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.
Tetrahydrozoline is sold under the following brand names:
- Murine Tears Plus
- Optigene 3
- Visine Original and Advanced Relief
Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.
- Difficulty breathing or no breathing
- Blurred vision
- Blue lips and fingernails
- Change in pupil size
- Changes in blood pressure (high at first, low later)
- Fast heartbeat
- Low body temperature
- Nausea and vomiting
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
- Methods to cause vomiting
- Tube through the mouth or nose into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
Survival past 24 hours is usually a good sign that the person will recover.
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.
- The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.
- A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.
- Call 911 for all medical emergencies.
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