This poisoning is due to an overdose of bacitracin zinc.
- Some prescription antibiotic eye drops, such as Neosporin Ophthalmic drops
- Some prescription antibiotic eye ointments, such as Neosporin Ophthalmic Ointment
- Some antibiotic sprays, such as Polysporin Spray
- Some antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin and Polysporin
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.
- Body as a whole o Swelling of lips and face o Sweating o Tightness of chest
- Respiratory o Temporarily stop breathing
- Skin o Rash o Itching
- Heart and blood vessels o Low blood pressure o Heart stops
- Nervous system o Unconsciousness
Note: These reactions are more likely as a result of an allergic reaction rather than a true overdose situation.
Discontinue the use of the antibiotic. Seek emergency medical care immediately. Call Poison Control for guidance.
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
- Treat the allergic reaction with diphenhydramine and prednisone.
- For swallowed poison o 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). o Activated charcoal administration. o Endoscopy - the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach. o Give IV fluids. o Admission to the hospital. o Give an antidote. o Treat the symptoms.
- For skin exposure o Irrigation (washing of the skin), perhaps every few hours for several days. o Skin debridement (surgical removal of burned skin). o Admission or transfer to a hospital that specializes in burn care.
If the allergic reaction can be controlled, recovery is very likely.
by Potos A. Aagen, M.D.
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.