September 1978

Mouthwash-Induced Hypoglycemia

Author Affiliations

Pediatric Education Harrisburg Hospital Harrisburg, PA 17101 and College of Medicine Pennsylvania State University Hershey, PA 17033; Family Practice Harrisburg Hospital Harrisburg, PA 17101

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(9):930-931. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120340106025

Acute ethyl alcohol ingestion is an uncommon but well-documented cause of hypoglycemia in infancy and childhood.1 We wish to report two cases of ethanol-induced hypoglycemia seen on our pediatric service in a five-month period. Both were caused by the ingestion of Scope, a mint-flavored mouthwash with a 16% ethyl alcohol content.

Report of Cases.—Case 1.—A 3-year-old boy was noted to be ataxic and less active than usual by his parents before breakfast on the morning of admission. The child had last eaten the previous evening and had slept the entire night without incident. He had an episode of generalized tonic-clonic movements of his extremities lasting approximately two minutes. He was rushed to the emergency room where he was found to be arousable, but kept lapsing into periods of unconsciousness. History showed that the mother had found a nearly empty 720-ml (24-oz) bottle of Scope mouthwash (which had

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