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Alternative names

Common oleander; Rosebay


Poisoning from sucking nectar from the flowers, chewing leaves, using the branches as skewers to roast meat, or from honey made by bees using the oleander plant for nectar.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • neriin
  • oleondroside
  • oleandrin
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Where Found

  • twigs, leaves, and flowers of the oleander plant
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole
    • weakness
    • dizziness
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • blurred vision
    • halos around objects (yellow, green, white) *
  • skin
    • rash
    • hives
  • gastrointestinal
    • loss of appetite *
    • vomiting or nausea
    • abdominal pain (lower stomach)
    • diarrhea
  • heart and blood vessels
    • irregular or slow heartbeat
    • low blood pressure
  • nervous system
    • drowsiness
    • confusion
    • depression *
    • headache
    • fainting
    • lethargy
    • disorientation
    • death
*Usually only seen in chronic overdose

Home Treatment

Call Poison Control.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • the patient's age, weight, and condition
  • the name of the plant
  • the time it was swallowed
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container or plant with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
  • induce vomiting
  • administer activated charcoal
  • gastric lavage
  • monitor vital signs ( blood pressure , pulse , and so forth)
  • monitor EKG (monitors heart function)
  • blood samples drawn to determine:
    • serum magnesium level
    • serum potassium levels
  • administration of antidote and other medication to correct problems resulting from the overdose if needed
  • correction of electrolyte (potassium, magnesium) imbalances

Expectations (prognosis)

If the individual survives the first 24 hours their chances of survival are very good.

Update Date: 2/23/2004

Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT