Poisoning is defined as injury or death caused by the ingestion, inhalation, contact, or injection of various drugs, venoms, chemicals, or gases. Many substances, including drugs and carbon monoxide, are only toxic at higher concentrations or dosages. 

Certain cleaners are only dangerous if consumed, while others emit toxic gases or fumes. Children are especially vulnerable even to trace amounts of certain chemicals and drugs. Poisoning can be an unintentional or intentional act.


Poisoning has different effects depending on the amount, substance, and form of contact. Your weight, age, and overall health all have an impact on your symptoms.

Poisoning can cause the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Mouth dryness
  • Redness or sores around the mouth
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fainting
  • Confusion
  • pupils dilated
  • Seizures or tremors

If you suspect poisoning, look for signs like empty pill containers or packages, pill fragments, and burns, stains, or odors on the individual or nearby objects.


Poisoning can be diagnosed by your doctor. They will first go over your medical history and perform a physical exam. Your physician can also run tests to determine the cause. The majority of poisons can be found in your blood or urine. A toxicology test may be ordered by your doctor. A urine or saliva specimen is used to screen for common drugs.


Treatment is determined by the individual and the form of poisoning. Try to remain calm in this situation. The first step is to avoid or remove the poison if possible. If the poison is in the air, find a safe location with fresh air. If the poison has gotten on your skin, wash it off with water and take off any nearby clothing. If the poison was swallowed, do not attempt to induce vomiting. This method is no longer advised.

Call the poison control center if the poisoned individual is awake and alert. Continue to speak with the operator and obey all instructions.

If the poisoned individual is unconscious or not inhaling, call an ambulance. The medical team will administer additional care. They can use methods to eliminate the poison before it causes further damage. There are antidotes for some poisons—these work by reversing the effects of the poison and curing it. Treatment also includes symptom relief measures.

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