Author(s): Eddleston M, Persson H
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Abstract Plant poisoning is normally a problem of young children who unintentionally ingest small quantities of toxic plants with little resulting morbidity and few deaths. In some regions of the world, however, plant poisonings are important clinical problems causing much morbidity and mortality. While deaths do occur after unintentional poisoning with plants such as Atractylis gummifera (bird-lime or blue thistle) and Blighia sapida (ackee tree), the majority of deaths globally occur following intentional self-poisoning with plants such as Thevetia peruviana (yellow oleander) and Cerbera manghas (pink-eyed cerbera or sea mango). Antitoxins developed against colchicine and cardiac glycosides would be useful for plant poisonings--anti-digoxin Fab fragments have been shown to be highly effective in T. peruviana poisoning. Unfortunately, their great cost limits their use in the developing world where they would make a major difference in patient management. Therapy for some other plant poisonings might also benefit from the development of antitoxins. However, until issues of cost and supply are worked out, plant antitoxins are going to remain a dream in many of the areas where they are now urgently required.
This article was published in J Toxicol Clin Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology