Demographics, Clinical Characteristics and Management of Herbicide Poisoning in Tertiary Care Hospital


Affiliations

  • Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Department of Pharmacy Practice
  • Kasturba Hospital, Manipal University, Department of Medicine, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Abstract

Herbicide poisoning is most common method of suicide in India and it is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Among different herbicidal poisonings the most predominantly found poisonings are paraquat and glyphosate. These compounds are highly toxic and their poisonings require proper management techniques. High fatality is seen in these cases which are mainly due to its inherent toxicity and lack of effective treatment. Common symptoms of these poisonings includes gastrointestinal corrosive effects with mouth and throat, epigastric pain and dysphagia, acid‑base imbalance, pulmonary edema, shock and arrhythmia. Long term health effects include pulmonary fibrosis, renal failure, hepatic failure, heart failure, multi‑organ failure or death. No proven antidote exists for these poisonings. So the treatment is mainly supportive. Initially gastric lavage or whole‑gut irrigation using adsorbents such as Fuller’s earth, bentonite or activated charcoal is recommended. In case of renal failure hemodialysis or hemoperfusion may be considered. However novel approaches like treatment with N‑acetylcysteine, vitamin C, vitamin E, cyclophosphamide may also be helpful.

Keywords

Glyphosate, herbicide, poisoning, paraquat, treatment

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