Plant Poisoning, Caladium, Dieffenbachia, and Philodendron Treatment & Management

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

Begin treatment with simple decontamination. All pieces of Caladium, Dieffenbachia, or Philodendron should be removed and the mouth gently rinsed with water to eliminate all residual components. Induced emesis and gastric lavage are not indicated.

Ingesting demulcifying agents, such as cold milk or ice cream, may help.

Based on severity of pain, analgesics, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or codeine derivatives, may be necessary.

Steroids may be beneficial for severe cases. Antihistamines may improve patient comfort in moderate or severe cases. No controlled trials have reported on the use of steroids or antihistamines in this clinical setting.

Ophthalmology follow-up should be arranged for ocular injuries. Antibiotic eyedrops, steroids, or both may be prescribed, but consultation with an ophthalmologist about what agent to prescribe is recommended.



Report all exposures to the regional poison control center. Poison control centers are the only national organizations currently tracking all poisonous and injurious plant exposures. Staff members at poison control centers may be helpful with plant identification and can provide follow-up telephone calls to patients at home. The phone number is (800)-222-1222.

In children with eye involvement, an ophthalmologist should be contacted and appropriate follow-up for reevaluation should be arranged.