Plant Poisoning, Caladium, Dieffenbachia, and Philodendron Follow-up

Updated: Nov 23, 2016
  • Author: Jennifer S Boyle, MD, PharmD; Chief Editor: Timothy E Corden, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

See the list below:

  • Analgesia is the mainstay of treatment, and usually, over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used. Codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone occasionally may be necessary.
  • Maintain adequate hydration with clear cool fluids.
  • Instruct patients to avoid salty or spicy foods, which may worsen the pain.
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Transfer

Transfer is rarely necessary, except in patients with severe swelling with airway compromise.

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Deterrence/Prevention

Because 70% of exposures occur in children younger than 5 years, mostly within the home, prevention is paramount. Parents of small children should keep potentially toxic household plants out of reach of children, just as they do with medications and cleaning supplies. The simplest and most effective way of safeguarding children is to avoid keeping toxic plants in and around the home. Children should be specifically instructed never to eat plants or wild berries.

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Prognosis

Patients with Caladium, Dieffenbachia, or Philodendron toxicity have an excellent prognosis. Although painful, the effects are self-limited. No long-term complications have been reported.

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Patient Education

See the list below:

  • Instruct parents or guardians to accurately identify all ornamental plants and foliage around the home and to remove all potentially toxic plants.
  • Instruct children to never eat plants or wild berries.
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