokeberries: A Grape Look Alike

Pokeberries: A Grape Look Alike

Pokeberries are found in grape-like clusters on tall perennials with purple-red stems. Eating several berries can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Adults have eaten the roots, mistaking them for medicinal plants. Serious gastrointestinal problems have occurred, including bloody vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and low blood pressure.

What Belongs in a Soft Drink Bottle?

What Belongs in a Soft Drink Bottle?

Transferring a chemical into a soft drink bottle is a recipe for disaster…or death.

Grab a Green Bottle

Grab a Green Bottle

There are many types of look-alike products. It is easy for an adult or a child to mistake a cleaning product for a soft drink or a container of glue for eye drops.

Is it a Pill or Candy?

Is it a Pill or Candy?

Many medicines look like something good to eat or drink. Pay attention to what you put into your mouth!

Rubbing Alcohol Only Looks Like Water

Rubbing Alcohol Only Looks Like Water

Rubbing alcohol looks like water. Even small amounts are poisonous to children. It is also poisonous to adults, who sometimes substitute rubbing alcohol for drinking alcohol. Rubbing alcohol can also be toxic when inhaled. It should be used in a well-ventilated area. In addition, because it is flammable, it should always be kept away from open flame.

Corn Oil? Torch Fuel? Apple Juice?

Corn Oil? Torch Fuel? Apple Juice?

Torch fuel can look like apple juice. Making that mistake has cost people their lives.

Are Pyracantha Berries Poisonous?

Are Pyracantha Berries Poisonous?

Pyracantha is an evergreen shrub often used in landscaping. The shrub typically has plentiful orange-red berries and needle-like thorns. The berries have not been shown to be toxic to animals or humans, although swallowing large amounts might cause some mild stomach upset.

What are nicotine gummies? | Poison Control

What are nicotine gummies? | Poison Control

Nicotine gummies are marketed to help adults quit smoking; however, a single gummy contains enough nicotine to poison a young child. 

Beverage or Medicine?

Beverage or Medicine?

A powdered aspirin preparation looks like lemonade powder. Mixing up the two could cause problems for people who should not take aspirin, including people who are allergic to aspirin.

Can Halloween candy poison me? | Poison Control

Can Halloween candy poison me? | Poison Control

Halloween is a holiday synonymous with costume contests and consumption of sugary candy. Eating certain types of sweets, including black licorice and sugar free candy, may result in unwanted toxic effects for trick-or-treaters. Consumption of cannabis edibles or rainbow fentanyl, which may resemble familiar candy or snack products, can also cause dangerous toxicity.

Which Is For Your Eyes? Your Ears?

Which Is For Your Eyes? Your Ears?

Mistakenly putting glue into your eyes or ears can cause pain and injury.

Would You Eat This?

Would You Eat This?

Children who mistake laxatives for chocolate are at risk for severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and possibly dangerous fluid loss.

Eye Injuries

Eye Injuries

If it doesn't belong in your eye, it will probably hurt if it gets into your eye - a lot. Irritation, injury, even blindness can result. People get things into their eyes by not reading labels, by using products the wrong way, or by not using protective equipment when it's needed. Rinsing your eyes right away is very important if you get something into them.


Lyme Disease

Treating Tick Bites

Treating Tick Bites

Ticks are most active during warmer months (April-September), but tick bites can happen during any time of the year. Ticks live in grassy, wooded, brush-filled areas or even on animals. Tick exposure can happen in your own backyard. See a healthcare provider if you experience fever, rash, or aches within a few weeks of a tick bite.

Tick-borne Diseases

Tick-borne Diseases

Ticks are experts at feeding on your blood and, in return for your generosity, transmitting disease to you. There are several different kinds of bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases transmitted by ticks, and tick-borne diseases are on the rise. Prevention is key: do what you can to prevent them from having access to you.

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infection caused by tick bites. Infected ticks are carried by deer and other outdoor animals. Lyme disease usually causes a rash around the bite. Other early symptoms can include chills, fever, headache, fatigue, and joint pain. Joints, the nervous system, and the heart are sometimes damaged. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics.


Magnets

"Toy" Magnets Are Dangerous for Children

"Toy" Magnets Are Dangerous for Children

Sets of tiny, strong magnets were sold as adult toys but often were swallowed by children, resulting in serious injury and even death. The magnets, or a magnet and another metal object, stuck to each other, even through folds of intestine or tissue. This pinched off blood supply to the area, causing tissue death, bleeding, and infection.


Marijuana

What is Delta-8 THC?

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, although it is less potent. The legal status of delta-8 THC is vague; it is legal in some states but has been restricted or banned in others. In states where the sale of delta-8 THC is legal, packaging may not be child-resistant, and may feature bright colors, cartoon-like images, or other features that are attractive to young children and adolescents.

Studies about Delta-9 THC-O Acetate are Limited

Studies about Delta-9 THC-O Acetate are Limited

Delta-9 THC-O acetate is a synthetic derivative of cannabis and causes psychoactive effects like those of delta-9 THC. There are limited available studies of delta-9 THC-O acetate’s clinical effects in humans, so caution is advised when using this product.

My Child Ate a Cannabis Edible

My Child Ate a Cannabis Edible

Cannabis edibles are often sweet or savory products that are naturally attractive to young children. Serious and sometimes life-threatening side effects can occur in children who consume cannabis edibles.

​Is it Dangerous to Smoke a Joint or Use a Bong?

​Is it Dangerous to Smoke a Joint or Use a Bong?

Cannabis is a popular drug, but it is associated with harmful health effects. Devices used to smoke cannabis, including bongs and rolling papers, may also cause health problems and should be used with caution.

Marijuana - Risks and Effects | Poison Control

Marijuana - Risks and Effects | Poison Control

Marijuana is the most common illicit drug in the U.S. A few states have decriminalized small amounts of the drug. Some permit medical uses. Marijuana is usually smoked. Effects include altered mood, impaired coordination, and impaired judgment. More severe effects sometimes occur. There is no antidote; treatment is supportive. The drug is sometimes addictive.

Fake Pot and Cocaine

Fake Pot and Cocaine

Newer drugs of abuse are sending thousands of people to emergency rooms. They're called "fake pot", "fake weed", and "fake cocaine", but their effects are real and dangerous. Users cannot know exactly what they are getting when they buy and use these drugs. Some users of these drugs are ill for days and some have died.

Dangers of Illegal "Spice" and "Bath Salts"

Dangers of Illegal "Spice" and "Bath Salts"

"Spice", K2, and fake weed are some of the names given to illegal plant-based substances intended to imitate marijuana. Symptoms can range from anxiety and psychiatric disorders to death. "Bath salts" is a name for a synthetic chemical meant to act like cocaine or amphetamine. Users have had seizures, high blood pressure, and hallucinations; some have died.

What are Cannabis Drinks? | Poison Control

What are Cannabis Drinks? | Poison Control

Cannabis-infused drinks contain the mind-altering ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These drinks, which can be purchased at dispensaries or online, contain various amounts of THC in addition to alcohol, caffeine, or other cannabis derivatives. The safety of these drinks has not been studied extensively in humans.

Can Halloween candy poison me? | Poison Control

Can Halloween candy poison me? | Poison Control

Halloween is a holiday synonymous with costume contests and consumption of sugary candy. Eating certain types of sweets, including black licorice and sugar free candy, may result in unwanted toxic effects for trick-or-treaters. Consumption of cannabis edibles or rainbow fentanyl, which may resemble familiar candy or snack products, can also cause dangerous toxicity.

CBD Products: Do They Work?

CBD Products: Do They Work?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the most studied compounds of the cannabis plant. CBD drew attention when it was shown to stop seizures in a group of patients with a form of epilepsy that does not respond to conventional therapies. Potential benefits of CBD might include anti-inflammatory, immune system, and anti-anxiety effects. A great deal more scientific investigation is needed.

Medical Marijuana Poisoning in Kids

Medical Marijuana Poisoning in Kids

Medical marijuana is sometimes prescribed for patients with HIV/AIDS, seizure disorders, cancer, severe pain, and severe nausea. The active chemical is usually stronger than in the marijuana plant. There are no regulations for child-safe storage of medical marijuana products; young children have been seriously poisoned by swallowing medical marijuana.


Medication safety

Can Molnupiravir Treat COVID-19 Infection?

Can Molnupiravir Treat COVID-19 Infection?

Molnupiravir is an oral medication currently being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19 infection and has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials. The pharmaceutical company Merck recently applied for an EUA for molnupiravir from the US FDA.

Can Oclacitinib treat COVID-19 infections?

Can Oclacitinib treat COVID-19 infections?

Janus kinase (“JAK”) inhibitors target and reduce inflammation. One JAK inhibitor, baricitinib, is used to treat COVID-19 infection. The JAK inhibitor oclacitinib (Apoquel®) has not been studied in humans and is not used to treat COVID-19 infection.

Is it a Pill or Candy?

Is it a Pill or Candy?

Many medicines look like something good to eat or drink. Pay attention to what you put into your mouth!

Is Trimetazidine A Safe Performance Enhancing Drug

Is Trimetazidine A Safe Performance Enhancing Drug

Trimetazidine (TMZ) is a drug that helps the heart use energy more efficiently. It is used in some countries as a treatment for heart disease. Because it may also improve exercise tolerance, trimetazidine is recognized as a doping agent.

Methylsulfonylmethane: a Safe Treatment for Arthritis Pain?

Methylsulfonylmethane: a Safe Treatment for Arthritis Pain?

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound found in several food sources. In the US, it is also sold as a dietary supplement claiming to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis stiffness, swelling, and pain. If you are considering using MSM, always speak with your physician first and purchase products through trusted and reliable sources.

What are abortion pills and are they safe? | Poison Control

What are abortion pills and are they safe? | Poison Control

Pills used for medication abortions are generally safe and effective; however, they should not be given in some circumstances and must be used with appropriate supervision in case of complications.

Is Smelly Urine Anything to Worry About?

Is Smelly Urine Anything to Worry About?

The characteristic odor of urine is likely due to the presence of volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s, which are eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Strong urine odors may be related to metabolic conditions, infections, or dehydration.

What You Should Know About Albuterol: Use, Expiration, Side Effects, and Safety Considerations | Poison Control

What You Should Know About Albuterol: Use, Expiration, Side Effects, and Safety Considerations | Poison Control

Albuterol is a medication used to treat asthma and other lung conditions. In an overdose, albuterol can cause muscle spasms, tremor, high blood pressure, low potassium, and high or low blood sugar. To avoid an overdose, take your albuterol as directed.

Acne Treatments: Severe Allergic Reaction Warnings

Acne Treatments: Severe Allergic Reaction Warnings

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a number of cases of severe allergic reactions to acne medicines containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Symptoms included chest tightness, trouble breathing, faintness, and severe swelling of the face, throat, lips, and tongue. Anyone with these symptoms should call 911 right away.

Prescription Pain Relievers and Adults

Prescription Pain Relievers and Adults

More than ever, adults are poisoning themselves by mistake with prescription opioid pain relievers. Many of these people die and others require days of hospital treatment to recover.

What is the Morning After Pill? | Poison Control

What is the Morning After Pill? | Poison Control

“Morning after” pills such as Plan B One-Step® can be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or after other contraception methods have failed. These pills are generally safe and effective, but it is important to know how to use them correctly and when to seek medical care. The use of emergency contraceptive medications like Plan B One-Step® is not abortion.

What is Amlodipine? | Poison Control

What is Amlodipine? | Poison Control

Amlodipine, available as amlodipine besylate, is a prescription medication used to lower blood pressure or to reduce chest pain. Common amlodipine brands include Amvaz, Katerzia, and Norvasc. Amlodipine does not cause weight gain, hair loss, or headaches. You may take it with or without food, including grapefruit juice.

Is Amoxicillin Safe to Take During Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding?

Is Amoxicillin Safe to Take During Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding?

Amoxicillin is commonly prescribed for pregnant women who have bacterial infections. Use of amoxicillin during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is generally safe, but in some cases rare side effects may occur.

Lexapro® (escitalopram), an SSRI antidepressant | Poison Control

Lexapro® (escitalopram), an SSRI antidepressant | Poison Control

Lexapro® is the brand name for escitalopram, an SSRI antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Escitalopram is associated with side effects including sleep disturbances, fatigue, and nausea. Like many other antidepressants, escitalopram may require several weeks to months of use to provide full benefits. 

Grapefruit and Medicines: Can They Mix?

Grapefruit and Medicines: Can They Mix?

At least 85 drugs are known or thought to interact with grapefruit. Grapefruit products can cause those drugs to stay in your system much longer than usual. The effects are like a drug overdose. They can include dangerous heart rhythms, kidney damage, muscle damage, respiratory depression, and bleeding from the stomach or intestines.

Poisons and Pregnancy

Poisons and Pregnancy

There is a lot of information about avoiding drugs, alcohol, and tobacco while pregnant. There are some other poisons to be aware of if you're pregnant, including herbal medications, supplements, lead, and carbon monoxide.

Cheese, Beer, and Serotonin: Making Sense of MAO Inhibitors

Cheese, Beer, and Serotonin: Making Sense of MAO Inhibitors

MAO inhibitors are commonly used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and depression. Serious medical conditions can occur if MAO inhibitors are used in higher doses or taken in overdose. In addition, people who take MAO inhibitors should avoid eating certain foods, to reduce their risk of unwanted side effects.

Brexpiprazole Usage and Side Effects

Brexpiprazole Usage and Side Effects

Brexpiprazole is an antipsychotic medicine that is added to an antidepressant to treat major depression and is used alone to treat schizophrenia. There is a low risk of adverse effects, such as restlessness, drowsiness, and slight weight gain. If someone takes more than a usual dose of brexpiprazole, medical attention might be needed.

Risks and Side Effects of Perindopril

Risks and Side Effects of Perindopril

Perindopril is a medication used to treat heart conditions such as high blood pressure. It is part of a commonly prescribed class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. These drugs are generally well tolerated but have been associated with drug-induced cough and a potentially serious adverse reaction called angioedema.

