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Black nightshade

Alternative names

Poisoning caused by consumption of plant material from the black nightshade plant.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • solanine (very toxic even in small quantities)
  • atropine

Where Found

  • black nightshade
The toxin is found throughout the plant but especially in the unripened fruit and leaves.

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole
    • lower than normal body temperature
    • paralysis
    • shock
    • fever
    • sweating
  • respiratory
    • slowed breathing
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • dilated pupils
  • gastrointestinal
    • stomach pain
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
  • heart and blood vessels
    • pulse - slow or rapid
  • nervous system
    • headache
    • delirium
    • loss of sensation
    • hallucinations

Home Treatment

Call Poison Control.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • the patient's age, weight, and condition
  • the name of the plant and the parts eaten
  • 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. Bring the plant with you to the emergency room for identification.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
  • Induce vomiting.
  • Use gastric lavage .
  • Administer activated charcoal.
  • Treat the symptoms.
  • Monitor pulse and blood pressure .

Expectations (prognosis)

Death has been reported from ingesting nightshade, but this is rare.

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