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What are the adverse effects of swallowing Dettol antiseptic liquid?

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Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj

Neurologist, Surgical

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 544 Questions

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Posted on Wed, 20 Aug 2014 in Medicines and Side Effects
Question: I have by mistake swallowed a small amount of dettol antiseptic liquid. what can I do to ensure im safe and it doesnt harm me.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Not to worry

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX Thanks for coming to HealthCareMagic. First I want you to relax and consider your situation. There is no use being anxious as that will not help you if you actually need help at all. Let us undertsnd what Dettol is. What it does and how to treat the problem.

Dettol is an antiseptic which contains Chlorxylenol. Now, you need not memorize that. Suffice to say, that when it comes into contact with living tissue. It will cause irritation. When it comes in contact with living Bacteria, it will KILL those.

When you swallowed the dettol, it caused irritation of all the soft tissues of your mouth, esophagus and stomach. The key is, HOW MUCH, did you actually ingest. You are the only one who can accurately describe that.

If the poisoning is significant, then you will develop severe vomiting and heavy coughing, If either of these symptoms develop, then you must get to the local Emergency Room / Urgent Care Facility available to you.

If the amount, as you judge, was small and you are not symptomatic, then, the simplest course of action would be to drink plenty of water and rest, as long as you start feeling better in awhile, you will be fine. The active ingredient in Dettol leaves NO LASTING effects.

I hope this helps you decide what you need to do,

Vinay
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj 18 minutes later
by mistake I used dettol antiseptic liquid green in color to gargal. t moment I realised my mistake which was 2 secs I vommitted it out. also it does not list chloroxylenol as its constituent but lists benzalkonium chloride soln, propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, disodium edetate, citrus drop, tartrazine yellow, deionised water. should I drink sm milk. sm websites listed tat
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj 45 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You didn't swallow, will be fine.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Thanks for following up, I apologize for the wrong info, my google search returned that compound instead of "Benzalkonium". You need not worry here, that is an organic acid and hence will get deactivated in iiving tissue. This version of dettol is much less irritant than the one i described.

Just wash your mouth out with water and rinse with some toothpaste to counteract the acid.

That should do

Hope this helps, let me know how else I can help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj 4 hours later
hi dr, I have some throat pain though as a few drops do get swallowed like when you gargal. anything I can do about that.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj 37 hours later
Brief Answer:
Rinse mouth with water and relax

Detailed Answer:
My friend you have nothing to worry about. RInse your mouth out with plain water and relax, That small an amount of toxic exposure won't do anything to you.

Vinay
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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