[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
June 4, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(23):1992-1994. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730490038013

Strychnine poisoning is rather frequent, and its occurrence is rendered dramatic by the dreadful agony of its course and the commonly fatal termination. Most of the sources of poisoning could be easily avoided especially in the tragic cases of infants. Moreover, the agony of the developed poisoning can be completely eliminated and nearly all fatalities could probably be prevented by proper treatment.

Strychnine poisoning is sometimes suicidal or homicidal; occasionally it occurs from eating poisoned vermin bait;1 but the most prolific source of strychnine poisoning is chocolate or sugar coated household laxative or "tonic" pills, which are left carelessly around the home and which look so much like candy that young children swallow them by the handful. The sweet and alcoholic "tonic" elixirs may also be a source of danger. The frequency of accidental strychnine poisoning has been reviewed by Aikman.2 In the death registration area of the