Poisoning is when a person exposes themselves or someone else to a substance that can endanger their life.
Primarily, poisoning happens at home, and children under five are at higher risk of accidental poisoning.
The signs usually depend on the type of poison and the amount, but general symptoms are:
- Abdomen pain
- Fainting or drowsiness
If a child develops any symptoms, specifically if they faint or feel drowsy, rush to the emergency.
Poisons can affect when you swallow them, absorb through the skin, inhale, splash them into the eyes, or inject them. Overdoes of certain medications are the most typical form of poisoning, either over-the-counter or prescribed medications. Other potential poisons:
- Household products, including bleach
- Cosmetic items like nail polish
- Certain fungi and plants
- Certain chemicals and pesticides
- Carbon monoxide
- Poorly prepared, undercooked, or contaminated food
- Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol (alcohol poisoning)
- Substance or drug abuse
- Medications prescribed for pets
Snakes and certain insects like wasps and bees are not poisonous, but their sting or bite can contain toxins (venom).
Reduce the risks of accidental medications poisoning:
- Read the information leaflet with your medications carefully and consume the recommended dose.
- In case you are unsure about the instructions or information in the medication’s leaflet, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.
- You shouldn’t consume some medications along with alcohol or specific foods.
- Certain medicines can act differently if you consume them along with other medications.
- Avoid unprescribed medicines.
- Keep all medication out of reach from children.
If you or someone else with you undergoes poisoning, make sure to explain to the medical professional the required details like:
- The type of poison
- The way of intake
- The time of poisoning
- The amount of intake
- The reason behind the intake of poisoning
Also, the affected person’s age, estimated weight, existing medical condition, and whether they are under any medications.
The possible treatments the doctor might suggest can include:
- Activated charcoal
When someone self-harms, the doctor may also refer to a psychiatrist.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022