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Mineral oil overdose

 

Mineral oil is a liquid oil made from petroleum. Mineral oil overdose occurs when someone swallows a large amount of this substance. This can be by accident or on purpose.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual overdose. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.

Poisonous Ingredient

Mineral oil can be poisonous in large amounts.

Where Found

 

Mineral oil is sold just as the oil itself. It may also be found in some:

  • Antacids
  • Diaper rash medicines
  • Eye care products
  • Hemorrhoid medicines
  • Laxatives

Other products may also contain mineral oil.

 

Symptoms

 

Mineral oil has a laxative effect. Symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration (from severe diarrhea)
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

 

Home Care

 

Seek medical help right away. Do NOT make the person throw up unless poison control or a health care provider tells you to.

 

Before Calling Emergency

 

Have this information ready:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strength, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

 

Poison Control

 

Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

 

The provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated. The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Breathing support, including tube through the mouth into the lungs and breathing machine (ventilator)
  • Chest x-ray
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Medicine to treat symptoms
  • Tube through the nose into the stomach

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

Mineral oil is not very poisonous, and recovery is likely. How well someone does depends on the amount of mineral oil swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster medical help is given, the better the chance is for recovery.

The outcome may be poor if the oil enters the lungs.

 

 

References

Schoenberger JM. Constipation. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 32.

White SR, Hedge MW. Gastrointestinal toxicology. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 13.

Zeringue M, Fowler GC. Gastrointestinal decontamination. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC, eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2011:chap 202.

 

        A Closer Look

         

          Self Care

           

            Tests for Mineral oil overdose

             

               

              Review Date: 10/14/2015

              Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

              The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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