Acute metaldehyde poisoning in Taiwan

Chi Chung Shih, Shy Shin Chang, Yi Ling Chan, Jih Chang Chen, Meng Wei Chang, Meng Sheng Tung, Jou Fang Deng, Chen Chang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Metaldehyde, a cyclic tetramer of acetaldehyde, is a widely used molluscicide. Although cases with acute metaldehyde poisoning have been reported, the occurrence of severe poisoning is uncommon. To provide more information on human metaldehyde poisoning, we reviewed 15 cases of metaldehyde exposure reported to the Taiwan National Poison Control Center at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital between 1991 and 2002. While 7 patients were asymptomatic, the other 8 patients, including 4 who coingested alcohol or other poisons, exhibited toxic manifestations of abdominal pain, dizziness, nausea, irritation of oral mucosa, and seizures after oral exposure. One patient died after ingesting 12 g (or 258.6 mg/kg) of metaldehyde. Although the toxicity from metaldehyde is largely mild, the clinical course of metaldehyde poisoning may be rapidly deteriorating and fatal on rare occasions. Physicians should therefore be cautious in managing patients with metaldehyde poisoning, and vigorous supportive measures should be promptly instituted in patients who manifest severe toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-143
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary and Human Toxicology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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