Benefits and Side Effects of Indapamide

Benefits and Side Effects of Indapamide

Indapamide is a medication for high blood pressure that appears to be better than many other drugs at controlling high blood pressure while lowering the risk of heart failure. However, indapamide can sometimes cause patients to become dehydrated and lose potassium. Adverse effects can last for several days after the drug is taken.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects

Two old drugs used for malaria, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, are being studied for their potential to treat coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Side effects from these drugs can be very serious and include irregular heart rhythms that can result in death. Check state COVID-19 website resources and telephone hotlines for more information about COVID-19 in your area.

Clenbuterol: Unapproved and Unsafe

Clenbuterol: Unapproved and Unsafe

Clenbuterol is a medication used to treat asthma and COPD in some countries, but it is not FDA-approved for human use in the United States. It is widely misused for possible anabolic and fat-burning effects, which have only been shown in animals. Clenbuterol causes toxicity at low doses. Symptoms include tremors, high heart rate, low blood potassium, seizures, and cardiac arrest.

Risks and Side Effects of Eluxadoline for IBS

Risks and Side Effects of Eluxadoline for IBS

Eluxadoline is a medication used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in adults. The most common side effects of eluxadoline are mild constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. There are important safety considerations for eluxadoline including rare but serious side effects and a potential for drug-drug interactions.

Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Opioid Overdose

Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Opioid Overdose

When it comes to the opioid epidemic, we can all have a positive impact regardless of our social, economic, or professional status. It is important to practice safe medication use, storage, and disposal to prevent poisoning. By learning how to use the opioid reversal agent naloxone, you could save a life. Learn more by listening to our podcast, Poison!.

Pets and Medication Errors

Pets and Medication Errors

Medication errors can be dangerous for humans and for pets. An overdose of the pet's own medicine can be harmful, even fatal. Some human medicines are very dangerous for pets. Drug interactions can occur in pets, just as they can in humans. Be as careful about medicating pets as you are about medicating your children or yourself.

Mixing Meds, Herbs and Supplements

Mixing Meds, Herbs and Supplements

There are nearly 1500 documented interactions between drugs, herbal medicines, and dietary supplements. These interactions can cause a wide variety of harmful effects. Taking an herb or supplement could change the way a prescription medicine works in the body, causing symptoms like an overdose. Or, it might cause the medicine not to work at all.

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. They are also found in combination products such as cough and cold medicines. An overdose of these medications may cause stomach upset, abdominal pain, and vomiting, kidney damage, ulcers, bleeding, seizures, and coma.

What is Angioedema?

What is Angioedema?

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-inhibitors) are safe and effective medications used to treat and prevent many cardiovascular conditions. Angioedema, a rare but serious complication, may occur in some people who take ACE inhibitors.

Antibiotics: Overdose vs Misuse

Antibiotics: Overdose vs Misuse

Antibiotic overdoses are rarely dangerous, but stomach upset and diarrhea may occur. Taking the wrong antibiotic is a problem if someone is allergic to the drug. Misuse of antibiotics is a problem for many reasons: an infection might not be cured, antibiotic-resistant organisms can develop, or, if a specific antibiotic is needed, it might not be effective.

Safe Use of Antihistamines

Safe Use of Antihistamines

Antihistamines are medicines to treat allergic reactions to pollen, dust, pet dander, foods, and drugs. Antihistamines are found in many different forms for children and adults: liquids, tablets, creams, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Finding the best antihistamine for your symptoms can take a while. In the meantime, never take too much!

What is Eliquis® (apixaban)? | Poison Control

What is Eliquis® (apixaban)? | Poison Control

Eliquis® (apixaban) is an oral medication that reduces the risk of forming blood clots. The most common side effect is bleeding/bruising. Do not take more than prescribed as it puts you at higher risk for bleeding. Follow up with your healthcare provider regularly if you are prescribed this medication.

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?

Are Weight Loss Supplements Safe?

Many weight loss supplements contain ingredients that are contaminated, ineffective, dangerous, or actually illegal. Some people become ill after taking these products. Some have interactions with medicines. It can be hard to get your money back. Worst of all, these products often don't help.

What are Synthetic Opioids?

What are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic opioids are powerful drugs that can cause life-threatening respiratory depression and death. These drugs are currently responsible for most of the opioid-related fatalities in the United States.

Are Benzonatate Capsules Poisonous? | Poison Control

Are Benzonatate Capsules Poisonous? | Poison Control

Benzonatate is an anesthetic drug and cough suppressant. When benzonatate capsules are swallowed, the medication acts directly on the lungs to reduce coughing. Benzonatate is only approved for use in individuals 10 years of age and older. Younger children who take benzonatate may experience serious toxicity or even death.

What is Aspirin? | Poison Control

What is Aspirin? | Poison Control

Aspirin is an over-the-counter medication used as an anti-inflammatory agent and for pain or fever relief. Low dose aspirin is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with existing heart disease, and sometimes in pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia. Normal side effects include stomach upset and indigestion. Aspirin overdose can be life-threatening.

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: Take Care to Avoid Finger Sticks!

Epinephrine Auto-Injectors: Take Care to Avoid Finger Sticks!

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction, often to ordinary things like bee stings, peanut butter, or antibiotics. Life-saving auto-injectors are used to treat anaphylaxis. Use them safely to prevent finger sticks. Unintentional injection of epinephrine into fingers or hands can cause limited blood flow and injury. It sometimes requires a trip to the emergency room.

Online Pharmacies: Avoid the Frauds

Online Pharmacies: Avoid the Frauds

Internet pharmacies offer a convenient way to obtain prescription drugs and are frequently used by health insurers. Unfortunately, only about 4% of online pharmacies are actually legal, licensed pharmacies. Fraudulent pharmacies may allow you to purchase prescription medicines without a prescription. The medicines they send may be fake, wrong, or contaminated.

The Opioid Pendulum: Balancing Risks & Benefits

The Opioid Pendulum: Balancing Risks & Benefits

Appropriate use of opioids for pain relief requires delicately balancing risks and benefits. Too much of an opioid can be dangerous or even deadly, but too little leaves the patient in pain. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

My Medication Was Recalled Because of Nitrosamines. Should I Be Worried?

My Medication Was Recalled Because of Nitrosamines. Should I Be Worried?

Nitrosamines are common chemicals in our daily lives. While exposure to small amounts of nitrosamines is likely not dangerous, long-term exposure to high levels of certain nitrosamines is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Beverage or Medicine?

Beverage or Medicine?

A powdered aspirin preparation looks like lemonade powder. Mixing up the two could cause problems for people who should not take aspirin, including people who are allergic to aspirin.

Generic Drugs versus Brand Name Drugs

Generic Drugs versus Brand Name Drugs

Generic medicines have the same active ingredients and effects as brand name medicines, but they may be a different color, shape, or size. For many years, U.S. law has required that generic drugs look different from brand names. Many different drug companies may make versions of the same medicine. Generic drugs are less expensive than brand name drugs.

Briviact® (brivaracetam) for Epilepsy | Poison Control

Briviact® (brivaracetam) for Epilepsy | Poison Control

Briviact® (brivaracetam) is an antiepileptic drug (AED) that is used in combination with another AED to improve control of both focal and generalized seizures. Brivaracetam commonly causes drowsiness and dizziness, so it should be used with caution when taking other sedating medications or alcohol. It can interact with drugs that are metabolized by the liver enzyme CYP2C19.

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for children under the age of four. Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for anyone. Mercury thermometers are now known to be a possible health risk if they break.

Medications Can Get Confusing!

Medications Can Get Confusing!

Many calls to Poison Control are from older adults who get their medications confused. This is always cause for alarm. Sometimes it's dangerous.

Can Ozempic® Help Me Lose Weight? | Poison Control

Can Ozempic® Help Me Lose Weight? | Poison Control

Semaglutide (Wegovy®, Ozempic®, Rybelsus®) and liraglutide (Saxenda®) are members of the GLP-1 agonist class of drugs. These prescription medications help improve blood sugar control and are often prescribed to diabetic patients. In non-diabetic patients who are overweight or obese, certain GLP-1 agonists are also approved by the FDA to help with weight control.

​Carbamide Peroxide Toxicity

​Carbamide Peroxide Toxicity

Carbamide peroxide is most commonly used as an ear wax removal agent, oral rinse, and in home teeth-whitening products. High concentrations of carbamide peroxide can cause serious burns. Rarely, life-threatening toxicity can occur when carbamide peroxide is swallowed and oxygen bubbles form in the body and block blood flow to tissues.

Teaching Children to Take Medicine

Teaching Children to Take Medicine

At some point, children will be old enough to take their own medicines. Teaching children to take medicine safely involves supervision; teaching children when to take medicine; and teaching children how to take medicine.

What is Ethyl Chloride Spray? | Poison Control

What is Ethyl Chloride Spray? | Poison Control

Ethyl chloride is a local anesthetic agent that relieves pain by cooling the skin surface. Ethyl chloride abuse, which occurs when individuals intentionally inhale its vapors, can result in sleepiness, abnormal heart rhythms, and death. Ethyl chloride is flammable and can cause frostbite if used incorrectly.

​What is fentanyl? | Poison Control

​What is fentanyl? | Poison Control

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is a common contaminant of illicit drugs. Fentanyl acts on the brain to cause life-threatening respiratory depression. The antidote naloxone (Narcan®) can reverse the effects of fentanyl overdose.

What is Doxycycline? | Poison Control

What is Doxycycline? | Poison Control

Doxycycline is a common broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribed for many kinds of infections. Therapeutic doses of doxycycline are generally safe, but doxycycline may cause severe reactions. It is important to understand what doxycycline is, be aware of precautions, and know what to do in instances of unintentional ingestion, overdose, or misuse.

What is famotidine used for? | Poison Control

What is famotidine used for? | Poison Control

Famotidine is a medication commonly used for heartburn, reflux, and other gastric conditions. The dosing of famotidine varies based on the condition being treated, and famotidine is usually taken once or twice daily. Side effects of famotidine include headache and constipation or diarrhea. Use of famotidine has not been associated with cancer development in humans.

Over the Counter (OTC) Drug Labels

Over the Counter (OTC) Drug Labels

The most important part of taking or giving medicine happens before taking or giving that drug: reading and understanding the label. This is the easiest way to prevent errors and overdoses. All over-the-counter (OTC) medication labels contain Drug Facts: important information about the active ingredient(s), uses, warnings, doses, and directions.

Proper Use of Crotamiton

Proper Use of Crotamiton

Crotamiton is a medication sometimes used to treat scabies infestation. Crotamiton kills the scabies mites and helps with the intense itching associated with scabies. Although it is generally safe, some side effects have been reported. While other pesticide and drug combinations have taken the place of crotamiton as first-line therapy, it remains an option for the treatment of scabies.

Swallowing Eye Drops is Dangerous!

Swallowing Eye Drops is Dangerous!

Over-the-counter eyedrops and decongestant sprays are frequently used to treat upper respiratory congestion and irritated, red eyes. When consumed by mouth, they may result in serious toxicity and even death.

Valentines Day: Heart Month

Valentines Day: Heart Month

Everyday life is full of chances to make mistakes with our medicines. When it comes to heart medicine, too many people cause heartache by taking the wrong medicine, leaving heart medicine where a child can reach it, skipping a check-up to monitor levels of heart medicine and its effects, or treating symptoms with herbal medicines and teas, without checking with your doctor.

Prescription Overdose Deaths

Prescription Overdose Deaths

Two groups of people are most at risk of prescription drug overdose in this country: people who take high doses of opioids for medical uses over a long period of time and people who abuse opioids by taking them without a medical reason for doing so.

History of the Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

History of the Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

The opioid epidemic has evolved rapidly in recent years, starting with an increase in opioid prescriptions to treat chronic pain. To reduce risk and maximize the benefits of pain treatment options, the CDC issued guidelines for opioid prescribing which recommend non-opioid medications as the preferred first step when treating chronic pain. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

How Do We Stop the Opioid Epidemic?

How Do We Stop the Opioid Epidemic?

Current responses to the opioid epidemic are inadequate. Effective treatments are underutilized, and the result is a cycle of drug use, inadequate treatment, and return to drug use. Breaking this cycle will require a lot of individual and community effort. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

Does Grapefruit Juice Interact with Medications?

Does Grapefruit Juice Interact with Medications?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should not be consumed with certain medications. To find out if your medicines interact with grapefruit juice, read the package insert or label, or talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Oops! I Just Took My Dog's Heartworm Medicine

Oops! I Just Took My Dog's Heartworm Medicine

Ivermectin is a beneficial and safe antiparasitic drug used for a wide variety of parasitic diseases in humans and animals. Ivermectin is helping to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness), a malady that has plagued millions in the world's poorest communities.

Medication Errors - Double Dosing

Medication Errors - Double Dosing

The most common medication error is taking - or giving - a double dose. For some medicines, a double dose can cause significant problems. Examples include medicines for high blood pressure, ADHD, and diabetes.

Drugs for ED

Drugs for ED

Erectile dysfunction (ED) medications can help treat certain medical causes of ED, but they are not without risk. Serious toxic effects have been seen in adults with use and misuse of these medications. Some “genuine” brand name products and herbal or “natural” ED products are counterfeit or mislabeled and sometimes contain dangerous substances.

Which Is For Your Eyes? Your Ears?

Which Is For Your Eyes? Your Ears?

Mistakenly putting glue into your eyes or ears can cause pain and injury.

Introduction to the Opioid Epidemic

Introduction to the Opioid Epidemic

Opioids are powerful drugs that can relieve pain but also impair breathing, leading to brain injury and death in overdose. The rising number of deaths involving opioids is referred to as the opioid epidemic. People are dying in numbers that exceed the death toll seen during the peak of the AIDS epidemic. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

Medication Errors

Medication Errors

There are many ways to make mistakes with medicines. Among the most common are taking the wrong medicine, taking too much medicine, giving the wrong medicine, and confusing one medicine for another. Problems from these mix-ups could range from minor to extremely serious.

