Q. Please explain the poisonous effect of phenol ingestion.

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Majid Hanif
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 29, 2017 and last reviewed on: Nov 05, 2021

Hello doctor,

My friend aged 30 had two drops of phenol mistaking for milk. He vomited and had lot of salt water. Please advice for any side effect.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I want to assure you not to worry as everything is going to be fine if proper care and treatment is opted in for. I have thoroughly gone through your case and can well understand your genuine health concerns.


The Probable causes:

1. No, there is not much problem right now as he vomited and also had a lot of water. It is fine because it was only two drops.
2. We usually do not go for emesis (vomiting) for phenol poisoning cases. Because, it is a volatile compound and causes vapors entering the lungs through the airways.
3. As it was only two drops, I do not think it may cause much trouble. If he feels short of breath contact me back, otherwise fine.

Preventive measures:

1. He should avoid re-exposure.
2. Rule out if there is some sort of suicidal ideation due to depression or anxiety and take him to a psychiatrist for physical evaluation.

Regarding follow up:

For further follow up consult a general practitioner online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-practitioner

Hi doctor,

He drank salt water to induce vomit. Was that fine? As per your opinion vomiting is not advised, so should he need any check up with doctor? Will drinking phenol cause any side effects?

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I want to assure you not to worry as everything is going to be fine.


The Probable causes:

Phenol has phenyl+hydroxyl group makes it an acid known Carbolic acid. As other acids, it is also a corrosive acid and is definitely a volatile aromatic organic compound not good for the inner lining of the food pipe.

But we always see the poisoning in terms of the amount of poison ingested. He ingested only two drops and that is very minute to cause major burns that may lead to future scarring or the strictures in the esophagus (the food pipe).

Phenol is also used in medications but in the processed forms and that too sometimes may lead to side effects. So, I would specifically add here the side effects that I see usually in my patients (very less reported ones though):-
1. Sore throat.
2. Fever.
3. Mouth ulcers or simply a rash (inner side or around the mouth).
4. Headache and nausea/vomiting.
5. Difficulty in breathing.
6. Rash or swelling anywhere on body.

So if you see any of the symptoms like that, just let me know for further treatment. Right now he is fine.

No need to visit a doctor for physical evaluation. I would have advised if the volume of ingested phenol was significantly high. Also he tried to dilute it to some extent with plenty of salt water.

As I said earlier, for volatile poisons, we do not preferably go for vomiting. It is because when the volatile substance comes back from stomach to mouth in its way its fumes/vapors get entry into the lungs too. Again I want to make you relax that the volume of only two fluid drops is not so much hazardous in this regard.

Treatment plan:

1. Give Citrucel (Methylcellulose) dietary fiber supplement with plenty of water.
2. Give him syrup Gaviscon before every meal.
3. Ask him to take soft and bland diet for a couple of days.
4. Do assure that he drinks plenty of water.

Preventive measures:

Excessive coughing and constipation.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a general practitioner online.---> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-practitioner


Was this answer helpful?

 | 

Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!



Related Questions:
I masturbate a lot.My penis is swollen. Can you suggest a remedy ?

My testicles start paining after 20 minutes of ejaculation and the pain goes away after 2 to 3 hours ... If you masturbate beyond your capacity then it is possible that you may have pain in the testis or penis as there is engorgement of local veins ....   Read full

My husband has a chest pain that comes and goes. Could it be a heart condition?

.. cause for his chest pain is gastritis and reflux disease. Does he also have upper abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, burping, increase in pain on eating, sour water feeling in the throat or chest burning? These are the other symptoms that may be as...   Read full

I had phenyl and suffering from throat inflammation. Please help.

.. will have some complications of the chemical substance you have drunk. Mucosa of upper gastrointestinal and respiratory tract is more sensible to react against chemicals than the stomach. Also, you have protected your stomach somehow by using All...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read


Tomato Fever - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Tomato fever is an unidentified and fast-spreading type of viral infection seen in young children. Scroll down to know m...  Read more»
Histrionic Personality Disorder - Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Histrionic personality disorder causes variations in the thinking ability of a person. Read this article to know more.  Read more»
Nighttime Skin Routine for Clear Skin
A skin that gets all the attention during the day requires a chance to repair, rejuvenate and replenish from day damage ...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a General Practitioner Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.