Tetrahydrozoline poisoning

Definition

Tetrahydrozoline is a form of a medicine called imidazoline, which is found in over-the-counter eye drops and nasal sprays. Tetrahydrozoline poisoning occurs when someone accidentally or intentionally swallows this product.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or a local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.

Alternative Names

Murine; Visine

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Tetrahydrozoline

Where Found

Tetrahydrozoline is sold under the following brand names:

  • Eyesine
  • Geneye
  • Murine Tears Plus
  • Optigene 3
  • Tyzine
  • Visine Original and Advanced Relief

Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.

Symptoms

Home Treatment

Seek immediate medical help. DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • The patient's age, weight, and condition
  • The name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

 In the United States, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a local poison control center number. 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.

Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.

What to expect at the emergency room

The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing assistance (artificial respiration) if necessary
  • Laxative
  • Methods to cause vomiting
  • Tube through the mouth or nose into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Expectations (prognosis)

Survival past 24 hours is usually a good sign that the person will recover.

Revision

Last reviewed 1/29/2013 by Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

Disclaimers

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