Strychnine Intoxication: A Case Report

Ana Lages, João Pinho, Ricardo Alves, Carlos Capela, Esmeralda Lourenço, Luís Lencastre


Strychnine acts as an inhibitor of post-synaptic neuronal inhibition and intoxication leads to distinct clinical manifestations which may culminate in death. Since its commercialization is prohibited in most countries, cases of strychnine intoxication are now rare. We present a case of an elderly patient who voluntarily ingested a white powder thought to be strychnine. He developed myoclonus, startle response, and episodes of generalized muscle contractions accompanied by respiratory arrest in one occasion. Diazepam, valproic acid and supportive treatments were able to control manifestations, however the patient died after 2 days. Our aim is to alert clinicians that, despite its rarity, strychnine intoxication may still be seen in emergency departments, and clinical outcome can be influenced by rapid recognition and timely institution of adequate treatment.

J Med Cases. 2013;4(6):385-388


Strychnine; Intoxication; Glycine antagonist; Generalized muscle contractions; Startle

Full Text: HTML PDF

Browse  Journals  


Journal of Clinical Medicine Research

Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism

Journal of Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics


World Journal of Oncology

Gastroenterology Research

Journal of Hematology


Journal of Medical Cases

Journal of Current Surgery

Clinical Infection and Immunity


Cardiology Research

World Journal of Nephrology and Urology

Cellular and Molecular Medicine Research


Journal of Neurology Research

International Journal of Clinical Pediatrics



Journal of Medical Cases, monthly, ISSN 1923-4155 (print), 1923-4163 (online), published by Elmer Press Inc.                     
The content of this site is intended for health care professionals.
This is an open-access journal distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted
non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Creative Commons Attribution license (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International CC-BY-NC 4.0)

This journal follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommendations for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals,
the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines, and the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing.

website:   editorial contact:
Address: 9225 Leslie Street, Suite 201, Richmond Hill, Ontario, L4B 3H6, Canada

© Elmer Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the published articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the editors and Elmer Press Inc. This website is provided for medical research and informational purposes only and does not constitute any medical advice or professional services. The information provided in this journal should not be used for diagnosis and treatment, those seeking medical advice should always consult with a licensed physician.