Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Other full case
Bitter pill to swallow: a case of accidental poisoning with digitalis purpurea
  1. Andrew Mitchell
  1. ST1 Core Medical Training, Wishaw General Hospital, Lanarkshire, Scotland
  1. Correspondence to Andrew Mitchell, andrewjmitchell{at}


While digitoxicity secondary to therapeutic use is frequent, due to its distinctive appearance and unpleasant taste accidental ingestion of digitalis purpurea (foxglove) is uncommon. This report relates the case of two previously healthy individuals who inadvertently consumed significant quantities of digitalis in its plant form. Both men presented in first-degree atrioventricular block and had digoxin levels of 4.9 μg/litre, but were otherwise stable and made unremarkable recoveries with repeated dose activated charcoal.

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.