Expired Medicines: Should You Take Them?

Expired Medicines: Should You Take Them?

Don't take expired medicines. Instead, throw them away according to FDA guidelines. Old medicines may not work as well as they should. Drugs kept for a long time may deteriorate.

Eye Injuries

Eye Injuries

If it doesn't belong in your eye, it will probably hurt if it gets into your eye - a lot. Irritation, injury, even blindness can result. People get things into their eyes by not reading labels, by using products the wrong way, or by not using protective equipment when it's needed. Rinsing your eyes right away is very important if you get something into them.

​Is it Safe to Take Thyroid Hormones for Weight Loss?

​Is it Safe to Take Thyroid Hormones for Weight Loss?

Thyroid hormones can be found in prescription medications and in some over-the-counter weight loss supplements. Thyroid hormones should not be used for routine weight loss.

Hospitalization of Seniors from Medication

Hospitalization of Seniors from Medication

Every year, nearly 100,000 adults aged 65 and older are admitted to the hospital for drug side effects. In a recent study, the majority of problems were caused by "blood thinners" (warfarin and other oral anti-thrombosis drugs) and diabetes drugs (insulin and oral diabetes medicines).

What is Serotonin Syndrome?

What is Serotonin Syndrome?

Serotonin syndrome is a disorder caused by excessive serotonin activity in the human body. It often occurs after medication use and can cause potentially life-threatening signs and symptoms including high fever, confusion, and seizures.

Is it Safe to Take Paxlovid® with My Other Medications?

Is it Safe to Take Paxlovid® with My Other Medications?

Paxlovid® is an oral medication that recently received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent severe COVID-19 infection in high-risk individuals who test positive for the virus. While it is generally well tolerated, Paxlovid interacts with many commonly used medications, which can lead to toxicity.

Store Medicine Safely

Store Medicine Safely

Most parents and caregivers know the importance of keeping medicine up and away, out of sight and reach of young children. Even so, leaving medicine in work bags, purses, pill organizers, and on countertops is quite common. This means easy access for curious children, and can easily lead to unintentional poisonings. Keep kids safe with these safety tips.

Using Skin Patch Medicines Safely

Using Skin Patch Medicines Safely

Transdermal drugs release small amounts of drug into the blood stream over a long period of time. These "skin patch" drugs include pain relievers, nicotine, hormones, and drugs to treat angina and motion sickness. Overdoses can happen if the patch is broken, cut open, or chewed on, if too many are worn, or if a child has an adult patch on.


Medicines

Can Molnupiravir Treat COVID-19 Infection?

Can Molnupiravir Treat COVID-19 Infection?

Molnupiravir is an oral medication currently being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19 infection and has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials. The pharmaceutical company Merck recently applied for an EUA for molnupiravir from the US FDA.

Is Ivermectin Safe To Use for Covid-19?

Is Ivermectin Safe To Use for Covid-19?

Ivermectin has been safely used to treat parasites (such as heart and intestinal worms) in animals and is approved for use in humans for parasite infections, head lice, and rosacea. It has not been shown to be effective for preventing or treating COVID-19 infection and taking products not intended for human use may lead to serious adverse effects.

Can Oclacitinib treat COVID-19 infections?

Can Oclacitinib treat COVID-19 infections?

Janus kinase (“JAK”) inhibitors target and reduce inflammation. One JAK inhibitor, baricitinib, is used to treat COVID-19 infection. The JAK inhibitor oclacitinib (Apoquel®) has not been studied in humans and is not used to treat COVID-19 infection.

Fluvoxamine as COVID-19 Treatment?

Fluvoxamine as COVID-19 Treatment?

Fluvoxamine is a medication that has been used to treat obsessive compulsive disorder and depression. Recent clinical trials have shown that it may be effective for preventing hospitalizations and complications of COVID-19 infection, but it is not quite ready for prime time.

How do SGLT-2 inhibitors help treat heart failure? | Poison Control

How do SGLT-2 inhibitors help treat heart failure? | Poison Control

SGLT-2 inhibitors are effective in treating heart failure for patients with and without diabetes. Because of their benefits in reducing death and hospitalizations from heart failure, these medications are being used more often.

Teething Gels: A Warning

Teething Gels: A Warning

Benzocaine is a local anesthetic (medicine that numbs skin and gums). Teething gels are among the over-the-counter preparations that contain benzocaine. However, even small amounts of benzocaine are dangerous for infants; it can prevent the bloodstream from carrying oxygen throughout the body.

What Does it Mean to Have a Penicillin Allergy?

What Does it Mean to Have a Penicillin Allergy?

Up to ten percent of people who take penicillin may have an allergic reaction; however, life-threatening reactions (anaphylaxis) are very rare. Most people with a penicillin allergy can safely take related medications, including cephalosporins.

Is Trimetazidine A Safe Performance Enhancing Drug

Is Trimetazidine A Safe Performance Enhancing Drug

Trimetazidine (TMZ) is a drug that helps the heart use energy more efficiently. It is used in some countries as a treatment for heart disease. Because it may also improve exercise tolerance, trimetazidine is recognized as a doping agent.

Ramelteon - The ABCs of the Sleep Aid | Poison Control

Ramelteon - The ABCs of the Sleep Aid | Poison Control

Ramelteon is a drug that is prescribed to help people fall asleep faster. It typically causes only mild side effects.

What are abortion pills and are they safe? | Poison Control

What are abortion pills and are they safe? | Poison Control

Pills used for medication abortions are generally safe and effective; however, they should not be given in some circumstances and must be used with appropriate supervision in case of complications.

What You Need to Know about Glucosamine

What You Need to Know about Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a natural substance found in cartilage. In the US, it is sold as a dietary supplement and promoted to reduce osteoarthritis pain. It is generally safe and well-tolerated. However, strong scientific evidence showing that it actually works is lacking and dietary supplements are not regulated in the same vigorous manner as medications.

Is Smelly Urine Anything to Worry About?

Is Smelly Urine Anything to Worry About?

The characteristic odor of urine is likely due to the presence of volatile organic compounds, or VOC’s, which are eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Strong urine odors may be related to metabolic conditions, infections, or dehydration.

What You Should Know About Albuterol: Use, Expiration, Side Effects, and Safety Considerations | Poison Control

What You Should Know About Albuterol: Use, Expiration, Side Effects, and Safety Considerations | Poison Control

Albuterol is a medication used to treat asthma and other lung conditions. In an overdose, albuterol can cause muscle spasms, tremor, high blood pressure, low potassium, and high or low blood sugar. To avoid an overdose, take your albuterol as directed.

Take Acepromazine by Mistake?

Take Acepromazine by Mistake?

Acepromazine is a drug used to sedate animals and is not for human use. Most acepromazine poisonings occur in curious children or when people unintentionally mistake it for their own medication. Common symptoms of acepromazine poisoning include drowsiness and slowed breathing. In some cases, seizures, coma, and death have been reported.

Acne Treatments: Severe Allergic Reaction Warnings

Acne Treatments: Severe Allergic Reaction Warnings

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported a number of cases of severe allergic reactions to acne medicines containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Symptoms included chest tightness, trouble breathing, faintness, and severe swelling of the face, throat, lips, and tongue. Anyone with these symptoms should call 911 right away.

ADHD Drugs and the Heart

ADHD Drugs and the Heart

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects children and adults. Stimulant drugs are given to children and adults. Questions about possible effects on the heart and blood vessels were answered by two large recent studies: these drugs are not associated with an increased risk of serious effects on the heart and blood vessels.

ADHD Drugs: An Overview

ADHD Drugs: An Overview

"ADHD" stands for "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder". Symptoms include hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inability to pay attention, manage frustration, stay organized, or focus on tasks. Treatment is based on behavior therapy and/or drug therapy. ADHD drugs can cause side effects; a deliberate overdose of any amount requires immediate medical care.

What is the Morning After Pill? | Poison Control

What is the Morning After Pill? | Poison Control

“Morning after” pills such as Plan B One-Step® can be used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex or after other contraception methods have failed. These pills are generally safe and effective, but it is important to know how to use them correctly and when to seek medical care. The use of emergency contraceptive medications like Plan B One-Step® is not abortion.

What is Amlodipine? | Poison Control

What is Amlodipine? | Poison Control

Amlodipine, available as amlodipine besylate, is a prescription medication used to lower blood pressure or to reduce chest pain. Common amlodipine brands include Amvaz, Katerzia, and Norvasc. Amlodipine does not cause weight gain, hair loss, or headaches. You may take it with or without food, including grapefruit juice.

Is Amoxicillin Safe to Take During Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding?

Is Amoxicillin Safe to Take During Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding?

Amoxicillin is commonly prescribed for pregnant women who have bacterial infections. Use of amoxicillin during pregnancy and while breastfeeding is generally safe, but in some cases rare side effects may occur.

Lexapro® (escitalopram), an SSRI antidepressant | Poison Control

Lexapro® (escitalopram), an SSRI antidepressant | Poison Control

Lexapro® is the brand name for escitalopram, an SSRI antidepressant used to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Escitalopram is associated with side effects including sleep disturbances, fatigue, and nausea. Like many other antidepressants, escitalopram may require several weeks to months of use to provide full benefits. 

Ancient Shipwreck, Modern Medicine

Ancient Shipwreck, Modern Medicine

If you haven't cleaned out your medicine cabinet for a while, you might find some old, old medicines hiding there. But they wouldn't be older than the medicines found at the bottom of the sea, near Italy. It's interesting to link ancient medicines with problems that still bother us today - and with modern treatments for the same problems from years past.

Grapefruit and Medicines: Can They Mix?

Grapefruit and Medicines: Can They Mix?

At least 85 drugs are known or thought to interact with grapefruit. Grapefruit products can cause those drugs to stay in your system much longer than usual. The effects are like a drug overdose. They can include dangerous heart rhythms, kidney damage, muscle damage, respiratory depression, and bleeding from the stomach or intestines.

Risks and Side Effects of Perindopril

Risks and Side Effects of Perindopril

Perindopril is a medication used to treat heart conditions such as high blood pressure. It is part of a commonly prescribed class of drugs called ACE inhibitors. These drugs are generally well tolerated but have been associated with drug-induced cough and a potentially serious adverse reaction called angioedema.

Benefits and Side Effects of Indapamide

Benefits and Side Effects of Indapamide

Indapamide is a medication for high blood pressure that appears to be better than many other drugs at controlling high blood pressure while lowering the risk of heart failure. However, indapamide can sometimes cause patients to become dehydrated and lose potassium. Adverse effects can last for several days after the drug is taken.

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine Can Have Serious Side Effects

Two old drugs used for malaria, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, are being studied for their potential to treat coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19). Side effects from these drugs can be very serious and include irregular heart rhythms that can result in death. Check state COVID-19 website resources and telephone hotlines for more information about COVID-19 in your area.

Dogs and Pain Medications

Dogs and Pain Medications

You can gauge the extent and location of your dog's pain by watching his behavior, mood, and response to being touched. Anything more than very mild pain requires examination by a veterinarian who can prescribe the most appropriate medication. Over-the-counter pain medications intended for humans should never be used in dogs without consulting a veterinarian.

Risks and Side Effects of Eluxadoline for IBS

Risks and Side Effects of Eluxadoline for IBS

Eluxadoline is a medication used for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D) in adults. The most common side effects of eluxadoline are mild constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. There are important safety considerations for eluxadoline including rare but serious side effects and a potential for drug-drug interactions.

Is My Medication or Dietary Supplement Making Me Tired and Depressed?

Is My Medication or Dietary Supplement Making Me Tired and Depressed?

Multiple medications, including dietary supplements, can cause fatigue or other mood disorders. People with excessive fatigue, depression, or anxiety should seek medical care for further evaluation, including a review of all medications and supplements used.

Safety and Characteristics of Sleep Medications

Safety and Characteristics of Sleep Medications

Sleep deprivation is a common condition among US adults. Non-drug approaches should be tried first. Medicines for sleep include prescription agents, OTC drugs, and dietary supplements. Many sleep aids can cause dependence or next-day drowsiness. Dietary supplements and herbals promoted to help sleep are not approved by the FDA as safe or effective.

Birth Control Pills and Toddlers

Birth Control Pills and Toddlers

Packages of birth control pills contain hormone pills and may contain iron and placebo pills. Children who swallow birth control hormones are not at risk, even if they are boys. There are few, if any short term effects from the hormones. Children who swallow birth control hormones may have stomach upset, diarrhea, or irritability but no long-term effects.

Ranitidine (Zantac®) and Babies

Ranitidine (Zantac®) and Babies

Up to 70% of infants vomit at least once a day until they are four months old. They may suffer from gastroesophageal reflux.Sometimes doctors prescribe ranitidine for these babies. Parents often panic after giving the wrong dose of ranitidine. Ranitidine overdoses usually don't cause problems; parents should call Poison Control anyway for specific advice.

What is Angioedema?

What is Angioedema?

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-inhibitors) are safe and effective medications used to treat and prevent many cardiovascular conditions. Angioedema, a rare but serious complication, may occur in some people who take ACE inhibitors.

Are Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Safe? | Poison Control

Are Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Safe? | Poison Control

Fluoroquinolone antibiotics are associated with serious adverse effects. For this reason, they are not the preferred treatment for many infections, but still have an important role for resistant bacteria and in patients with allergies to other antibiotics.

Antibiotics: Overdose vs Misuse

Antibiotics: Overdose vs Misuse

Antibiotic overdoses are rarely dangerous, but stomach upset and diarrhea may occur. Taking the wrong antibiotic is a problem if someone is allergic to the drug. Misuse of antibiotics is a problem for many reasons: an infection might not be cured, antibiotic-resistant organisms can develop, or, if a specific antibiotic is needed, it might not be effective.

SNRI Antidepressants

SNRI Antidepressants

SNRIs are a class of antidepressants. A rare but potentially very serious side effect of SNRIs is serotonin syndrome, which can occur when SNRIs are taken with other drugs. Like all antidepressants, SNRIs should not be abruptly stopped. Careful tapering of the dosage can minimize the risk of withdrawal. 

