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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 6 ( June, 2020 ) > List of Articles


A Rare Case of Podophyllin Poisoning: Early Intervention is Lifesaving

Sibabratta Patnaik, Amit R Rup, Abhinav Gaurav

Citation Information : Patnaik S, Rup AR, Gaurav A. A Rare Case of Podophyllin Poisoning: Early Intervention is Lifesaving. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (6):477-479.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23448

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 30-07-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Accidental poisoning in children is very common, making up 10.9% of all unintentional injuries worldwide. Africa has the highest incidence of fatal poisonings worldwide, at 4 per 100,000. Poisoning with podophyllin is rare, with most cases documented around the 1970s to 1980s. Podophyllin is a resin mixture obtained from the dried Rhizome and roots of Podophyllin peltatum (North America) and Podopyllin emodi (India). Podophyllotoxin is the most toxic chemical present in the podophyllin, which is lipid soluble; so crosses the cell membrane easily and inhibits mitotic spindle formation. Both topical application and oral consumption can cause podophyllin poisoning. Neurotoxicity is the most serious effect along with bone marrow depression, gastrointestinal irritation, and hepatic and renal dysfunction. Management of podophyllin toxicity is mainly symptomatic, and no specific antidote exists. We report a case of a 2-year-old-year girl with accidental podophyllin poisoning, who presented with neurotoxicity followed by multiorgan dysfunction and then succumbed. Education of parents and healthcare workers on home safety still remains the mainstay of prevention.

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