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Case report
Clinical effects from household insecticide: pyrethroid or organophosphate toxicity?
  1. Zahir Basrai1,
  2. Cynthia Koh1,
  3. Manuel Celedon1 and
  4. Jonathan Warren2
  1. 1Emergency Medicine, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, California, USA
  2. 2David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Zahir Basrai; zahir.basrai{at}


A 54-year-old man with a history of schizophrenia presented to the emergency room for weakness with associated lacrimosis, drooling, nausea, emesis, diarrhoea, diplopia and burning sensation on his skin that began 6 hours after spraying five cans of Raid on his carpet. He was noted to have miotic pupils and hyperactive bowel sounds. Given the clinical presentation, the patient was diagnosed with organophosphate (OP) toxicity. After being admitted, he developed symptoms associated with his OP toxicity and was successfully treated with atropine and pralidoxime. Most Raid products contain pyrethroids; however, both OPs and pyrethroids are available in commercial pesticides and patients may misidentify ingestions. There are limited data reporting the toxicity of pyrethroid overdose in humans and to guide its subsequent treatment. It is crucial to keep a low threshold for diagnosing and treating patients with acute onset of symptoms suspicious for an OP or pyrethroid toxidrome.

  • exposures
  • poisoning
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  • Contributors ZB, the treating physician, created, edited and finalised the case report. CK, a fellow in toxicology, provided substantial editing of the discussion to ensure that the toxicology information provided was of the highest quality. She was heavily involved in the writing and editing process of the case report. MC provided heavy drafting and editing of the case report. As an emergency physician, he gave expert insight into the case. JW provided heavy drafting and editing of the case report. He was also key in formatting the manuscript to comply with BMJ guidelines.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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