Clinitest tablets overdose

Clinitest poisoning is an overdose of Clinitest tablets, which test the urine for glucose levels. Clinitest tablets are not meant to be ingested (swallowed).

Poisonous Ingredient 

  • Copper sulfate  
  • Citric acid  
  • Sodium hydroxide  
  • Sodium carbonate

Where Found 

Clinitest Reagent tablets.
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • Body as a whole       o Blood in urine       o No urine output       o Collapse       o Convulsions       o Collapse  
  • Respiratory       o Inability to breathe from throat swelling  
  • Eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o Burning pain in the mouth and throat       o Burns in mouth and throat  
  • Skin       o Burns of exposed skin  
  • Gastrointestinal       o Vomiting       o Pain when defecating (passing stool)       o Diarrhea, may be watery or bloody       o Severe abdominal pain  
  • Heart and blood vessels       o Low blood pressure

Home Treatment 
Any ingestion or overdose of Clinitest tablets mandates immediate medical evaluation. Dilute the poison by giving water immediately. DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING - vomiting will probably occur on its own. Call Poison Control as soon as possible.

Before Calling Emergency 
Determine the following information:

  • Patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • The name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)  
  • When it was swallowed  
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number 
Any ingestion or overdose of Clinitest tablets mandates immediate medical evaluation. 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:

  • Placement of a tube down the nose and into the stomach (a nasogastric tube, or NG tube) to wash out the stomach  
  • Endoscopy - the placement of a camera down the throat to see the extent of burns to the esophagus and the stomach  
  • IV fluids  
  • Admission to the hospital  
  • Antidote  
  • Treatment of symptoms

Expectations (prognosis) 
The patient’s outlook depends on how rapidly the alkali was diluted and neutralized. Extensive damage to the mouth, throat, eyes, lungs, esophagus, nose, and stomach are possible. The ultimate outcome depends on the extent of this damage. Damage continues to occur to the esophagus and stomach for several weeks after the alkali was swallowed, and death may occur as long as a month later.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 7, 2012
by Mamikon Bozoyan, M.D.

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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.