At the Poison Information Center, we respond by phone to questions concerning the prevention and treatment of acute cases of poisoning in humans. We are a nationwide service operating on a 24/7 basis, serving both ordinary citizens and health care professionals.
Look up information about poisonous substances
First aid instructions
- Rinse the mouth with water. Do not induce vomiting.
- Find out which toxic substance has been ingested and the possible dose.
- Contact the Poison Information Center for risk assessment and further instructions.
- In some cases, the Poison Information Center may advice you to administer activated charcoal to prevent absorption.
- Move the patient into fresh air and place him/her in a resting, preferably reclining position. Be careful not to expose yourself to the toxic substance.
- Try to find out which toxic substance has been inhaled. Contact the Poison Information Center for risk assessment and further instructions.
- If initial mild symptoms do not subside at rest, or if the patient develops a persistent cough, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, seek medical attention.
- Remove the contaminated clothing and rinse the skin with water.
- If the toxic substance is corrosive, rinse at least 30 to 60 minutes.
- If the patient experiences severe pain, burns or the skin becomes inflamed, seek medical attention.
- Rinse the eyes with water for about 15 minutes. If the toxic substance is corrosive, rinse for at least 30 minutes.
- It is important to start rinsing as soon as possible, otherwise the eyes may be damaged.
- If the patient experiences severe pain, swelling, sensitivity to the light or watering of the eyes, seek medical attention.
Select an expert
Unfortunately, we do not have the expertise available to provide general advice on medications or foods, or on the treatment of illnesses or allergies. We also do not treat patients or identify toxins.
In other cases, please select an expert in the list below:
- Questions about medications not related to overdoses: pharmacies.
- Questions about animals: your own vet or a vet on call.
- Allergies, treatment of illnesses, and general health care advice: your local health care helpline, your local health center, or other emergency clinic.
- Food poisoning: your local health center or other emergency clinic.
- General information on foods: municipal food authorities.
- Information on medications and other external factors with a harmful impact on fertility, fetuses, and newborn infants: Teratological information service.