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Alternative names

Poisoning from ingestion of the ingredients of a sachet.

Poisonous Ingredient

Potpourri is generally considered to be non-toxic.

Where Found

  • Various sachets
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • Respiratory (usually from allergic reactions)
    • Shallow breathing
    • May also be rapid
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Throat irritation
    • Eye irritation
  • Gastrointestinal
    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
  • Nervous system
    • Unconsciousness
    • Dizziness

Home Treatment

With any potentially toxic ingestion or allergic reaction, seek emergency medical care immediately. DO NOT INDUCE EMESIS ( VOMITING ) UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • The patient's age, weight, and condition
  • The name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • The time it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

  • Treat the allergic reaction with diphenhydramine and prednisone.
  • For swallowed poison
    • Placement of a tube down the nose and into the stomach (a nasogastric tube, or an NG tube) to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage).
    • Activated charcoal administration.
    • Endoscopy -- the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach.
    • Give IV fluids.
    • Admission to the hospital.
    • Give an antidote.
    • Treat the symptoms.
  • For skin exposure
    • Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days.

Expectations (prognosis)

Sachets are considered minimally poisonous. Survival past 48 hours is usually a good sign that recovery will occur. With any potentially toxic ingestion or allergic reaction, seek emergency medical care immediately.

Update Date: 2/12/2004

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