Harmless products as a single dose

The following list includes agents that, as an accidentally ingested single dose, do not usually cause a risk of poisoning or require treatment. A single dose means an isolated occurrence where the agent is taken once (in long-term administration, the agent is taken on several consecutive days).

The information mainly concerns young children. Only the most common medicinal products are listed, as the same medicinal agent may be available under several trade names.


  • Antacids, i.e. medicines used to reduce gastric acidity and to treat heartburn (e.g. Antepsin®, Balancid Novum®, Gaviscon®, Rennie®)
  • Oral contraceptives, i.e. birth control pills (e.g. Femoden®, Mercilon®, Minulet®, Trikvilar®)
  • Fluoride tablets, when less than 20 tablets per kilogram of body weight have been taken (e.g. Fludent® 0.25 mg).  The sweeteners contained in these products may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea 
  • Calcium tablets. The sweeteners contained in some of these products may cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea.
  • Preparations containing lactic acid bacteria
  • Basic ointments. Large amounts of ointment-like substances may cause gastrointestinal symptoms.


Other products

  • Aluminium foil
  • Mercury. The mercury contained in clinical thermometers is metallic mercury, which is not absorbed to any great extent when swallowed or through the skin
  • Glycerol (glycerin). Large amounts may cause gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Deodorants
  • Hair styling products (e.g. hair spray, styling mousse, gels, waxes)
  • Facial toners. Ingestion of small amounts is usually relatively harmless, as the alcohol content of facial toners is low.
  • Desiccant silica gel bags or capsules (e.g. in packages containing electronic appliances or leather products).
  • Candles
  • Pens, chalk and crayons (e.g. children’s markers, ball-point pens, felt-tip pens, pencils, copying pencils, colour pencils, blackboard chalk, crayons, watercolours, pastels, finger paints)
  • Water-soluble glues (e.g. paper glues and glue sticks)
  • Sweeteners (e.g. saccharin, cyclamate, aspartame, sucralose)
  • Make-up products (e.g. lipsticks, eye shadow, blushers)
  • Soil
  • Paper
  • Blue-tack (sinitarra)
  • Striking surface of matchboxes
  • Match heads, if less than 20 have been ingested.