Nicotine poisoning: What are the signs?

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Nicotine is the substance present in the tobacco plant and an active component in chewing tobacco, cigars and cigarettes. It is also present in smoking-cessation products including patches and gums.

It is important to note that nicotine poisoning is likely to develop if large amounts of the substance has been ingested orally. Young children and pets are at high risk for poisoning if they accidentally eat or chew products that contain nicotine.

The treatment for poisoning might include induced vomiting or stomach pumping. Being familiar with the indications of overdose can prevent potentially serious health issues.

Alterations in the vital signs

Ingesting excess amounts of nicotine can lead to drastic changes in both the blood pressure and heart rate.

If the rapid heart rate becomes unusually slow, it might be an indication of nicotine poisoning. In the same manner, the blood pressure of an individual who overdosed on the substance might rise and later drop below the normal level.

Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are indications that there is excess nicotine in the body. Abdominal cramps might accompany other digestive symptoms.

GI tract distress

Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are indications that there is excess nicotine in the body. Abdominal cramps might accompany other digestive symptoms. In most cases, induced vomiting is the treatment of choice of severe cases which is done by a healthcare professional.

Difficulty breathing

Individuals suspected with nicotine poisoning might have difficulty in breathing. There are also episodes where breathing briefly stops.

Mental changes

Anxiety, depression, excitement, restlessness and mental confusion might also occur if there is excess amounts of nicotine in the body. Animals and children might appear hyperactive if large amounts of the substance was ingested. Those who have these signs should be assessed by a doctor.

What are the oral effects of nicotine poisoning?

Oral side effects might arise if nicotine is taken in large doses. Generally, drooling is a common sign present. Children who are old enough might complain of a burning sensation in the mouth.

Muscular issues

Convulsions and muscle twitching might be indications of nicotine poisoning. Individuals suspected with overdose might also end up with muscle weakness.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on nicotine poisoning is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this form of poisoning by taking a standard first aid course with Mississauga First Aid.

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