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Black nightshade poisoning

Nightshade poisoning; Morelle noire poisoning; Wonderberry poisoning

 

Black nightshade poisoning occurs when someone eats pieces of the black nightshade plant.

This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, 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

 

The poisonous ingredients are:

  • Atropine
  • Solanine (very poisonous, even in small amounts)

 

Where Found

 

Poisons are found in the black nightshade plant, especially in the unripened fruit and leaves.

 

Symptoms

 

Black nightshade poisoning can affect many areas of the body.

EYES, EARS, NOSE, MOUTH, AND THROAT

  • Dry mouth
  • Enlarged (dilated) pupils

STOMACH AND INTESTINES

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

HEART AND BLOOD

  • Pulse - slow or rapid
  • Shock

LUNGS

  • Slowed breathing

NERVOUS SYSTEM

  • Delirium
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Loss of sensation
  • Paralysis

WHOLE BODY

  • Sweating

 

Home Care

 

Seek immediate medical help. DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care provider.

 

Before Calling Emergency

 

Get the following information:

  • Person's age, weight, and condition
  • Name and part of the plant that was swallowed, 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 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 as appropriate. The person may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Blood and urine tests
  • Breathing support
  • Chest x-ray
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Fluids through a vein (IV)
  • Medicines to treat symptoms
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

 

Outlook (Prognosis)

 

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Symptoms last for 1 to 3 days and may require a hospital stay. Death is unlikely.

DO NOT touch or eat any unfamiliar plant. Wash your hands after working in the garden or walking in the woods.

 

 

References

Graeme KA. Toxic plant ingestions. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 64.

 

        A Closer Look

         

          Self Care

           

            Tests for Black nightshade poisoning

             

               

              Review Date: 11/4/2015

              Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. 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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