Lily-of-the-valley

Alternative names 
Liljekonvall

Definition
Poisoning from eating plant parts of the lily-of-the-valley.

Poisonous Ingredient

     
  • convallarin  
  • convallamarin

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Where Found

     
  • The fruit, leaves, flowers, and roots of the lily-of-the-valley plant.

Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Symptoms

     
  • body as a whole       o weakness  
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat       o blurred vision       o halos around objects (yellow, green, white) *       o excessive urination at night  
  • skin       o rash       o hives  
  • gastrointestinal       o loss of appetite *       o vomiting or nausea       o abdominal pain (lower stomach)       o diarrhea  
  • heart and blood vessels       o irregular or slow heartbeat  
  • nervous system       o drowsiness       o confusion       o depression *       o headache       o fainting       o lethargy       o disorientation

* Usually only seen in chronic overdose cases

Home Treatment
Contact Poison Control Center for appropriate treatment information.

Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:

     
  • the patient’s age, weight, and condition  
  • the name of the plant  
  • 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.

What to expect at the emergency room
Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:

     
  • induce vomiting  
  • administer activated charcoal  
  • monitor vital signs (blood pressure, pulse, and so forth)  
  • monitor EKG (monitors heart function)  
  • blood samples drawn to determine:       o serum magnesium levels       o serum potassium levels  
  • administration of antidote and other medication to correct problems resulting from the overdose if needed  
  • correction of electrolyte (potassium, magnesium) imbalances

Expectations (prognosis)

If the individual survives the first 24 hours their chances of survival are very good.

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.