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Poisoning

Summary

A poison is any substance that is harmful to your body. You might swallow it, inhale it, inject it, or absorb it through your skin. Any substance can be poisonous if too much is taken. Poisons can include

  • Prescription or over-the-counter medicines taken in doses that are too high
  • Overdoses of illegal drugs
  • Carbon monoxide from gas appliances
  • Household products, such as laundry powder or furniture polish
  • Pesticides
  • Indoor or outdoor plants
  • Metals such as lead and mercury

The effects of poisoning range from short-term illness to brain damage, coma, and death. To prevent poisoning it is important to use and store products exactly as their labels say. Keep dangerous products where children can't get to them. Treatment for poisoning depends on the type of poison. If you suspect someone has been poisoned, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away.

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • (Merck & Co., Inc.)
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Association of Poison Control Centers) - PDF
  • (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF - In English and Spanish Also in
  • (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF
  • (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Health Resources and Services Administration)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (American Red Cross)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Pesticide Programs)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Statistics and Research

  • (American Association of Poison Control Centers) - PDF
  • (National Center for Health Statistics)
  • (Safe Kids Worldwide)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health Also in
  • (American Association of Poison Control Centers)

Children

  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in

Patient Handouts

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