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If your New Year's resolution is to quit smoking, then your part of the nearly 7 in 10 U.S. smokers who want to quit. 

 Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Quitting now can cut your risk and leave you feeling stronger and healthier.

Quitting smoking can be challenging. Most people make multiple attempts. That's because nicotine is a very addictive chemical. When you first quit, your body may feel uncomfortable until it adjusts. This is known as withdrawal. There are medications that can help lessen this feeling and as well as the urge to smoke. 

The most common "quit smoking medications" are nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), which give your body a little of the nicotine that it craves without the harmful chemicals found in burning cigarettes. Examples of Food and Drug Administration-approved NRTs that you can buy over the counter include:
  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine gum
  • Nicotine lozenges
Every year Texas Poison Centers receive thousands of calls related to nicotine poisoning. Nicotine is very toxic. The amount in only one cigarette butt can enough to poison a child.

 Other forms of nicotine are also extremely poisonous: cigarettes,e-cigarette cartridges, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, nicotine gum if chewed by a child, nicotine patches if chewed on by a child, and liquid nicotine used for electronic cigarettes.

One teaspoon of liquid nicotine could be lethal to a child, and smaller amounts can cause severe illness, often requiring trips to the emergency department.

As little as 1 milligram (mg) of nicotine, a very small amount, can cause symptoms in an infant. One whole cigarette has 13 - 30 mg of nicotine, while one cigarette butt contains 5 - 7 mg.

Symptoms of Nicotine Poisoning:
  • Confusion & agitation
  • Lethargy
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • high blood pressure
  • Seizures which can begin in as little as 20-30 minutes. 
  • Death
Prevention Tips: 

  • ALWAYS store cigarettes and other nicotine containing products where children cannot see or reach them. This includes "smoke juice", liquid nicotine for electronic cigarettes.
  • ALWAYS make sure that discarded nicotine products, such as cigarette and cigar butts, chewing tobacco, flavored tobacco, nicotine gum or patches, are out of sight and reach of children or pets.

When in doubt, give the Poison Center a shout, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Our specially trained pharmacists, nurses, or physicians are available to answer your call for FREE and all calls are treated confidential,   

First Case: 
 A 2 year old male took an unknown quantity of moms Botanical Slimming pills.  The toddler was anxious, had tremors, and was irritable.  He was referred to a health care facility for  an evaluation. The product was apparently taken off the market in 2010.  The patient was admitted and was given medication and IV fluids.
The patient was tachycardic (fast resting heart rate) and agitated all day.  The next day the patient was more calm but  was still vomiting.  He was not discharged until 2 days later.
Second case: 
 A 34 year old female with no medical history of heart problems arrived to the emergency room due to palpitations, agitation, and hypertension after taking a weight loss supplement for the first time (unknown name).  She was  held for observation and  a series of cardiac test . She was released about 20 hours later.
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January 2018 Newsletter

New Year, New You!!

New Year comes but once a year, offering you a fresh start.For a lot of people, this means improving their health. For other people, this begins with loosing the extra pounds that were gained throughout the holidays.  Many people  will jump on the fad  diet  bandwagon at the start of the n ew year  to try to quickly lose the extra pounds. According to the FDA,  there are hundreds of products that are marketed as dietary supplements that contain hidden active ingredients or that contain ingredients that were once in drugs that have been removed from the market, and compounds that have not been adequately studied in humans. These products have the potential to cause negative health effects.

 The Texas Poison Center Network would like to wish you a safe and happy  new year and would like to offer you the following tips that may help you make safer choices in reaching your weight loss goals!  


Weight Loss Pills:
  • If a weight loss product sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Weight loss supplements, along with other types of dietary supplements, can be sold online, in stores, and through TV ads. 
  • Hidden ingredients are becoming a large problem for weight loss. These deceptive products can harm you!  Some diet fads are not only dangerous, but can even  be deadly. 
  • One of the most dangerous aspects of diet pills is that they are not required by law to be tested by the FDA before they are released to the public, which means you may be taking products laced with varying quantities of controlled substances, untested or unstudied pharmaceutical ingredients, or some impurities some which are illegal. 
  • In recent years, the FDA has identified  hidden active ingredients such as stimulants, antidepressants, diuretics, seizure medications, and laxatives in common dietary supplements.

  • Diet pills often work in different ways. Some contain appetite suppressants, some claim to increase the rate of your metabolism and some claim to block the the body's ability to absorb fat. 

 Below are some of the common ingredients found in many diet pills: 
  • Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) 
    was commonly used as a decongestant in over-the-counter medications and also works as an appetite depressant but was removed from the market in 2000 because of an association with stroke in women.
  •  Sibutramine was in an FDA-approved drug called Meridia®, which was removed from the market in October 2010 because it was linked to heart problems and strokes.
  • Fluoxetine  is a prescription antidepressant; many people know it by the brand name Prozac®. It is legal only with a prescription, but it has been found in over the counter dietary supplements for weight loss. Though it's an important drug for people who need it, it is recommended to be under a physicians care when taking it because of the because of its potential side effects.
  • Phenolphthalein is a laxative. It was removed from the FDA's list of safe ingredients in 1999 after animal studies showed that it might cause cancer. Taking too much can also cause diarrhea, fluid loss, and electrolyte imbalance in the blood.
  • Furosemide is a prescription diuretic; many people know it by the brand name Lasix®. Diuretics are drugs used to help the body eliminate excess fluid, for example in people with heart failure. Taking too much can cause the body to lose a lot of fluid through increased urination. This can cause dehydration, muscle weakness, and an electrolyte imbalance.
  • Phenytoin is a prescription drug used to treat seizures; many people know it by the brand name Dilantin®. There are numerous effects in high doses  and numerous possible drug interactions.
  •  Amphetamines  suppress appetite by increasing levels of dopamine, a chemical that regulates alertness, concentration, and  pleasure, among other things. Because amphetamines create a "high" , they can also create a "low" when you stop using them. The FDA has banned most amphetamine-containing diet pills because they can be are addictive and can cause many harmful side effects.  
Some known side effects of diet pills include
  • anxiety or nervousness
  • irritability, insomnia and a feeling of restlessness or hyperactivity
  • high blood pressure
  • tightness in the chest
  • heart palpitations
  • heart attack
  • stroke or congestive heart failure
  • digestive tract problems like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation or other
  • stomach pain
  • fever
  • dry mouth
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • blurred vision
  • profuse sweating
  • hair loss
  • menstrual cycle and sex drive disturbances 
  • urinary tract problems
If you think someone is having a reaction to a dietary supplement, don't ignore it,call 
Free. Confidential. Open 24/7/365. 
Staffed by Health care professionals.

Want more poison information???
Don't forget to check out the Texas Poison Center Network's blog !