Close Menu

Atropa Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade) Poisoning in Childhood



Background: A very small amount of Atropa belladonna (AB) can lead to serious symptoms of poisoning and can cause death in children. In this study, demographic, clinic and laboratory results of AB poisoning were evaluated.

Materials and methods: 108 cases with belladonna poisoning were retrospectively evaluated. At time of admission: age, age groups, gender, signs and symptoms caused by poisoning, duration of staying in hospital, laboratory data, intensive-care needs and applied treatments were recorded.

Results: 44.4% were female and 55.6% were male. While the most common symptoms were xeroderma and flushing, the most frequent findings were tachycardia and mydriasis. Eight patients complained about astasis and five of them were taken into the intensive care unit. Astasis complaint was relatively higher (p<0.01) in the patients who needed intensive care than those not. Creatine kinase levels were relatively higher (p=0.06) in the intensive care patients as compared to non-intensive care patients. Neostigmine was given to all patients. Five patients, whom failed to respond to therapy, were taken into the intensive care and respond to treatment succesufuly with physostigmine.

Conclusions: AB poisoning may seriously progress in the act of late diagnosis and treatment in childhood. Thus, it is crucial to realize that AB poisoning should be taken into consideration in the patients with flushing, xeroderma with mydriasis, tachycardia, tremor, abdominal pain and fever symptoms. Patients with astasis complaints should be evaluated carefully in terms of intensive care need. Patients with a Glasgow Coma Scale lower than 12 should be observed in the intensive care.

08 Sep, 2015
PDF Attachment: 
e-Published: 10 Dec, 2015


Manuscripts that are Published Ahead of Print have been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by the Editorial Board of the West Indian Medical Journal. They may appear in their original format and may not be copy edited or formatted in the style guide of this Journal. While accepted manuscripts are not yet assigned a volume, issue or page numbers, they can be cited using the DOI and date of e-publication. See our Instructions for Authors on how to properly cite manuscripts at this stage. The contents of the manuscript may change before it is published in its final form. Manuscripts in this section will be removed once they have been issued to a volume and issue, but will still retain the DOI and date of e-publication.

Top of Page