Clinical signs of poisoning by pharmaceutical agents and drugs of misuse.


Taking a history in poisoning
• What toxin(s) have been taken
and how much?
• What time were they taken and
by what route?
• Has alcohol or any drug of
misuse been taken as well?

• Obtain details from witnesses
of the circumstances of the
overdose (e.g. family, friends
ambulance personnel)
• Ask the general practitioner for
background and details of
prescribed medication
• Assess suicide risk (full
psychiatric evaluation

when patient has physically
• Assess capacity to make
decisions about accepting or
refusing treatment
• Establish past medical history,
drug history and allergies, social
and family history
• Record all information carefully