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Poisoning by drugs and chemicals 

Poisoning by drugs and chemicals
Poisoning by drugs and chemicals

J.A. Vale

, S.M. Bradberry

, and D.N. Bateman


November 28, 2012: This chapter has been re-evaluated and remains up-to-date. No changes have been necessary.

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date: 27 September 2021

Poisoning is usually an acute, short-lived event which necessitates immediate care, though complications such as rhabdomyolysis may persist for a few days. Less commonly, symptoms may arise only after prolonged exposure, as occurs with many heavy metals. Rarely, sequelae may not occur until many years after exposure, e.g. with vinyl chloride. It must be stressed that exposure does not necessarily equate with poisoning as uptake of the agent involved is required but, even if this occurs, poisoning does not necessarily result as the amount absorbed may be too small....

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