After shaves

Poisoning from ingestion of an after shave product.

Poisonous Ingredient 

  • ethyl alcohol  
  • isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol)

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Where Found 

  • various after shave products

for ethanol:

  • body as a whole       o listing from side to side       o unable to walk in a normal manner       o slurred speech       o easily upset  
  • respiratory       o slowed respirations  
  • gastrointestinal       o Vomiting       o vomitus containing blood       o Abdominal pain  
  • heart and blood vessels       o Low Blood pressure  
  • nervous system       o stupor       o coma

for isopropanol:

  • body as a whole       o unresponsive reflexes       o incoordination  
  • respiratory       o slowed respirations  
  • gastrointestinal       o nausea and/or Vomiting       o vomitus containing blood       o Abdominal pain  
  • heart and blood vessels       o Low Blood pressure  
  • nervous system       o dizziness       o deep stupor or state of unconsciousness unresponsive to treatment       o coma

Home Treatment 
Call Poison Control.


If instructed, give the usual dose of ipecac syrup: 15 milliliters (ml) or 1 TABLEspoonful for children and 30 ml (2 TABLEspoonsful) for an adult. Follow with 1/2 glass or 4 ounces (oz.) of water for children or 8 to 12 oz. of water for adults. Repeat 1 more time in 1/2 hour if emesis has not occurred.

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 
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 with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room 
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
For ethanol and isopropanol:

  • Use gastric lavage.  
  • Treat breathing difficulties.  
  • Maintain blood pressure.  
  • Use Dialysis.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 
For ethanol: Survival over 24 hours usually indicates recovery will occur in cases of acute toxic alcohol consumption.

For isopropanol: If the patient survives over 72 hours, complete recovery is very likely.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised:

Diseases and Conditions Center

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.