Like our blog?! Click here to receive our monthly posts straight to your inbox!

The Case of the Home Remedy

Posted: June 17th, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

The IPC receives about 80,000 calls each year regarding poisonings; in 2013 over 50,000 of those were calling from their home about an exposure that occurred there.  Luckily, we were able to keep 90% of those people at home, without the need to go to an emergency room or doctor’s office for their exposure.  That is part of what we do here at the IPC—determine which 90% will do just fine with no treatment and which 10% need to be evaluated by a healthcare professional for possible treatment.

If you or your child has ingested a potentially harmful substance in your home, the first instinct often is to do something or give something in an attempt to counteract or reverse the potential poison.  This instinct is understandable and explains why there are so many home/folk remedies out there.  Unfortunately some of these can be much more dangerous than the substance originally ingested! Read more »


Where’s the Antidote?!

Posted: April 19th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Antidotes are sexy.  We see it in James Bond and Indiana Jones movies:  the hero has been slipped a lethal poison (usually, while wearing a tuxedo) and just in the nick of time swallows a vial of mysterious liquid that allows him to continue to save the day.

(Watch the poisoning scene in James Bond Casino Royale)

The word antidote can be described as the opposite or antonym of ‘poison.’  It comes from the Greek word antidoton, meaning ‘to give against’.    A common misconception about antidotes is that every poison has one.   Read more »


May S.O.I. R.I.P. (May Syrup of Ipecac Rest in Peace)

Posted: March 30th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

By Tony, and guest blogger Lisa Klodnicki

During the past 10-15 years, the use of syrup of ipecac (SOI) to induce vomiting as a treatment for poisoning has fallen out of favor.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that SOI “should no longer be used routinely as a poison treatment intervention in the home” and that everyone should safely dispose of any SOI currently in their homes.  The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) similarly published a position statement which recommended SOI use only under very limited, restricted circumstances.  This change of direction has come about for several reasons, including the fact that no studies demonstrate beneficial outcomes from its use, the risk for serious complications if SOI is given for the wrong indication, and the potential for serious toxicity with chronic misuse and abuse by patients with bulimia or other appetite disorders.  Statistics compiled by the AAPCC reveal that SOI was administered in 15% of all poisonings reported in 1985, while the incidence of its use has dramatically declined to 0.0484% in 2008. Read more »