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 the National 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.
- Airways and lungs
- Eyes and skin
- High blood pressure (at first)
- Low blood pressure (later)
- Rapid heartbeat
- Stomach and intestines
- Nervous system
- Low body temperature
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
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national 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 recovery will follow.
Review Date: 2/2/2011
Reviewed by: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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