Antidepressants - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) | Poison Control

Antidepressants - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) | Poison Control

Antidepressants are drugs used to treat major depressive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other conditions. The Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors affect the way our bodies use serotonin and other neurotransmitters. The drugs may take a few weeks to help and may cause withdrawal if stopped suddenly.

Safe Use of Antihistamines

Safe Use of Antihistamines

Antihistamines are medicines to treat allergic reactions to pollen, dust, pet dander, foods, and drugs. Antihistamines are found in many different forms for children and adults: liquids, tablets, creams, nasal sprays, and eye drops. Finding the best antihistamine for your symptoms can take a while. In the meantime, never take too much!

What is Eliquis® (apixaban)? | Poison Control

What is Eliquis® (apixaban)? | Poison Control

Eliquis® (apixaban) is an oral medication that reduces the risk of forming blood clots. The most common side effect is bleeding/bruising. Do not take more than prescribed as it puts you at higher risk for bleeding. Follow up with your healthcare provider regularly if you are prescribed this medication.

​Are Methylene Blue Infusions Safe?

​Are Methylene Blue Infusions Safe?

Methylene blue is the antidote for a serious disease called methemoglobinemia but has also been studied for other medical uses. Since it has significant side effects and may interact with many medications, the routine use of methylene blue should be avoided.

Are Benzonatate Capsules Poisonous? | Poison Control

Are Benzonatate Capsules Poisonous? | Poison Control

Benzonatate is an anesthetic drug and cough suppressant. When benzonatate capsules are swallowed, the medication acts directly on the lungs to reduce coughing. Benzonatate is only approved for use in individuals 10 years of age and older. Younger children who take benzonatate may experience serious toxicity or even death.

What is Aspirin? | Poison Control

What is Aspirin? | Poison Control

Aspirin is an over-the-counter medication used as an anti-inflammatory agent and for pain or fever relief. Low dose aspirin is used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in people with existing heart disease, and sometimes in pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia. Normal side effects include stomach upset and indigestion. Aspirin overdose can be life-threatening.

Online Pharmacies: Avoid the Frauds

Online Pharmacies: Avoid the Frauds

Internet pharmacies offer a convenient way to obtain prescription drugs and are frequently used by health insurers. Unfortunately, only about 4% of online pharmacies are actually legal, licensed pharmacies. Fraudulent pharmacies may allow you to purchase prescription medicines without a prescription. The medicines they send may be fake, wrong, or contaminated.

Treating Influenza with Baloxavir (Xofluza)

Treating Influenza with Baloxavir (Xofluza)

Baloxavir (Xofluza) is an oral antiviral medication used to prevent or treat influenza. Although it is approved for use in otherwise healthy people, research has shown that baloxavir can reduce influenza complications in older patients and those with chronic medical conditions with very few side effects.

Donepezil Can Be Toxic if Too Much Is Taken

Donepezil Can Be Toxic if Too Much Is Taken

Donepezil is frequently prescribed to help treat Alzheimer's dementia. It raises levels of acetylcholine in the brain. That can modestly improve symptoms but also cause numerous adverse reactions and drug interactions. Toxic exposures can occur when patients inadvertently take extra doses and when young children access family members' medications.

Nitrate/Nitrite Poisoning, Why So Blue?

Nitrate/Nitrite Poisoning, Why So Blue?

Nitrates and nitrites are abundant in the environment and are found in medicines and products in the home. Overexposure to nitrates and nitrites can lead to a condition called methemoglobinemia in which the body is deprived of oxygen, causing a blue-gray discoloration of the skin.

Generic Drugs versus Brand Name Drugs

Generic Drugs versus Brand Name Drugs

Generic medicines have the same active ingredients and effects as brand name medicines, but they may be a different color, shape, or size. For many years, U.S. law has required that generic drugs look different from brand names. Many different drug companies may make versions of the same medicine. Generic drugs are less expensive than brand name drugs.

Briviact® (brivaracetam) for Epilepsy | Poison Control

Briviact® (brivaracetam) for Epilepsy | Poison Control

Briviact® (brivaracetam) is an antiepileptic drug (AED) that is used in combination with another AED to improve control of both focal and generalized seizures. Brivaracetam commonly causes drowsiness and dizziness, so it should be used with caution when taking other sedating medications or alcohol. It can interact with drugs that are metabolized by the liver enzyme CYP2C19.

Lidocaine Can Cause Harmful Effects

Lidocaine Can Cause Harmful Effects

Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, works by causing a temporary numbing effect. When used sparingly and as directed, topical lidocaine is generally safe. Misuse, overuse, or overdose can cause serious problems and even death.

Can Ozempic® Help Me Lose Weight? | Poison Control

Can Ozempic® Help Me Lose Weight? | Poison Control

Semaglutide (Wegovy®, Ozempic®, Rybelsus®) and liraglutide (Saxenda®) are members of the GLP-1 agonist class of drugs. These prescription medications help improve blood sugar control and are often prescribed to diabetic patients. In non-diabetic patients who are overweight or obese, certain GLP-1 agonists are also approved by the FDA to help with weight control.

Can Menthol Have Harmful Effects?

Can Menthol Have Harmful Effects?

Natural products such as peppermint oil have many components. Menthol is the most abundant compound found in peppermint oil. Menthol can cause superficial irritation in small amounts and severe systemic symptoms in large amounts.

Take Care with Head Lice Treatments

Take Care with Head Lice Treatments

Head lice can affect just about any one. They are not dangerous but they cause miserable itching. Treating head lice involves combing the lice and their eggs (nits) from each strand of hair. Often a chemical also must be used to prevent additional lice from hatching. Follow instructions carefully. Keep products out of eyes, because they can be irritating.

What is Ethyl Chloride Spray? | Poison Control

What is Ethyl Chloride Spray? | Poison Control

Ethyl chloride is a local anesthetic agent that relieves pain by cooling the skin surface. Ethyl chloride abuse, which occurs when individuals intentionally inhale its vapors, can result in sleepiness, abnormal heart rhythms, and death. Ethyl chloride is flammable and can cause frostbite if used incorrectly.

Milnacipran for Fibromyalgia | Poison Control

Milnacipran for Fibromyalgia | Poison Control

Milnacipran (Savella) is one of three medications the FDA has approved to treat fibromyalgia (FM). It raises the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the central nervous system. Milnacipran treats the widespread pain of FM as well as helping with FM’s depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Side effects are usually mild, but milnacipran can interact with other medications that raise serotonin levels leading to a hazardous condition known as serotonin syndrome.

What is Doxycycline? | Poison Control

What is Doxycycline? | Poison Control

Doxycycline is a common broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribed for many kinds of infections. Therapeutic doses of doxycycline are generally safe, but doxycycline may cause severe reactions. It is important to understand what doxycycline is, be aware of precautions, and know what to do in instances of unintentional ingestion, overdose, or misuse.

What is TPOXX? | Poison Control

What is TPOXX? | Poison Control

Tecovirimat (TPOXX®) is an antiviral drug used to treat smallpox and monkeypox infections. People with severe monkeypox disease, those with weakened immune systems, and young children may be candidates for treatment with TPOXX®. Since it is held in the Strategic National Stockpile, TPOXX® must be obtained from the CDC or local or state health departments.

What is famotidine used for? | Poison Control

What is famotidine used for? | Poison Control

Famotidine is a medication commonly used for heartburn, reflux, and other gastric conditions. The dosing of famotidine varies based on the condition being treated, and famotidine is usually taken once or twice daily. Side effects of famotidine include headache and constipation or diarrhea. Use of famotidine has not been associated with cancer development in humans.

Vaporizer Medicine: Dangerous to Swallow

Vaporizer Medicine: Dangerous to Swallow

Vaporizers can add moisture and medication to the air. This can help people who have colds, the flu, or allergies. However, medicated vaporizer liquids are poisonous to swallow.

Drugs for Dementia

Drugs for Dementia

A decline in cognitive function can occur with aging and, if it interferes with daily activities, it might be diagnosed as dementia. Several drugs can produce small improvements in dementia symptoms. Adverse effects of these drugs occur frequently, and evaluation in a healthcare facility is often necessary if a person takes too much.

Diabetes Medication

Diabetes Medication

For young children, there is no safe dose of pills to treat diabetes. Even one pill can cause a child's blood sugar to drop dangerously low, causing seizures, coma, or death.

Does Grapefruit Juice Interact with Medications?

Does Grapefruit Juice Interact with Medications?

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice should not be consumed with certain medications. To find out if your medicines interact with grapefruit juice, read the package insert or label, or talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Toxic Twists: Eye Drops

Toxic Twists: Eye Drops

Question:To appear more beautiful, women would distill this herb and drop it into their eyes. What herb was it?

Drugs for ED

Drugs for ED

Erectile dysfunction (ED) medications can help treat certain medical causes of ED, but they are not without risk. Serious toxic effects have been seen in adults with use and misuse of these medications. Some “genuine” brand name products and herbal or “natural” ED products are counterfeit or mislabeled and sometimes contain dangerous substances.

Essential Oils: Poisonous when Misused

Essential Oils: Poisonous when Misused

Essential oils are derived from plant parts. Because they have a scent, essential oils are often used in perfumes, cosmetics, room fresheners, and flavorings. Many have a history of medicinal use, too. Misuse of essential oils can cause serious poisoning.

Expired Medicines: Should You Take Them?

Expired Medicines: Should You Take Them?

Don't take expired medicines. Instead, throw them away according to FDA guidelines. Old medicines may not work as well as they should. Drugs kept for a long time may deteriorate.

Hospitalization of Seniors from Medication

Hospitalization of Seniors from Medication

Every year, nearly 100,000 adults aged 65 and older are admitted to the hospital for drug side effects. In a recent study, the majority of problems were caused by "blood thinners" (warfarin and other oral anti-thrombosis drugs) and diabetes drugs (insulin and oral diabetes medicines).

What is Naloxone?

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone (Narcan®), the antidote for opioid overdose, is a safe and effective way of preventing respiratory failure and death from opioid poisoning. Naloxone can be given by health care workers or bystanders to people with suspected opioid poisoning.

What is Serotonin Syndrome?

What is Serotonin Syndrome?

Serotonin syndrome is a disorder caused by excessive serotonin activity in the human body. It often occurs after medication use and can cause potentially life-threatening signs and symptoms including high fever, confusion, and seizures.

Is it Safe to Take Paxlovid® with My Other Medications?

Is it Safe to Take Paxlovid® with My Other Medications?

Paxlovid® is an oral medication that recently received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent severe COVID-19 infection in high-risk individuals who test positive for the virus. While it is generally well tolerated, Paxlovid interacts with many commonly used medications, which can lead to toxicity.

Using Skin Patch Medicines Safely

Using Skin Patch Medicines Safely

Transdermal drugs release small amounts of drug into the blood stream over a long period of time. These "skin patch" drugs include pain relievers, nicotine, hormones, and drugs to treat angina and motion sickness. Overdoses can happen if the patch is broken, cut open, or chewed on, if too many are worn, or if a child has an adult patch on.

Took Too Much Melatonin?

Took Too Much Melatonin?

Melatonin occurs naturally in the body and is involved in the natural regulation of sleep. Melatonin is sometimes used as a dietary supplement to help people sleep. Like other dietary supplements, there are few studies that have examined its effectiveness. Toxicity from melatonin appears to be mild.

Melatonin

Melatonin

To date, there are no definite answers about how well melatonin works, how safe it is when taken for long periods, or what constitutes a melatonin overdose.

Too Much Tacrine?

Too Much Tacrine?

Tacrine (Cognex) was the first drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Cholinesterase inhibitor drugs like tacrine improve the symptoms of the disease and increase quality of life but do not cure or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Newer cholinesterase inhibitors are safer and have replaced tacrine.


Mercury in CFLs and amalgams

Safe Cleanup Tips for Broken CFLs

Safe Cleanup Tips for Broken CFLs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury. A small percentage of this mercury can be released into the air if the bulbs are broken. Mercury also can be released into the environment if bulbs are not recycled properly.

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for children under the age of four. Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for anyone. Mercury thermometers are now known to be a possible health risk if they break.

Do Fillings Cause Mercury Poisoning?

Do Fillings Cause Mercury Poisoning?

Mercury is a naturally occurring substance, found in air, water, and soil. It also is found in dental amalgam fillings. In sufficient quantity, mercury is known to be toxic to humans. Even so, scientific evidence, accumulated over decades, supports the view that there is no clinical evidence of mercury poisoning in people who have amalgam fillings in their mouths.


Mold

Mold 101: Effects on Human Health

Mold 101: Effects on Human Health

Mold is a non-scientific term for many types of unwanted fungi found both indoors and outdoors. Active mold growth requires moisture. Actively-growing mold damages the material it lives on, thereby impairing structural integrity. In addition, mold is associated with some untoward health effects in humans, including allergies and infections.


Mushrooms

Wild Mushroom Warning

Wild Mushroom Warning

There are old mushroom hunters, and there are bold mushroom hunters. There are no old, bold mushroom hunters.


Nicotine and cigarettes

My Child Ate a Cigarette!

My Child Ate a Cigarette!

Nicotine is very poisonous. The amount in only one cigarette butt is enough to poison a child. Other forms of nicotine are also extremely poisonous: cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, nicotine gum if chewed by a child, nicotine patches if chewed on by a child, and liquid nicotine used for electronic cigarettes.

E-Cigs and Toddlers: Beware

E-Cigs and Toddlers: Beware

Electronic cigarettes (e-Cigs) are devices made to look like real cigarettes. They contain a battery, a heater, and liquid nicotine. When heated, the nicotine liquid becomes a vapor, which users inhale. Liquid nicotine products contain flavorings and something to help the product vaporize. Liquid nicotine products are very poisonous if swallowed.

