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Ink remover poisoning

Ink remover is a chemical used to get out ink stains. Ink remover poisoning occurs when someone swallows this substance.

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.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Drinking alcohol (ethanol)
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol, which can be very poisonous if swallowed in large doses)
  • Wood alcohol (methanol, which is very poisonous)

Where Found

  • Ink removers
  • Liquid bleaches

Note: This list may not include all sources of ink removers.

Symptoms

Symptoms of all alcohol poisoning may include:

  • Brain damage
  • Decreased breathing
  • Stupor
  • Unconsciousness

Symptoms of methanol and isopropyl alcohol poisoning may include:

Home Care

Seek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.

If the chemical is on the skin or in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control

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.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing tube
  • Endoscopy -- camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
  • Fluids through a vein (by IV)
  • Immediate kidney dialysis
  • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the poison
  • Oxygen
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)

Prognosis (Outlook)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.

Methanol is the most dangerous and poisonous ingredient. It often causes permanent blindness.

References

Jacobsen D, Hovda KE. Methanol, ethylene glycol, and other toxic alcohols. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 32.

Review Date: 2/28/2012
Reviewed 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 David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2014 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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