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January 2022

Assessing mistletoe toxicity

Journal/Book: Vet. Hum. Tox. 27 (4), 298-299. 1985;

Abstract: To assess the potential toxicity of mistletoe ingestion, data werecollected on 14 cases of ingestion of one to three berries or one or twoleaves of American mistletoe (Phoradendron sp) from 1982 to 1985. Elevenpatients ingested berries and three ingested leaves; none becamesymptomatic. Nine patients were observed at home without interventionexcept poison center telephone follow-up. Five had induced emesis,including two who were referred to emergency departments for evaluation,where no findings other than ipecac-induced vomiting were noted. Alsoreviewed were data on a total of 318 cases of mistletoe ingestionreported to the Food and Drug Administration Poison Control casereporting system between 1978 and 1983 (n = 177) and the AmericanAssociation of Poison Control Centers national data collection system (n= 141) in 1984. The majority remained asymptomatic and no deaths wererecorded. These data allow the conclusion that ingestion of one to threemistletoe berries or one or two leaves is unlikely to produce serioustoxicity. Author.


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