Another Reason Not To Smoke

Another Reason Not To Smoke

It is possible for heavy smokers to develop carbon monoxide poisoning. This can be severe enough to require treatment in an emergency room.

What are nicotine gummies? | Poison Control

What are nicotine gummies? | Poison Control

Nicotine gummies are marketed to help adults quit smoking; however, a single gummy contains enough nicotine to poison a young child. 

The Dangers of Disposable E-Cigarettes

The Dangers of Disposable E-Cigarettes

Many e-cigarette products have been removed from the US market, but disposable e-cigarettes are still available for sale as of October 2021. Disposable e-cigarettes are not meant to be refilled or recharged, but they can be easily opened using instructions found online. Exposure to the liquid contents of e-cigarettes can result in vomiting, tremors, and even death.


Outdoor and garage hazards

My Child just Took A Swig of Motor Oil

My Child just Took A Swig of Motor Oil

Motor oil can be very harmful if swallowed and aspirated into the lungs. Patients with respiratory symptoms after ingesting motor oil need to go to an ER for help. Used motor oil has contaminants, but a one-time exposure is unlikely to cause toxicity.

Windshield Washer Fluid: A Winter Hazard

Windshield Washer Fluid: A Winter Hazard

Windshield washer solution contains a chemical called methanol. If swallowed, methanol can cause kidney failure, blindness, and death.

Ammonia: History, Usage and Safety

Ammonia: History, Usage and Safety

Ammonia is a chemical that can be naturally or artificially produced. The toxicity of ammonia depends on its concentration. Most household products containing ammonia are safe when used as directed, but some have the potential to cause burns. Industrial products are typically more concentrated and more likely to cause burns.

Giant Hogweed and Its Toxic Cousins

Giant Hogweed and Its Toxic Cousins

Giant hogweed is the most well-known species of the genus Heracleum, a group of plants whose sap contains a chemical that can be very harmful if it touches the skin. Although the concentration of the toxic component can vary from plant to plant, it is best to avoid contact with any species in this group of plants to prevent potential injury!

Identifying, Treating and Preventing Swimmer's Itch

Identifying, Treating and Preventing Swimmer's Itch

Swimmer’s itch occurs when your body has an allergic reaction to parasite larvae found in swimming water. While the rash maybe uncomfortable and is often very itchy, it usually resolves with simple home treatment.

Fumes from Burning Plastic, Welding, and "Teflon Flu" | Poison Control

Fumes from Burning Plastic, Welding, and "Teflon Flu" | Poison Control

Fumes from heated metal and burning plastic products can cause flu-like illnesses in people and animals. People who weld metals at work are at risk, as are those who overheat PTFE (Teflon)-coated cookware.  Getting away from the source of the fumes is the most important treatment.

Antifreeze: Bad for Your Kids and Pets

Antifreeze: Bad for Your Kids and Pets

It is dangerous to swallow antifreeze, even small amounts. For several hours after swallowing, everything seems fine. But don't be fooled - the body is busy breaking down the antifreeze (ethylene glycol) into a number of substances that affect blood chemistry, the nervous system, and kidneys. If the victim survives, there may be permanent damage to the kidneys and brain.

Gasoline and Toddlers: Summer Risks

Gasoline and Toddlers: Summer Risks

Children get into gasoline most often in the summertime. If they're outside the car at the gas station, they get splashed; this can irritate the eyes or skin. If someone transfers gas to a food or drink container, kids drink it. Drinking gasoline can lead to gagging on it; this can lead to pneumonia and lung damage.

Poisoning from Frogs, Newts, Toads, and Salamanders

Poisoning from Frogs, Newts, Toads, and Salamanders

Amphibians—frogs, newts, toads, and salamanders—are equipped with defense mechanisms deserving of much caution. Some of the potent toxins they produce include digoxin, tryptamines, and tetrodotoxin. These can cause a variety of symptoms such as irregular heart rhythm, dizziness, cardiac arrest, and paralysis. Frogs and toads are also known to spread Salmonella to humans.

Hydraulic Fluids are Potentially Dangerous

Hydraulic Fluids are Potentially Dangerous

Hydraulic fluids are used for the transmission of power, which is captured when the fluid is pushed from one confined place to another using pressurized tanks, pistons, and tubing. Hydraulic fluids also keep parts lubricated, transfer heat, and remove impurities. There are many types of hydraulic fluids used for different applications, and all should be considered potentially dangerous.

Cocoa Bean Mulch Can Poison Dogs

Cocoa Bean Mulch Can Poison Dogs

Cocoa bean mulch contains theobromine and caffeine, just like chocolate. These chemicals are poisonous to dogs. Dogs who swallow cocoa bean mulch could have vomiting, diarrhea, a very fast heart rate, tremors and seizures. Death is uncommon but has happened. It's impossible to tell how much cocoa bean mulch might be poisonous.

Brake Fluid (diethylene glycol)

Brake Fluid (diethylene glycol)

Most brake fluids contain diethylene glycol (DEG). DEG has a sweet taste making it attractive to children and pets. DEG poisoning does not produce a lot of initial symptoms but it can cause substantial kidney damage.

Don't Get Burned by Cement

Don't Get Burned by Cement

Cement is used widely. Its high pH makes it corrosive and it can burn the skin, eyes, mouth, and lungs. The best prevention is to avoid or minimize exposure to it.

Pool Chemical Safety

Pool Chemical Safety

Pool chlorinating products are generally safe when handled properly. The key to avoiding injury at the pool is prevention! Make sure to follow all the safety rules at the pool and follow the instructions for handling all pool chemicals.

Lawn Chemicals

Lawn Chemicals

Spring can be a tough season for lawns. Homeowners sometimes use chemicals to repair winter damage and prepare the lawn for summer's rain, drought, or heat. If you decide to use chemicals to treat your lawn, choose only those chemicals which will treat your specific problem. Handle and store them safely.

​Radiation Spikes Near Chernobyl Do Not Pose Significant Health Risks

​Radiation Spikes Near Chernobyl Do Not Pose Significant Health Risks

While local spikes in radiation have been measured in the region around Chernobyl from soil disturbances due to the conflict in Ukraine, the increases in radiation do not pose any significant health risks for most individuals.

Fireworks Safety Tips

Fireworks Safety Tips

When used responsibly, fireworks are a fun way to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, serious injuries, poisonings, and fatalities can occur when they are mishandled, unintentionally swallowed, or when they malfunction. For this reason, it is extremely important to understand the risks and follow safety guidelines when handling them.


Pain killers

Acetaminophen: Take It Safely

Acetaminophen: Take It Safely

Acetaminophen is a very safe drug to take according to label instructions. In overdose, too much acetaminophen can damage the liver. In fact, acetaminophen overdose is an important cause of liver failure and liver transplants in the US.

Acetaminophen: Easier Dosing

Acetaminophen: Easier Dosing

Acetaminophen is a very safe medicine when used in recommended doses to treat pain and fever. But too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage and even death. This has happened when parents didn't understand the concentration or measurements. New formulations of acetaminophen for children make it easier to give the correct dose.

Use Acetaminophen Safely

Use Acetaminophen Safely

Acetaminophen is a safe and effective pain reliever when taken according to label instructions. But in overdose, it is a leading cause of liver damage and death.

Prescription Pain Relievers and Adults

Prescription Pain Relievers and Adults

More than ever, adults are poisoning themselves by mistake with prescription opioid pain relievers. Many of these people die and others require days of hospital treatment to recover.

Heroin - Background and Resources | Poison Control

Heroin - Background and Resources | Poison Control

Heroin, an addictive, illegal drug, can cause fatal overdoses. It is an opioid, a class of drugs that includes morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, among others. Heroin use is increasing due to tighter controls on prescription opioids. Naloxone is the antidote for an acute overdose. Withdrawal should be medically supervised.

Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Opioid Overdose

Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Opioid Overdose

When it comes to the opioid epidemic, we can all have a positive impact regardless of our social, economic, or professional status. It is important to practice safe medication use, storage, and disposal to prevent poisoning. By learning how to use the opioid reversal agent naloxone, you could save a life. Learn more by listening to our podcast, Poison!.

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. They are also found in combination products such as cough and cold medicines. An overdose of these medications may cause stomach upset, abdominal pain, and vomiting, kidney damage, ulcers, bleeding, seizures, and coma.

What are Synthetic Opioids?

What are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic opioids are powerful drugs that can cause life-threatening respiratory depression and death. These drugs are currently responsible for most of the opioid-related fatalities in the United States.

The Opioid Pendulum: Balancing Risks & Benefits

The Opioid Pendulum: Balancing Risks & Benefits

Appropriate use of opioids for pain relief requires delicately balancing risks and benefits. Too much of an opioid can be dangerous or even deadly, but too little leaves the patient in pain. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

Buprenorphine: Dangerous to Children

Buprenorphine: Dangerous to Children

Buprenorphine is prescribed for adults with opioid dependence or chronic pain. Most buprenorphine poisoning in children occurs due to improper storage of the medication. Symptoms of buprenorphine poisoning in children are drowsiness, vomiting, slow breathing, increased heart rate, and agitation. Coma and death have also been reported.

What is Ethyl Chloride Spray? | Poison Control

What is Ethyl Chloride Spray? | Poison Control

Ethyl chloride is a local anesthetic agent that relieves pain by cooling the skin surface. Ethyl chloride abuse, which occurs when individuals intentionally inhale its vapors, can result in sleepiness, abnormal heart rhythms, and death. Ethyl chloride is flammable and can cause frostbite if used incorrectly.

​What is fentanyl? | Poison Control

​What is fentanyl? | Poison Control

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is a common contaminant of illicit drugs. Fentanyl acts on the brain to cause life-threatening respiratory depression. The antidote naloxone (Narcan®) can reverse the effects of fentanyl overdose.

Prescription Overdose Deaths

Prescription Overdose Deaths

Two groups of people are most at risk of prescription drug overdose in this country: people who take high doses of opioids for medical uses over a long period of time and people who abuse opioids by taking them without a medical reason for doing so.

History of the Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

History of the Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

The opioid epidemic has evolved rapidly in recent years, starting with an increase in opioid prescriptions to treat chronic pain. To reduce risk and maximize the benefits of pain treatment options, the CDC issued guidelines for opioid prescribing which recommend non-opioid medications as the preferred first step when treating chronic pain. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

How Do We Stop the Opioid Epidemic?

How Do We Stop the Opioid Epidemic?

Current responses to the opioid epidemic are inadequate. Effective treatments are underutilized, and the result is a cycle of drug use, inadequate treatment, and return to drug use. Breaking this cycle will require a lot of individual and community effort. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

Introduction to the Opioid Epidemic

Introduction to the Opioid Epidemic

Opioids are powerful drugs that can relieve pain but also impair breathing, leading to brain injury and death in overdose. The rising number of deaths involving opioids is referred to as the opioid epidemic. People are dying in numbers that exceed the death toll seen during the peak of the AIDS epidemic. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

What is Naloxone?

What is Naloxone?

Naloxone (Narcan®), the antidote for opioid overdose, is a safe and effective way of preventing respiratory failure and death from opioid poisoning. Naloxone can be given by health care workers or bystanders to people with suspected opioid poisoning.


Pesticides and repellents

Pyrantel: A Safe and Effective Pinworm Treatment

Pyrantel: A Safe and Effective Pinworm Treatment

Pyrantel is an important drug for the control of intestinal worms in people and animals. It is estimated that close to 1 billion people are infested with intestinal worms globally. Pyrantel is a safe, effective, and inexpensive treatment for intestinal worms, and usually cures the condition after a single dose. It has very few side effects and is not known to cause severe toxicity in humans.

Pesticide & Nerve Agents: Similar Poisons, Similar Symptoms

Pesticide & Nerve Agents: Similar Poisons, Similar Symptoms

Organophosphate insecticides, sometimes used in and around the home, are related to some chemical warfare agents, specifically nerve agents. That fact drives home the point that insecticides must be chosen, used, and stored safely.

Mouse and Rat Poisons

Mouse and Rat Poisons

Pesticides to kill mice, rats, and other rodents can also harm humans (and pets). Anticoagulant rodenticides are often used. These can cause bleeding if they are eaten on a regular basis (for example, a child nibbling at a bait station).

Is Ant Bait Safe Around Children?

Is Ant Bait Safe Around Children?

Ant bait products have a variety of forms and active ingredients. Generally, unintentional exposures pose little risk of toxicity due to their low concentration. Toddlers who taste ant bait products might develop nausea and vomiting. Contact with the skin or eyes can cause irritation. Treatment of exposure to ant baits involves rinsing the mouth, skin, or eyes.

Use Pest Strips As Directed!

Use Pest Strips As Directed!

Pest strips are typically made out of either glue on a paper backing or a porous strip impregnated with an organophosphate insecticide. Glue may stick to the skin or get in the eyes, but is unlikely to result in significant toxicity. However, exposure to organophosphates can be very toxic, causing muscle weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and coma.

Mothballs Can Be Poisonous

Mothballs Can Be Poisonous

Mothballs are pesticides. They can be poisonous if swallowed or if large amounts of fumes are inhaled.

Imidacloprid Insecticide | Poison Control

Imidacloprid Insecticide | Poison Control

Imidacloprid is a widely used insecticide available in various forms (e.g., liquid, powder, granules). It’s derived from nicotine and kills insects by causing dysfunction of their nervous systems. Its effects on human, other mammalian, and vertebral nervous systems are much less intense. Small unintentional exposures to imidacloprid are typically well-tolerated. 

Proper Use of Crotamiton

Proper Use of Crotamiton

Crotamiton is a medication sometimes used to treat scabies infestation. Crotamiton kills the scabies mites and helps with the intense itching associated with scabies. Although it is generally safe, some side effects have been reported. While other pesticide and drug combinations have taken the place of crotamiton as first-line therapy, it remains an option for the treatment of scabies.

Use DEET Safely

Use DEET Safely

DEET is an insect repellant which helps prevent bites, and illnesses, from mosquitos and ticks. There are rare reports of health problems associated with the use of DEET, but most have been because of using the product incorrectly. The potential risks of West Nile Virus, Lyme disease, and other diseases caused by infected insects surpass the slight risks associated with DEET.

