Acute Methanol Poisonings Reported to the Drug and Poison Information Center in Izmir, Turkey

Sule Kalkan, Arif Alper Cevik, Caner Cavdar, Oguz Aygoren, Aylin Akgun, Nurdan Ergun, Yesim Tuncok

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The demographics, sources and outcomes of methanol poisoning have not been described in Turkey. Our study identified the profile of acute methanol exposures reported to Drug and Poison Information Center (DPIC) in Izmir, Turkey, from 1993 to 2002. Data analysis included patient demographics, sources of methanol, reason for the exposure, clinical effects and outcomes of methanol poisoning. The DPIC recorded 30,485 calls concerning poisoning; 996 (3.3%) alcohol poisonings were recorded and 113 (11.3%) of them were methanol poisonings. There were 91(80.5%) males and 22 (19.5%) females with a mean age of 34.7±1.3y (range 19-65) and 4.8±0.9y (range 1-18) in adults and children, respectively. The sources of methanol were eu de cologne (72.6%), spirits (10.6%) and antifreeze (2.7%). Accidental poisoning occurred in all children between 0 and 12 y old, abuse (55.7%) and intentional poisoning (27.3%) were predominant in adults. Clinical signs in all cases were central nervous system symptoms (45.1%), metabolic acidosis (23.0%), visual symptoms (21.2%) and gastrointestinal symptoms (10.6%). Sixteen patients (14.1%) died, 63 (55.8%) had complete recovery and 1 (0.9%) had irreversible visual problems. Most patients with methanol poisoning may die or present serious morbidity without appropriate treatment in a health care facility. Methanol for producing cheap "eu de colognes" in Turkey is the principal reason for severe poisoning and deaths. Public education about colognes and legislative control of cologne production are important in preventing methanol poisoning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-337
Number of pages4
JournalVeterinary and Human Toxicology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • General Veterinary
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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