Eucalyptus oil overdose

Poisoning from an overdose of eucalyptus oil.

Poisonous Ingredient  

  • eucalyptus oil

Where Found 

  • some rubs and liniments  
  • some diaper rash medication  
  • as an inhalant for treatment of nasal congestion  
  • some medication for sore gums/mouths/throat  
  • some mouthwashes

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole       o drowsiness       o muscle weakness       o convulsions  
  • respiratory       o shallow breathing       o may also be rapid  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o difficulty swallowing       o burning sensation in mouth       o pinpoint pupils  
  • skin       o irritation if exposed  
  • gastrointestinal       o abdominal pain       o diarrhea       o nausea and/or vomiting  
  • heart and blood vessels       o rapid, weak heartbeat  
  • nervous system       o unconsciousness       o dizziness       o seizures       o slurred speech

Home Treatment 

Call the Poison Control center for guidance. DO NOT INDUCE EMESIS (VOMITING) UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO.

Wash exposed skin with soap and water.

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:

  • Activated charcoal  
  • Give other fluids, with the amount being determined by kidney function.  
  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis) 
Survival past 48 hours is usually a good sign that recovery will occur. If any damage to the kidneys has occurred, it may take several months to heal. Drowsiness may persist for several days.

Johns Hopkins patient information

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