Oops! I Just Took My Dog's Heartworm Medicine

Oops! I Just Took My Dog's Heartworm Medicine

Ivermectin is a beneficial and safe antiparasitic drug used for a wide variety of parasitic diseases in humans and animals. Ivermectin is helping to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness), a malady that has plagued millions in the world's poorest communities.

OUCH! That Stuff Got in My Eye!

OUCH! That Stuff Got in My Eye!

Sunscreen and insect repellent can find their way into the eyes, causing pain and irritation. Immediate rinsing with running water is the best first aid.

Is My Pet's Flea Medication (Lufenuron) Poisonous to Humans?

Is My Pet's Flea Medication (Lufenuron) Poisonous to Humans?

Lufenuron is used to control fleas on dogs and cats. It is not used in humans, but humans might accidentally take an animal’s medication or come into contact with it in the form of an agricultural spray. Minor side effects such as GI upset and drowsiness might occur if that happens. No human overdoses have been published.

Insect Repellents

Insect Repellents

Protection against disease transmission from insect bites is an important worldwide public health issue. DEET has been the most widely used and most effective insect repellent for 60 years. Newer repellents such as picaridin, IR3535, and plant-derived oils may be somewhat safer but are not more effective than DEET.


Pet hazards

Easter Lilies and Cats: A Dangerous Combination

Easter Lilies and Cats: A Dangerous Combination

Easter Lily is the common name for Lilium longiflorum. This fragrant seasonal plant is extremely poisonous for cats. Eating small amounts of any part of this plant can cause dangerous symptoms and lead to death from kidney failure.

My Child Ate a Piece of a Calla Lily! | Poison Control

My Child Ate a Piece of a Calla Lily! | Poison Control

Calla lilies are common household and garden plants, and are frequently ingested by curious children. Calla lilies release microscopic needle-like crystals, resulting in immediate burning, pain and irritation. Severe or life-threatening symptoms are rare.

Planning a Home Remodel?

Planning a Home Remodel?

So many poison prevention stories are about children, but when it comes to home remodeling, adults are at risk, too. Children, adults, and pets can become sick if home renovations are not carried out carefully.

What Happens If A Skunk Sprays Me?

What Happens If A Skunk Sprays Me?

Skunks spray to repel potential predators with a foul-smelling, oily secretion stored in their perianal glands. For humans, it usually does not result in much more than short-term irritation. In dogs, in addition to irritation it can rarely cause a more serious condition in which the red blood cells are destroyed. Leaving skunks (as well as all wildlife) alone and making your home less attractive and inaccessible to them are the keys to prevention.

Pets and Holiday Hazards

Pets and Holiday Hazards

A number of holiday decorations and treats can be hazards to a pet's health. Batteries can cause internal burns, water from tree stands and left-over food can contain bacteria, and decorations and plants can be choking hazards. Also, human medicines may be more easily in reach.

Dogs and Pain Medications

Dogs and Pain Medications

You can gauge the extent and location of your dog's pain by watching his behavior, mood, and response to being touched. Anything more than very mild pain requires examination by a veterinarian who can prescribe the most appropriate medication. Over-the-counter pain medications intended for humans should never be used in dogs without consulting a veterinarian.

Fumes from Burning Plastic, Welding, and "Teflon Flu" | Poison Control

Fumes from Burning Plastic, Welding, and "Teflon Flu" | Poison Control

Fumes from heated metal and burning plastic products can cause flu-like illnesses in people and animals. People who weld metals at work are at risk, as are those who overheat PTFE (Teflon)-coated cookware.  Getting away from the source of the fumes is the most important treatment.

Pets and Medication Errors

Pets and Medication Errors

Medication errors can be dangerous for humans and for pets. An overdose of the pet's own medicine can be harmful, even fatal. Some human medicines are very dangerous for pets. Drug interactions can occur in pets, just as they can in humans. Be as careful about medicating pets as you are about medicating your children or yourself.

Cat Bites and Scratches

Cat Bites and Scratches

Bites and scratches from a healthy-appearing cat can make you sick. Always tell your healthcare provider about cat bites and scratches if you have unexplained symptoms, especially fever.

Antifreeze: Bad for Your Kids and Pets

Antifreeze: Bad for Your Kids and Pets

It is dangerous to swallow antifreeze, even small amounts. For several hours after swallowing, everything seems fine. But don't be fooled - the body is busy breaking down the antifreeze (ethylene glycol) into a number of substances that affect blood chemistry, the nervous system, and kidneys. If the victim survives, there may be permanent damage to the kidneys and brain.

Pets, Kids, and Ice Melt Products

Pets, Kids, and Ice Melt Products

Ice-melting chemicals commonly contain sodium chloride or rock salt, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and/or urea, also known as carbonyl diamide. If swallowed, they can be irritating and cause stomach distress. On the skin or paws, they can cause irritation and dryness.

Chocolate and Dogs

Chocolate and Dogs

When swallowed by dogs, chocolate can cause nausea, vomiting, tremors, and seizures. Effects can begin within a short time. Treatment should begin quickly. There are no specific antidotes for this poisoning in animals.

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin

Ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They are used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. They are also found in combination products such as cough and cold medicines. An overdose of these medications may cause stomach upset, abdominal pain, and vomiting, kidney damage, ulcers, bleeding, seizures, and coma.

How Safe are Boxwood Plants?

How Safe are Boxwood Plants?

Boxwood plants and hedges are common and generally present low toxicity for humans. However, when eaten they can be toxic for animals including dogs, cats, and horses.

Xylitol: Artificial Sweetener Can Poison Your Pet

Xylitol: Artificial Sweetener Can Poison Your Pet

Xylitol is a sweetener that is safe for humans but poisonous to pets.

Mothballs Can Be Poisonous

Mothballs Can Be Poisonous

Mothballs are pesticides. They can be poisonous if swallowed or if large amounts of fumes are inhaled.

Cocoa Bean Mulch Can Poison Dogs

Cocoa Bean Mulch Can Poison Dogs

Cocoa bean mulch contains theobromine and caffeine, just like chocolate. These chemicals are poisonous to dogs. Dogs who swallow cocoa bean mulch could have vomiting, diarrhea, a very fast heart rate, tremors and seizures. Death is uncommon but has happened. It's impossible to tell how much cocoa bean mulch might be poisonous.

What Happens If I Eat Castor Beans? | Poison Control

What Happens If I Eat Castor Beans? | Poison Control

The castor bean is the seed of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis). It contains a highly toxic compound called ricin, which is released when the seed is crushed or chewed. Ricin prevents cells from making proteins, which are essential to life. Although castor oil is made from the same seeds, it does not contain ricin.

Caution With Caustics

Caution With Caustics

Caustic products cause burns on contact with skin, eyes, and the gastrointestinal tract. More than other household products, caustic substances do their damage instantly. Injury cannot be reversed, only treated.

Christmas Tree Preservatives

Christmas Tree Preservatives

Christmas tree preservatives aren't necessary. Commercial preservatives may cause stomach upset and vomiting in children and pets who swallow them. Home-made preservatives may contain ingredients that are harmful to children and pets.

Prevent Cold Weather Poisonings

Prevent Cold Weather Poisonings

There are special poisoning concerns during the winter: family travel, family gatherings, carbon monoxide poisoning, and winter chemicals for the car. Follow Poison Control's prevention tips to keep your family safe this winter.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been used as a "natural" remedy for a long time, especially for skin afflictions. There is some scientific evidence that tea tree oil can be effective for certain skin conditions. It is poisonous if swallowed and so should not be used in or around the mouth at all.


Plants

Pokeberries: A Grape Look Alike

Pokeberries: A Grape Look Alike

Pokeberries are found in grape-like clusters on tall perennials with purple-red stems. Eating several berries can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Adults have eaten the roots, mistaking them for medicinal plants. Serious gastrointestinal problems have occurred, including bloody vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and low blood pressure.

Easter Lilies and Cats: A Dangerous Combination

Easter Lilies and Cats: A Dangerous Combination

Easter Lily is the common name for Lilium longiflorum. This fragrant seasonal plant is extremely poisonous for cats. Eating small amounts of any part of this plant can cause dangerous symptoms and lead to death from kidney failure.

I Swallowed A Cherry Pit!

I Swallowed A Cherry Pit!

Although the seeds of stone fruits naturally contain cyanide, small unintentional ingestions generally do not cause harm. However, swallowing, crushing, or chewing the seeds should be avoided. Swallowing stone fruit pits, kernels, or seeds as complementary or alternative medicine is unsupported by scientific evidence and is dangerous and possibly deadly.

Aconitum napellus (Monkshood): A Purple Poison

Aconitum napellus (Monkshood): A Purple Poison

Aconitum napellus flowers look beautiful, but swallowing any part of the plant could be deadly.

My Child Ate a Piece of a Calla Lily! | Poison Control

My Child Ate a Piece of a Calla Lily! | Poison Control

Calla lilies are common household and garden plants, and are frequently ingested by curious children. Calla lilies release microscopic needle-like crystals, resulting in immediate burning, pain and irritation. Severe or life-threatening symptoms are rare.

Bird of Paradise Plant: A Beautiful Plant with Low Human Toxicity

Bird of Paradise Plant: A Beautiful Plant with Low Human Toxicity

The bird of paradise plant has stunning flowers. It is an ideal houseplant because it is low-maintenance and is considered minimally toxic to humans. A small, unintentional ingestion by a child can result in gastrointestinal effects including vomiting and diarrhea. Swallowing a larger piece can potentially lead to choking. This plant may be poisonous for animals.

What to Know About California Poppy Products

What to Know About California Poppy Products

The California poppy (Echscholzia californica) has been used as an herbal product and can be purchased as as capsules, tablets, loose leaves for tea, and an extract. The plant contains several alkaloids which some believe can help with sleep, anxiety, and pain. However, there are no useful studies conducted in humans that support these claims.

Allergic Reactions to the Black-eyed Susan Flower

Allergic Reactions to the Black-eyed Susan Flower

The Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a wildflower that blooms from June to October. They have bright yellow, daisy-like petals. Although the black-eyed Susan has not been known to poison humans, it should not be eaten. It can cause allergic skin reactions and asthma attacks in people sensitive to the plant.

Are Plants in the Alocasia Genus Poisonous?

Are Plants in the Alocasia Genus Poisonous?

Alocasia plants make stunning houseplants, but they can be harmful if the plant material is chewed on or swallowed. These plants contain oxalate crystals that can cause mouth pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. They should be kept away from children and pets.

Poisonous and Non-poisonous Plants: An Illustrated List

Poisonous and Non-poisonous Plants: An Illustrated List

Some plants can be poisonous if you eat them. Others can hurt you if you get them on your skin. For some plants, all parts of the plant are poisonous. For others, only certain parts of the plant are harmful. The danger can range from mild irritation to severe illness or death. Check our our list of selected poisonous and non-poisonous plants.

Yew and Paclitaxel: What Do They Have in Common?

Yew and Paclitaxel: What Do They Have in Common?

Just because something is "natural", it isn't necessarily safe to casually eat or use. Originally, all remedies came from nature. Yew is an example of a plant with medicinal value that can be poisonous if eaten.

Giant Hogweed and Its Toxic Cousins

Giant Hogweed and Its Toxic Cousins

Giant hogweed is the most well-known species of the genus Heracleum, a group of plants whose sap contains a chemical that can be very harmful if it touches the skin. Although the concentration of the toxic component can vary from plant to plant, it is best to avoid contact with any species in this group of plants to prevent potential injury!

Dieffenbachia and Philodendron: Popular but Poisonous

Dieffenbachia and Philodendron: Popular but Poisonous

Both Dieffenbachia and Philodendron are great houseplants for beginners. However, both plants contain oxalates which can cause swelling, drooling, and loss of speech if swallowed. Swelling, redness, and irritation can also occur if the skin or eyes are exposed. Dieffenbachia and Philodendron plants should be handled carefully and kept away from children and pets.

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac

Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can cause rashes if someone touches them. The rash is caused by oils in the plants. It may be severe enough to blister and itch for days or weeks. Most cases can be managed at home with household and OTC products. Severe cases require medical attention. If these plants are burned, inhaling the smoke can cause severe breathing problems.

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Azaleas and Rhododendrons

Serious poisoning is unlikely when small pieces of azalea or rhododendron are swallowed. But swallowing large amounts of any part of the plant or honey made from these flowering plants can cause life-threatening symptoms. 

How Safe are Boxwood Plants?

How Safe are Boxwood Plants?

Boxwood plants and hedges are common and generally present low toxicity for humans. However, when eaten they can be toxic for animals including dogs, cats, and horses.

Are Pyracantha Berries Poisonous?

Are Pyracantha Berries Poisonous?

Pyracantha is an evergreen shrub often used in landscaping. The shrub typically has plentiful orange-red berries and needle-like thorns. The berries have not been shown to be toxic to animals or humans, although swallowing large amounts might cause some mild stomach upset.

Are Cocklebur Seeds Safe to Eat?

Are Cocklebur Seeds Safe to Eat?

Cocklebur seeds might look and taste like sunflower seeds but they should never be eaten! The seeds can cause abdominal pain, vomiting, low blood sugar, seizures, and severe liver injury.

Are Black Locust Trees Toxic?

Are Black Locust Trees Toxic?

The bark, seeds, and leaves of black locust trees contain poisonous compounds called toxalbumins. They are toxic to both livestock and humans and have been reported to cause symptoms from gastrointestinal distress to nervous system disorders. Any exposure to black locust should be taken seriously, and professional guidance should sought.

Are Chinaberry Trees Poisonous? | Poison Control

Are Chinaberry Trees Poisonous? | Poison Control

Chinaberry trees are an invasive species that can be harmful if any part is chewed on or swallowed. Ingestions of small amounts of plant material can cause gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhea within 1 hour. Most reports of large ingestions resulting in severe symptoms have occurred in animals.

