Dimethyl ketone

Alternative names 
Dimethyl formaldehyde; Acetone; Fingernail polish remover

This is poisoning from swallowing acetone.

Where Found

  • Some cleaning agents  
  • Some lacquers  
  • Fingernail polish remover  
  • Rubber cement  
  • Some glues

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • Body as a whole       o Acting as if drunk       o Increased need to urinate       o Low blood pressure  
  • Respiratory       o Difficulty breathing       o Slowed breathing rate       o Shortness of breath       o Bronchial irritation  
  • Gastrointestinal       o Nausea and/or vomiting       o May have fruity odor, or complain of sweet taste in mouth       o Abdominal pain  
  • Nervous system       o Stupor       o Drowsiness       o Coma

Home Treatment
DO NOT induce vomiting. Contact your poison control center for specific instructions.

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:

  • Use gastric lavage.  
  • Use activated charcoal if the patient arrives immediately after ingesting the poison.  
  • Administer oxygen if needed.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)
Survival past 48 hours usually indicates recovery will occur.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 8, 2012
by Armen E. Martirosyan, 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.