Section 12
Chapter 11,769

Antimony toxicity from the use of tartar emetic for the treatment of alcohol abuse

Tarabar, A.F.; Khan, Y.; Nelson, L.S.; Hoffman, R.S.

Veterinary and Human Toxicology 46(6): 331-333


ISSN/ISBN: 0145-6296
PMID: 15587254
Accession: 011768948

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Antimony is a poisonous element with toxic properties that mimic those of arsenic. Numerous reports describe gastrointestinal complications of vomiting, diarrhea and stomatitis associated with antimony exposure. However, antimony toxicity from the use of tartar emetic as a treatment for alcohol abuse has never been described previously. A 19-y-o man with a history of alcohol abuse ingested a 10 mL bottle of "Soluto Vital" (tartar emetic, 50 mg/mL), produced in Guatemala for treatment of alcohol abuse. He presented 60 min after ingestion with severe vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, weakness and orthostasis. Initial laboratory evaluations were remarkable for creatinine of 2.5 mg/dL, potassium 6.1 mEQ/L, and 60% hematocrit.

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