Are Peace Lilies Poisonous? | Poison Control

Are Peace Lilies Poisonous? | Poison Control

The peace lily is one of the most common household plants Poison Control is called about. The flowers, leaves, and stems of the peace lily contain very small, insoluble calcium oxalate crystal that can cause immediate mouth and throat irritation if chewed or swallowed. 

Are Morning Glories Poisonous?

Are Morning Glories Poisonous?

The seeds of morning glory contain a chemical similar to LSD. Eating enough of them can cause many types of symptoms, from diarrhea to hallucinations requiring medical care.

Are poinsettias poisonous? | Poison Control

Are poinsettias poisonous? | Poison Control

The poinsettia plant is often considered deadly. That's wrong. Poinsettia can be irritating but it is not fatal if eaten. If children and pets eat it, they can develop a mouth rash and stomach upset. The sap can cause a skin rash, too.

​My Child Ate Foxtail Grass!

​My Child Ate Foxtail Grass!

The flowering stems of wild grasses have a unique shape that allows them to be easily inhaled by humans or animals if they handle wild grass, put it in their mouths, or play in areas where wild grass grows. Aspiration of wild grass can cause coughing, respiratory irritation, and lung disease, such as pneumonia, that can be very difficult to diagnose and treat.

Keep Away From Spurge Sap | Poison Control

Keep Away From Spurge Sap | Poison Control

Euphorbia, also known as spurges, is a genus of over 2000 different flowering plants. These plants contain a milky white sap that can be very irritating to the skin, eyes, and mouth. If someone is exposed to spurge sap, it is important to decontaminate the exposed area.

Can Poison Hemlock Be Deadly?

Can Poison Hemlock Be Deadly?

Poison hemlock is a deadly plant that looks dangerously similar to other edible plants. Modern day exposures are often the result of plant misidentification.

​Mescal Bean Toxicity

​Mescal Bean Toxicity

Mescal beans grow inside the pale pods of the mountain laurel tree. Mescal beans have been used for ceremonial purposes, but they are not chemically related to the similar sounding hallucinogen mescaline found in peyote. A taste of a mescal bean should not be toxic, but intentional ingestions by people seeking “legal highs” can be dangerous.

What Happens If I Eat Castor Beans? | Poison Control

What Happens If I Eat Castor Beans? | Poison Control

The castor bean is the seed of the castor oil plant (Ricinus communis). It contains a highly toxic compound called ricin, which is released when the seed is crushed or chewed. Ricin prevents cells from making proteins, which are essential to life. Although castor oil is made from the same seeds, it does not contain ricin.

Daffodils - Beautiful but Potentially Toxic | Poison Control

Daffodils - Beautiful but Potentially Toxic | Poison Control

All parts of the daffodil are toxic. When swallowed, it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Eating the bulb can cause severe irritation of the mouth and stomach upset. These symptoms are usually not life threatening and resolve within a few hours.

Holly Berries

Holly Berries

The berries of the holly plant are poisonous to people and pets. Swallowing them can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and drowsiness. 

Fall Berries Only LOOK Edible!

Fall Berries Only LOOK Edible!

To a child, wild berries look good enough to eat. Only some of them are. Others are poisonous. Some are not actually poisonous but can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Is Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum) Toxic? | Poison Control

Is Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum) Toxic? | Poison Control

All parts of the Spanish broom plant (Spartium junceum) are considered toxic. It can cause symptoms ranging from abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to more serious effects like seizures and respiratory failure.

Tulip Bulb Toxicity

Tulip Bulb Toxicity

Tulips are beautiful and hardy plants grown from bulbs. Although a variety of symptoms have followed eating tulip bulbs, the exact toxicity of the plant when eaten has not been fully established. However, a well-documented toxicity from handling tulips is known as "tulip fingers."

Milkweed Plant Can Cause Serious Poisoning

Milkweed Plant Can Cause Serious Poisoning

Milkweed grows throughout the US and is essential for the survival of monarch butterflies. All parts of the plant contain toxic cardiac glycosides, which can cause nausea, diarrhea, weakness, and confusion in small amounts, and seizures, heart rhythm changes, respiratory paralysis, and even death in large amounts. Milkweed can also irritate the skin and eyes if touched.

Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor) | Poison Control

Common Periwinkle (Vinca minor) | Poison Control

The common or lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor) has traditionally been used to treat several illnesses. It is always best to consult with your primary care provider and pharmacist before starting any herbal or supplement regimen to avoid any potential interactions with prescription or over-the-counter medications. 

Is White Mulberry Poisonous? | Poison Control

Is White Mulberry Poisonous? | Poison Control

White mulberry is a leafy tree that grows across the United States. The leaves contain considerable amounts of fiber and protein, and white mulberry leaf extracts are used as a dietary supplement for management of blood sugar, weight, and other conditions. White mulberry is generally associated with few adverse effects in humans.

​Why do onions make you cry? | Poison Control

​Why do onions make you cry? | Poison Control

Onions are pungent, contain plentiful nutrients, and have many potential health benefits. When cut or damaged, onions can cause eye irritation and tear production due to the formation of a sulfur-containing chemicals (called “lachrymatory factor”).

Is mistletoe poisonous? | Poison Control

Is mistletoe poisonous? | Poison Control

Mistletoe has a reputation for being deadly, but is that reputation deserved? Until recent studies were published, the American mistletoe genus, Phoradendron, was widely considered to be extremely poisonous. Swallowing American mistletoe can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset but is not likely to cause serious poisoning in small, unintentional ingestions. 

Foxglove - Toxic to the Heart | Poison Control

Foxglove - Toxic to the Heart | Poison Control

Foxglove grows throughout the United States. It grows in the wild and is often cultivated for its beauty in private gardens. All parts of the plant are poisonous, possibly even deadly, if swallowed. 

Virginia Creeper & Wisteria Toxicity

Virginia Creeper & Wisteria Toxicity

Although they are pretty, Virginia creeper and wisteria can be harmful if they are chewed or swallowed. Both plants can cause mouth pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and should not be eaten.

True Stories for Springtime

True Stories for Springtime

In the woods or in the garden, nature can surprise the unprepared.

Skin Problems from Outdoor Plants

Skin Problems from Outdoor Plants

Mechanical injury, chemical irritation, allergic reactions, and light-sensitivity are all possible effects of exposure to certain plants – not just poison ivy.


Plastic containers and BPA

BPA and the Controversy about Plastic Food Containers

BPA and the Controversy about Plastic Food Containers

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to harden plastic, is found in a number of consumer products, including hard plastic drinking containers and the linings of infant formula and food cans. In animal studies, BPA imitates effects of estrogen. There is controversy about whether animal studies are relevant to humans. Some scientists and consumers suggest reducing exposure to BPA.

​Are Microplastics Harmful?

​Are Microplastics Harmful?

Microplastics are common throughout our environment and are present in air, food, and drinking water. Microplastics have also been found in the human body, but it’s unclear if they cause undesirable health effects.


Poison safety and prevention

I Swallowed Liquid from a COVID-19 Test Kit

I Swallowed Liquid from a COVID-19 Test Kit

Rapid home COVID-19 antigen tests contain a small amount of the toxic chemical sodium azide, but the risk of poisoning is low when these tests are used and disposed of properly.

National Poison Prevention Week 2012

National Poison Prevention Week 2012

More than 1.4 million children get into poisons every year. Preventing poisonings is most important. But, if children do get into a poison, call Poison Control right away. The 24-hour number is 1-800-222-1222.

National Poison Prevention Week 2014

National Poison Prevention Week 2014

More than 1.4 million children get into poisons every year. Preventing poisonings is most important. But, if children do get into a poison, call Poison Control right away. The 24-hour number is 1-800-222-1222.

What Belongs in a Soft Drink Bottle?

What Belongs in a Soft Drink Bottle?

Transferring a chemical into a soft drink bottle is a recipe for disaster…or death.

Tips for a Happy and Safe Valentine's Day

Tips for a Happy and Safe Valentine's Day

Most of us are thinking about love, chocolates and flowers on Valentine's Day, not about poison. Let's also keep the day poison-free by following a few quick tips from Poison Control. Enjoy those treats! 

Grandparents and Child Safety

Grandparents and Child Safety

Grandparents can be bewildered by today's safety recommendations: yes to car seats and bare cribs; no to walkers. There are many new medicines now, too. Some of them can be dangerous for children who swallow only one tablet. Grandparents' medicines are among the most dangerous causes of childhood poisoning.

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Children will swallow anything they can reach. Most of the time, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract with no trouble; the object turns up in the child's stool. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins made up 80 percent of swallowed foreign objects that had to be removed by surgery.

PFAS: Are "Forever Chemicals" Harmful?

PFAS: Are "Forever Chemicals" Harmful?

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are present in our everyday lives in products including stain-resistant fabrics, non-stick cookware, and food packaging. While some research has suggested an association with PFAS exposure and harmful effects on human health, more research is needed to fully define the health effects of PFAS exposure.

Poisoned at the Office?

Poisoned at the Office?

The most frequent calls from offices to Poison Control are about drinking coffee pot cleaner instead of coffee, eating left-over food from an office party or the office refrigerator, and breathing in fumes from the photocopier.

Liquid Nitrogen Can Cause Severe Burns

Liquid Nitrogen Can Cause Severe Burns

Nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the air we breathe. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold and is used in medical, scientific, industrial, commercial, and even culinary settings where extreme cold is required. Although liquid nitrogen is generally inert if untouched, it has the potential to cause severe injury and even death if handled improperly.

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cleaning Out the Medicine Cabinet

Cough and cold medicines are no longer recommended for children under the age of four. Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for anyone. Mercury thermometers are now known to be a possible health risk if they break.

Taste Changes Don't Stop Poisonings

Taste Changes Don't Stop Poisonings

Antifreeze is a sweet-tasting poison. Studies show that adding a bittering agent to antifreeze does not decrease poisonings or suicides with antifreeze.

Increasing Childhood Drug Poisonings

Increasing Childhood Drug Poisonings

More young children now visit U.S. emergency rooms for drug poisonings than for car crashes. The most dangerous prescription medicines for children to get into include those for diabetes, anxiety, muscle spasms, sleep problems, heart disease, and high blood pressure, and opioid (narcotic) pain relievers.

Container Transfers

Container Transfers

Transferring products from their original containers to unlabeled beverage or other containers happens all too often. Think only children mistake the contents for juice or soda? Not so! Adults unintentionally drink these poisons too. Sometimes the result is only throat irritation or vomiting, but sometimes the consequences are serious. 

Poison Control Help When On The Road

Poison Control Help When On The Road

Wherever you travel in the United States, expert help from Poison Control is just a click or phone call away. Download the webPOISONCONTROL® app, bookmark webPOISONCONTROL.org, and program 1-800-222-1222, the nationwide phone number, in your phone. Poison Control is available nationwide.  

Over the Counter (OTC) Drug Labels

Over the Counter (OTC) Drug Labels

The most important part of taking or giving medicine happens before taking or giving that drug: reading and understanding the label. This is the easiest way to prevent errors and overdoses. All over-the-counter (OTC) medication labels contain Drug Facts: important information about the active ingredient(s), uses, warnings, doses, and directions.

How Dangerous is Pepper Spray?

How Dangerous is Pepper Spray?

Lacrimators are chemicals that cause tear production and are typically used for personal protection and crowd control. These chemicals cause intense irritation to the eyes, skin, and lungs and can temporarily incapacitate an individual. The most common lacrimator is pepper spray. Its effects are generally mild and resolve fairly quickly. More severe effects require medical evaluation.

Oops! I Just Took My Dog's Heartworm Medicine

Oops! I Just Took My Dog's Heartworm Medicine

Ivermectin is a beneficial and safe antiparasitic drug used for a wide variety of parasitic diseases in humans and animals. Ivermectin is helping to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness), a malady that has plagued millions in the world's poorest communities.

Toxic Twists: Eye Drops

Toxic Twists: Eye Drops

Question:To appear more beautiful, women would distill this herb and drop it into their eyes. What herb was it?

Medication Errors

Medication Errors

There are many ways to make mistakes with medicines. Among the most common are taking the wrong medicine, taking too much medicine, giving the wrong medicine, and confusing one medicine for another. Problems from these mix-ups could range from minor to extremely serious.

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Fire Extinguisher Safety

Proper use of fire extinguishers is generally safe; however, there is some risk for mild respiratory, skin, or eye irritation. Use in areas with poor air flow, use with intent to harm someone, or intentional inhalation of fire extinguishers can produce serious toxicity and would require medical evaluation.

Get to know webPOISONCONTROL

Get to know webPOISONCONTROL

After decades providing service by telephone only, we're expanding access to poison control guidance. Now you can get personalized and accurate poison help ONLINE with webPOISONCONTROL®. Support this innovation! Its future depends on you.

Household Product Labels

Household Product Labels

Household product labels often contain the wrong information - or no information - about treating poisonings.

Summer Poison-Proofing

Summer Poison-Proofing

The weather is perfect for a cookout or picnic. Family and friends gather. And the kids are…getting into things like they always do. Spending a little time to think through outdoor activities can keep poisons from spoiling your fun, for adults and children alike.

Toxic Twists

Toxic Twists

Are you getting ready for holiday parties? Setting out mixers? Choosing wine? Primping? A few things have changed over the years. See if you can answer these toxic twists!


Poisons in opera and literature

Pop Quiz about Poisons in Opera

Pop Quiz about Poisons in Opera

The fall opera season has opened. To twenty-first century audiences, the following nineteenth-century abbreviated plot summaries may seem laughable. But to operatic true believers, they provide the basis for gorgeous music.

Poisons and Antidotes in Children's Storybooks

Poisons and Antidotes in Children's Storybooks

From the magical to the horrifying, children's stories provide a long list of poison prevention DON'Ts. There is a common theme in most of these magical stories, however. Poison prevention is important for people and animals of all ages, and seeking help is very important.


