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How safe are indigenous medications: A case report on arsenic poisoning

Publication Type : Scientific Paper

Thematic Areas : Medical Sciences

Publisher : .” J Karnataka Medicolegal Soc

Source : .” J Karnataka Medicolegal Soc , Volume 6, p.18 - 19 (1997)

Campus : Kochi

School : School of Medicine

Department : Forensic Medicine

Year : 1997

Abstract : Background Ayurveda, Indian traditional system of medicine, is practiced commonly in South East Asia and in many parts of the world. Many ayurvedic drugs contain heavy metals and may lead to metal toxicity. Of these, chronic lead poisoning is the most common. Chronic arsenic poisoning following the use of ayurvedic medication, though reported, is rare. Case Reports We describe three patients who presented with features of chronic arsenic poisoning following prolonged ayurvedic medication use. The diagnosis of chronic arsenic poisoning was confirmed by high arsenic levels in the blood, urine, hair, and nails in all the three patients and in ayurvedic drug in two patients. The ayurvedic medication was discontinued and treatment with d-penicillamine started. At 6 months after treatment, blood arsenic levels returned to normal with clinical recovery in all of them. Conclusion Arsenic poisoning following ayurvedic medication is much less common than lead poisoning, though mineral ayurvedic medicines may lead to it. We used d-penicillamine as chelator and all of them recovered. Whether withdrawal of medication alone or d-penicillamine also played a role in recovery is unclear and needs to be assessed.

Cite this Research Publication : Pillay V. V., “How safe are indigenous medications: A case report on arsenic poisoning”, .” J Karnataka Medicolegal Soc , vol. 6, pp. 18 - 19, 1997.

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