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First Aid & Emergencies

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Poisoning - Home Treatment

First aid home treatment measures for suspected poisoning

Call a poison control center, hospital, or doctor immediately. The United States National Poison Control Hotline phone number is 1-800-222-1222. Have the poison container with you so you can give complete information to the poison control center. Do not try to make the person vomit.

The poison control center will be able to help you quickly if you have the following information ready:

  • Your name and phone number
  • The name, age, weight, and health status of the person who has been poisoned
  • Type of product. Read the brand name as it is written on the label. Include the list of ingredients and the company name and contact number, if it is available on the label.
  • Amount of product involved in poisoning
  • Type of poison exposure-swallowed, inhaled, or in contact with the eyes or skin
  • Time of poisoning
  • Whether the person vomited
  • Any first aid measures taken
  • Your location and how far you are from an emergency medical facility

If the poison control center recommends medical evaluation, take the product container or substance and any stomach contents that the person vomited to help doctors determine the seriousness of the poisoning.


Do not use syrup of ipecac. It is no longer used to treat poisonings. If you have syrup of ipecac in your home, call your pharmacist for instructions on how to dispose of it and throw away the container. Do not store anything else in the container.

Activated charcoal is also not used at home to treat poisonings.

The poison control center has guidelines on what treatments are needed for all types of poisons.

Symptoms to watch for during home treatment

Follow the instructions you received from your doctor or the poison control center about seeking medical evaluation. Call your doctor if any of the following occurs during home treatment:

  • New symptoms develop.
  • Symptoms do not go away as expected.
  • Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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