Close look on foxglove poisoning

Foxglove poisoning occurs from accidental or intentional ingestion of the plant or its parts such as the leaves, flowers and shoots which are considered dangerous.

It is important to note that foxgloves are brightly-colored, flowering plants which possesses the chemical compound digoxin. This is extracted from the plant to treat heart-related ailments.

Remember that all parts of the plant including the seeds, roots, stems, leaves and flowers might contain the toxin.

What are the indications?

Generally, the signs that might arise tend to vary from one individual to another. It might be minor in some instances but has the potential to be severe. Most cases of foxglove poisoning are likely to occur among children below 6 years of age.

The usual signs of poisoning might include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
    foxglove-poisoning

    Generally, the signs that might arise tend to vary from one individual to another. It might be minor in some instances but has the potential to be severe.

  • Headaches
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Stomach or abdominal pain
  • If the heart is involved, it can result to low blood pressure, erratic heart rate and syncope or collapse
  • Skin rashes and hives if an allergic reaction occurs
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Visual issues including blurry vision
  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • If the toxicity is severe or prolonged, depression or appearance of a halo around objects can be seen

Management of foxglove poisoning

Call for emergency assistance or the poison control center right away if an individual is suspected with foxglove poisoning.

  • If possible, note down the time of ingestion, amount ingested, weight, age and overall health of the individual. The information can be used during the assessment.
  • Check if the airways are patent as well as ensure the presence of a pulse and breathing.
  • Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by a healthcare professional.
  • Clean the mouth to get rid of any leftover pieces of the plant.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on foxglove poisoning is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs of poisoning by taking a standard first aid course with Calgary First Aid.

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