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Strychnine poisoning: gone but not forgotten
  1. A J Parker1,
  2. J B Lee1,
  3. J Redman2,
  4. L Jolliffe2
  1. 1Emergency Department, York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, York, North Yorkshire, UK
  2. 2Department of Anaesthetics and Critical Care, York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, York, North Yorkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr A Parker, Emergency Department, York Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Wigginton Road, York, North Yorkshire YO31 7HE, UK; amanda.parker{at}


Strychnine was used as a pesticide until 1968 and a rodenticide until 2006 when its sale was banned throughout the EU and all supplies recalled. A case of strychnine poisoning seen in a UK emergency department in 2009 is reported to remind clinicians of the features and management of this increasingly rare presentation. Prompt recognition and early intensive supportive therapy can result in a favourable outcome.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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