Potato poisoning - green tubers and sprouts
This is poisoning caused by eating green tubers and/or new sprouts of the potato plant.
Solanine (very toxic even in small quantities)
The toxin is found throughout the plant but especially in green potatoes and in the new sprouts. Never eat potatoes that are spoiled or green below the skin. Always throw away the sprouts.
Potatoes that are not green and have had any sprouts removed are safe to eat.
- Hypothermia (lower than normal body temperature)
- Slowed breathing
- Dilated pupils
- Vision changes
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Slow pulse
- Loss of sensation
Determine the following information:
- Patient's age, weight, and condition
- Name of the plant, if known
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the U.S. use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Bring the plant with you to the emergency room, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
The patient may receive:
- Medicines to make the person throw up
- Medicines to treat symptoms
- Activated charcoal
- A nasogastric (NG) tube thru the nose into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)
Death has been reported but is rare.
Reviewed By: Eric Perez, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's-RooseveltHospital Center, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed HealthcareNetwork.