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 article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.
Tetryzoline; Murine; Visine
Tetrahydrozoline is sold under the following brand names:
Note: This list may not be all-inclusive.
Symptoms may include:
Seek medical help right away. DO NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.
Before Calling Emergency
The following information is helpful for emergency assistance:
However, DO NOT delay calling for help if this information is not immediately available.
Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline 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 person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The person may receive:
Survival past 24 hours is usually a good sign that the person will recover.
Products containing tetrahydrozoline can interact with many prescription drugs. Always read the label before using any over-the-counter (OTC) product.
In young children, serious adverse events can occur from ingesting only a small amount (1 to 2 mL, or several drops) of tetrahydrozoline. Many of these types of OTC products do not have child-resistant closures, so they should be stored out of the reach of children.
Aronson JK. Tetryzoline. In: Aronson JK, ed. Meyler's Side Effects of Drugs. 16th ed. Waltham, MA: Elsevier; 2016:793.
US National Library of Medicine; Specialized Information Services; Toxicology Data Network website. Tetrahydrozoline. toxnet.nlm.nih.gov. Updated June 4, 2007. Accessed February 14, 2019.
Review Date: 1/12/2019
Reviewed By: Jesse Borke, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, Attending Physician at FDR Medical Services/Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Buffalo, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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