The importance of an adequate method for treating strychnine poisoning in man has been stressed editorially in The Journal,1 and the recent literature reviewed.
Three of the cases in this report were mentioned by Zerfas and McCallum2 and are included for a critical analysis of this method of treatment when complicated by the previous use of morphine, apomorphine, ether, or gastric lavage.
A successful treatment for any poisoning must do one of three things: (1) empty the stomach before the poison is absorbed, (2) prevent the absorption of the poison, or (3) counteract the systemic effects of the poison. The stomach pump and various common emetics, including oily substances, have been tried, but the difficulty with this line of treatment, because of the solubility of strychnine, has been that, at the time symptoms are noted, much of the poison has been absorbed and such measures (except possibly the
KEMPF GF, McCALLUM JTC, ZERFAS LG. A SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT FOR STRYCHNINE POISONING: REPORT OF ELEVEN CASES. JAMA. 1933;100(8):548–551. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740080012003
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