Silica Gel

Non-Toxic Substances Cause Worry

Non-Toxic Substances Cause Worry

Many household items are non-toxic (not poisonous) to children, even though they sound scary. Birth control pills, silica gel packets that say "do not eat", and potting soil are among them. BUT young children can choke on non-toxic products.


Snakes

Coral Snake Bite Treatment

Coral Snake Bite Treatment

Coral snakes usually have a pattern of red, black, and yellow (or white) colored rings that span their bodies. Although uncommon, coral snake bites can potentially lead to severe neurotoxicity, including complete respiratory failure, if left untreated. All suspected envenomations should be evaluated and monitored in a hospital for at least 24 hours due to the delayed onset of symptoms.

True Stories for Springtime

True Stories for Springtime

In the woods or in the garden, nature can surprise the unprepared.

Snakebites in March?

Snakebites in March?

The beginning of warmer weather is the beginning of snakebite season. Many of these bites occur around people's homes, when the snakes are defending themselves from a perceived threat. Poisonous snakes don't always inject venom when they bite, and many snakebites are from non-poisonous snakes. Be sure to call Poison Control promptly if someone is bitten.


Substance abuse

What is Delta-8 THC?

What is Delta-8 THC?

Delta-8 THC is similar to delta-9 THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, although it is less potent. The legal status of delta-8 THC is vague; it is legal in some states but has been restricted or banned in others. In states where the sale of delta-8 THC is legal, packaging may not be child-resistant, and may feature bright colors, cartoon-like images, or other features that are attractive to young children and adolescents.

Studies about Delta-9 THC-O Acetate are Limited

Studies about Delta-9 THC-O Acetate are Limited

Delta-9 THC-O acetate is a synthetic derivative of cannabis and causes psychoactive effects like those of delta-9 THC. There are limited available studies of delta-9 THC-O acetate’s clinical effects in humans, so caution is advised when using this product.

Parents: Know about Inhalant Abuse

Parents: Know about Inhalant Abuse

Inhalant abuse means trying to get high by breathing in vapors, fumes, or aerosol sprays. Thousands of products can be abused by inhaling. These are ordinary household products – and they are poisons. Nearly 20 percent of eighth-graders admit to abusing inhalants, but most parents don't even know about it. Inhalants can kill – even the first time.

Dextromethorphan Abuse | Poison Control

Dextromethorphan Abuse | Poison Control

Dextromethorphan is an over-the-counter cough suppressant found in more than 120 cough and cold products. Recreational abuse has become increasingly common and leads to approximately 6000 emergency room visits a year. Recreational users intentionally exceed recommended doses to experience heightened awareness, altered time perception, and visual hallucinations.

Toxic twists: Soft Drinks and Cocaine

Toxic twists: Soft Drinks and Cocaine

Question: Until the 1920's, this soft drink contained traces of cocaine. What drink was it?

Heroin - Background and Resources | Poison Control

Heroin - Background and Resources | Poison Control

Heroin, an addictive, illegal drug, can cause fatal overdoses. It is an opioid, a class of drugs that includes morphine, codeine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone, among others. Heroin use is increasing due to tighter controls on prescription opioids. Naloxone is the antidote for an acute overdose. Withdrawal should be medically supervised.

"Needle Spiking" and Other Drug-Facilitated Crimes

"Needle Spiking" and Other Drug-Facilitated Crimes

Needle spiking involves the secret injection of poisonous substances into unsuspecting individuals and represents a form of drug-facilitated crime. It is a scary concept but it is also fortunately a rare occurrence.

Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Opioid Overdose

Recognizing, Treating, and Preventing Opioid Overdose

When it comes to the opioid epidemic, we can all have a positive impact regardless of our social, economic, or professional status. It is important to practice safe medication use, storage, and disposal to prevent poisoning. By learning how to use the opioid reversal agent naloxone, you could save a life. Learn more by listening to our podcast, Poison!.

Kitchen Surprises and Cautions

Kitchen Surprises and Cautions

Some ordinary kitchen ingredients can be harmful if children swallow large amounts. Examples include alcohol-based flavoring extracts, oil of wintergreen, and nutmeg. Poppy seeds can cause a positive drug screen if someone eats a lot shortly before a drug test.

Fake Pot and Cocaine

Fake Pot and Cocaine

Newer drugs of abuse are sending thousands of people to emergency rooms. They're called "fake pot", "fake weed", and "fake cocaine", but their effects are real and dangerous. Users cannot know exactly what they are getting when they buy and use these drugs. Some users of these drugs are ill for days and some have died.

Dangers of Illegal "Spice" and "Bath Salts"

Dangers of Illegal "Spice" and "Bath Salts"

"Spice", K2, and fake weed are some of the names given to illegal plant-based substances intended to imitate marijuana. Symptoms can range from anxiety and psychiatric disorders to death. "Bath salts" is a name for a synthetic chemical meant to act like cocaine or amphetamine. Users have had seizures, high blood pressure, and hallucinations; some have died.

What are Synthetic Opioids?

What are Synthetic Opioids?

Synthetic opioids are powerful drugs that can cause life-threatening respiratory depression and death. These drugs are currently responsible for most of the opioid-related fatalities in the United States.

Are Morning Glories Poisonous?

Are Morning Glories Poisonous?

The seeds of morning glory contain a chemical similar to LSD. Eating enough of them can cause many types of symptoms, from diarrhea to hallucinations requiring medical care.

The Opioid Pendulum: Balancing Risks & Benefits

The Opioid Pendulum: Balancing Risks & Benefits

Appropriate use of opioids for pain relief requires delicately balancing risks and benefits. Too much of an opioid can be dangerous or even deadly, but too little leaves the patient in pain. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex)

Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex)

Propylhexedrine (Benzedrex) inhalers can be bought without a prescription for use as a nasal decongestant but can be abused to help study or to get high. They should not be used for these purposes.

Buprenorphine: Dangerous to Children

Buprenorphine: Dangerous to Children

Buprenorphine is prescribed for adults with opioid dependence or chronic pain. Most buprenorphine poisoning in children occurs due to improper storage of the medication. Symptoms of buprenorphine poisoning in children are drowsiness, vomiting, slow breathing, increased heart rate, and agitation. Coma and death have also been reported.

Club Drugs ("Molly")

Club Drugs ("Molly")

"Molly" is slang for an illegal street drug. It is often thought to be a "pure" form of the illegal drugs Ecstasy or MDMA. However, capsules or powder called "Molly" often contain other illegal drugs, legal drugs, sugar, baking powder, soap, or other household substances. Taking "Molly" can be fatal. Even first-time users have died.

​What is fentanyl? | Poison Control

​What is fentanyl? | Poison Control

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is a common contaminant of illicit drugs. Fentanyl acts on the brain to cause life-threatening respiratory depression. The antidote naloxone (Narcan®) can reverse the effects of fentanyl overdose.

Dangers of Poppers

Dangers of Poppers

Poppers are recreational drugs containing alkyl nitrites. They are used for muscle relaxation and aphrodisia but their use can cause low oxygen levels, difficulty breathing, and feeling faint. In severe or untreated cases, death can occur. Due to the severe health problems that can occur with the  use of poppers, the FDA has warned consumers not to use these products.

Prescription Overdose Deaths

Prescription Overdose Deaths

Two groups of people are most at risk of prescription drug overdose in this country: people who take high doses of opioids for medical uses over a long period of time and people who abuse opioids by taking them without a medical reason for doing so.

History of the Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

History of the Opioid Epidemic: How Did We Get Here?

The opioid epidemic has evolved rapidly in recent years, starting with an increase in opioid prescriptions to treat chronic pain. To reduce risk and maximize the benefits of pain treatment options, the CDC issued guidelines for opioid prescribing which recommend non-opioid medications as the preferred first step when treating chronic pain. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

How Do We Stop the Opioid Epidemic?

How Do We Stop the Opioid Epidemic?

Current responses to the opioid epidemic are inadequate. Effective treatments are underutilized, and the result is a cycle of drug use, inadequate treatment, and return to drug use. Breaking this cycle will require a lot of individual and community effort. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.

Ecstasy: Summary of Harmful Effects

Ecstasy: Summary of Harmful Effects

Ecstasy, an illegal drug of abuse, is a stimulant related to amphetamine. An ecstasy overdose can cause high blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, seizures, dehydration, a dangerously high body temperature, and death. An ecstasy user who develops medical distress should be seen promptly in an emergency room.

Introduction to the Opioid Epidemic

Introduction to the Opioid Epidemic

Opioids are powerful drugs that can relieve pain but also impair breathing, leading to brain injury and death in overdose. The rising number of deaths involving opioids is referred to as the opioid epidemic. People are dying in numbers that exceed the death toll seen during the peak of the AIDS epidemic. Listen to our podcast, Poison!, to learn more.


Toys and crafts and jewelry

Halloween: Tricks, Treats, and Glow Sticks

Halloween: Tricks, Treats, and Glow Sticks

Halloween treats are great. Tricks are not! Go with your children when they trick-or-treat. Look at the goodies before they're eaten. Rinse liquid from glow sticks out of eyes if it's splashed. Drink some water if it's swallowed. And, stick to actual cosmetics meant for the skin when making up.

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Kids Will Swallow Anything

Children will swallow anything they can reach. Most of the time, these objects pass through the gastrointestinal tract with no trouble; the object turns up in the child's stool. Sometimes, surgery is needed to remove the object(s). In one recent study, coins made up 80 percent of swallowed foreign objects that had to be removed by surgery.

Aquadots, If You Missed It

Aquadots, If You Missed It

Some Aqua Dots® craft sets were contaminated with a chemical that can cause coma and other symptoms.

"Toy" Magnets Are Dangerous for Children

"Toy" Magnets Are Dangerous for Children

Sets of tiny, strong magnets were sold as adult toys but often were swallowed by children, resulting in serious injury and even death. The magnets, or a magnet and another metal object, stuck to each other, even through folds of intestine or tissue. This pinched off blood supply to the area, causing tissue death, bleeding, and infection.

Safe Use of Art Products

Safe Use of Art Products

Art products are mixtures of chemicals and should be used correctly. It's common for children to swallow these products or get them on the skin or eye. Most of the time, the children are fine but mishaps can occur, especially eye or skin irritation.

Safe Use of Artificial Snow

Safe Use of Artificial Snow

There are two main types of artificial snow: powders that are mixed with water and spray-on aerosols. In most small exposures, neither product type is likely to cause severe problems, but swallowing the powder or spraying the aerosol directly onto the skin or into the eyes can cause symptoms.

Children's Jewelry Recall Due to Cadmium

Children's Jewelry Recall Due to Cadmium

Some children have been poisoned by lead and cadmium in children's products. Cadmium is a metal which, if swallowed, can cause kidney and bone damage. There are no proven effective treatments for excess cadmium in the body, so preventing cadmium poisoning is the most important thing.

What Happens if My Child Eats Kinetic Sand?

What Happens if My Child Eats Kinetic Sand?

Kinetic sand is a fun, moldable sensory toy. It is made of 98% ultra-fine grain sand combined with 2% dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane). While kinetic sand won't poison a person if they eat it, it does pose a choking hazard, and if large amounts are eaten it can cause constipation. In severe cases, it possible for kinetic sand to cause gastrointestinal obstruction.


Vaccines

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Autism is a life-long condition that begins in childhood, typically by age 2. Many people believe that there is a link between autism and childhood vaccination. There is no scientific controversy over whether vaccines cause autism: the answer is "no".


Vitamins

Can A Myers' Cocktail Help Me?

Can A Myers' Cocktail Help Me?

The Myers' cocktail contains vitamins and electrolytes and is used to treat various medical conditions. Although the ingredients are natural and seemingly safe, this treatment is associated with adverse effects and there is limited evidence supporting the benefits of its use.

Safety and Benefits of Lutein

Safety and Benefits of Lutein

Lutein, a nutrient found mainly in leafy green vegetables, is thought to protect against light-induced retina damage. While some studies show positive results from lutein use, more research is needed to determine its definitive benefits and safety.

Vitamin D: New Recommendations

Vitamin D: New Recommendations

Vitamin D, along with calcium, is essential for developing and maintaining strong bones and muscles. Some researchers have associated low vitamin D levels with chronic illnesses, but research findings about the health consequences of low vitamin D are not consistent. Taking higher doses of vitamin D should be done only with the recommendation and supervision of a health professional.

Iron Poisoning

Iron Poisoning

Iron is essential to our health. It is found naturally in many foods, added to some fortified food products, and widely available as a supplement. Though iron is found naturally in some foods, an overdose of iron supplements can be life-threatening. Acute iron poisoning in children can lead to bleeding, shock, acidosis, and death.


Water contamination

Chlorine Dioxide and Sodium Chlorite Oral Rinse Product Safety

Chlorine Dioxide and Sodium Chlorite Oral Rinse Product Safety

Chlorine dioxide and sodium chlorite are highly reactive disinfectants used to treat public water systems. They are also low-concentration ingredients in some mouthwash products. A sip is unlikely to cause anything beyond mild irritation, nausea, and short-term vomiting. Large amounts can oxidize red blood cells, making them incapable of carrying oxygen.

Nitrate/Nitrite Poisoning, Why So Blue?

Nitrate/Nitrite Poisoning, Why So Blue?

Nitrates and nitrites are abundant in the environment and are found in medicines and products in the home. Overexposure to nitrates and nitrites can lead to a condition called methemoglobinemia in which the body is deprived of oxygen, causing a blue-gray discoloration of the skin.

Protect the Water Supply

Protect the Water Supply

There are many ways for drugs and personal care products to enter ground water and surface water, which include water that we drink and use for recreation. Federal guidelines for safe disposal of medicines aim to prevent unintentional poisonings, misuse and diversion of discarded drugs, and to keep drugs within engineered landfills, instead of in the water supply.

Well Water Safety

Well Water Safety

Water from a private well can be threatened by numerous contaminants, either naturally or due to human activities. Many contaminants can have detrimental health effects. While the Safe Drinking Water Act ensures the safety of public water supply systems, the responsibility for ensuring the quality and safety of private well water falls on the owner.

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