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jimson weed seeds effects

Litovitz TL, Clark LR, Soloway RA. The 1993 annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System. Am J Emerg Med 1994;12:546-84.

Editorial Note: D. stramonium grows throughout the United States and, historically, was used by American Indians for medicinal and religious purposes. All parts of the Jimson weed plant are poisonous, containing the alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine. Jimson weed — also known as thorn apple, angel’s trumpet, and Jamestown weed (because the first record of physical symptoms following ingestion occurred in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1676 <1>) — is a member of the nightshade family. The toxicity of Jimson weed varies by year, between plants, and among different leaves on the same plant. Although all parts of the plant are toxic, the highest concentrations of anticholinergic occur in the seeds (equivalent to 0.1 mg of atropine per seed). The estimated lethal doses of atropine and scopolamine in adults are greater than or equal to 10 mg and greater than 2-4 mg, respectively (1,2).

Vanderhoff ST, Mosser KH. Jimson weed toxicity: management of anticholinergic plant ingestion. Am Fam Physician 1992;46:526-30.

Hooper RG, Conner CS, Rumack BH. Acute poisoning from over-the-counter sleep preparations. Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians 1979;8:98-100.

Editorial Note

Shervette RE, Schydlower M, Lampe RM, Fearnow RG. Jimson "loco" weed abuse in adolescents. Pediatrics 1979;63:520-3.

Rumack BH. Anticholinergic poisonings: treatment with physostigmine. Pediatrics 1973;52: 449-51.

On October 22, 1994, two male and four female adolescents (aged 15-17 years) with a history of drinking Jimson weed tea were transported to an ED. Two persons were discharged from the ED; four were admitted to the ICU because of symptoms that included headache, fatigue, disorientation, fixed or sluggish dilated pupils, tachycardia (heart rates greater than 120 beats per minute), and hallucinations. These four patients were monitored with electrocardiograms, treated with physostigmine and activated charcoal, and discharged on October 23. The Los Angeles County Forestry Division reported that fires in the Los Angeles area may have promoted regrowth of Jimson weed in defoliated areas. Reported by: DM Perrotta, PhD, Bur of Epidemiology, Environmental Epidemiologist, Texas Dept of Health; LN Nickey, MD, El Paso City-County Health and Environmental District, El Paso. M Raid, T Caraccio, PharmD, HC Mofenson, MD, Winthrop Univ Hospital, Long Island Regional Poison Control Center, New York; C Waters, Injury Control Program, D Morse, MD, State Epidemiologist, New York State Dept of Health. AM Osorio, MD, S Hoshiko, MPH, Div of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, GW Rutherford, III, MD, State Epidemiologist, California State Dept of Health Svcs. Div of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health, CDC.

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On June 19, 1994, the El Paso City-County Health and Environmental District was notified of two male adolescents (aged 16 and 17 years) who had died from D. stramonium intoxication. On June 18, the decedents and two other male adolescents had consumed tea brewed from a mixture of roots from a Jimson weed plant and alcoholic beverages, then fell asleep on the ground in the desert. Family and police found the decedents the following afternoon. The other two adolescents reported drinking only small amounts of the tea: one experienced hallucinations; the other had no signs or symptoms. Neither was treated, nor were biologic specimens collected. Screening of a toxicologic postmortem blood sample from one decedent detected atropine (55 ng/mL) and a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.03 g/dL (in Texas, intoxication is defined as a BAC greater than or equal to 0.1 g/dL). Analysis of the tea identified atropine, ethanol, and scopolamine. New York

Klein-Schwartz W, Oderda GM. Jimson weed intoxication in adolescents and young adults. Am J Dis Child 1984;138:737-9.

Jimson weed (Datura stramonium, a member of the Belladonna alkyloid family) is a plant growing naturally in West Virginia and has been used as a home remedy since colonial times. Due to its easy availability and strong anticholinergic properties, teens are using Jimson weed as a drug. Plant parts can be brewed as a tea or chewed, and seed pods, commonly known as “pods” or “thorn apples,” can be eaten. Side effects from ingesting jimson weed include tachycardia, dry mouth, dilated pupils, blurred vision, hallucinations, confusion, combative behavior, and difficulty urinating. Severe toxicity has been associated with coma and seizures, although death is rare. Treatment consists of activated charcoal and gastric lavage. Esmolol or other beta-blocker may be indicated to reduce severe sinus tachycardia. Seizures, severe hypertension, severe hallucinations, and life-threatening arrhythmias are indicators for the use of the anticholinesterase inhibitor, Physostigmine. This article reviews the cases of nine teenagers who were treated in hospitals in the Kanawha Valley after ingesting jimson weed. We hope this article will help alert primary care physicians about the abuse of jimson weed and inform health officials about the need to educate teens about the dangers of this plant.

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Jimson weed seeds effects

Andreola, B., Piovan, A., Da Dalt, L., Filippini, R., and Cappelletti, E. Unilateral mydriasis due to Angel’s trumpet. Clin.Toxicol.(Phila) 2008;46(4):329-331. View abstract.

Levy, R. Jimson seed poisoning– a new hallucinogen on the horizon. JACEP. 1977;6(2):58-61. View abstract.


Alcaraz Garcia, S. F., Giron Ubeda, J. M., Delgado, Lopez F., and Gomez Garcia, A. J. [Mydriasis due to accidental contact with stramonium (Datura stramonium)]. Med.Clin.(Barc.) 7-3-1999;113(4):156. View abstract.


Anon. Plant Poisonings – New Jersey. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1981;30:65-7.