Blue nightshade

Alternative names 
Atropa belladonna; Bittersweet nightshade; Scarlet berry; Weedy nightshade

Poisoning caused by an overdose of plant material of the blue nightshade.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • solanine (very toxic even in small quantities)

Where Found

  • Blue nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

The toxin is found throughout the plant but especially in the fruit and leaves.

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o lower than normal body temperature       o paralysis       o shock       o fever       o sweating  
  • respiratory       o slowed breathing  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o dilated pupils  
  • gastrointestinal       o stomach pain       o nausea       o vomiting       o diarrhea  
  • heart and blood vessels       o slow pulse  
  • nervous system       o headache       o delirium       o loss of sensation       o 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 but is very rare.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Sharon M. Smith, M.D.

Medical Encyclopedia

  A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | 0-9

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.