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Visine? Deadly?


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#1 GhosT

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 03:58 PM

I've heard that Visine is applicable as a colorless, tasteless poison. I've also heard that this is simply an urban legend. I'm not about to test this one myself but if anyone knows for sure, please let me know. I am curious to see if CSI used an urban legend.
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#2 GutZ

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:03 PM

http://answers.googl...dview?id=601025

Some eye drops contain only sterile saline solution, which is not
harmful if ingested. However, other eye drops can be hazardous if they
are consumed. Ingesting eye drops that contain tetrahydrozoline can
potentially be fatal, particularly to small children.

"The active ingredient in Visine eye drops is Tetrahydrozoline HCl
0.05%. Swallowing this substance can result in a number of nasty
effects, including:

Lowering body temperature to dangerous levels
Making breathing difficult, or even halting it entirely
Blurring vision
Causing nausea and vomiting
Elevating and then dropping blood pressure
Causing seizures or tremors
Sending the ingester into a coma

Pfizer's cautions to users of Visine include, 'If swallowed, get
medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.' In view
of the above list, that advice should not be taken lightly."

Snopes Urban Legends Reference Pages
http://www.snopes.co...xins/visine.asp


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#3 Sisyphus

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 04:11 PM

This website gives a pretty good account:

http://www.snopes.co...yths/visine.asp

It seems it is toxic and almost tasteless. So I guess technically it's true. It's clearly not very potent as a poison, though, and you'd have to consume a whole lot of it to actually kill a healthy person, and even then it will take a long time. Nothing like, for example, cyanide.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

#4 ofgreenstar

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 03:23 PM

It doesn't have any harmful effects on your eyes though right? Is it better to just use a saline solution?
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#5 John Cuthber

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 07:42 PM

Has anyone actually thought this through?
What should happen to eyedrops?
They get put in eyes and, like tears they drain away through to your nose and to the back of the throat where they are swallowed.
How toxic can they be?
Certainly, enough of the stuff would be toxic; same with water, so what?

How did a myth like this ever get started without someone spotting this slight problem with the story?
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#6 ofgreenstar

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 08:00 PM

How toxic can they be?
Certainly, enough of the stuff would be toxic; same with water, so what?


Do you know what amount it is? Does it stick around in the body and accumulate over a long period of time?
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#7 Sisyphus

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Posted 26 April 2007 - 08:33 PM

Has anyone actually thought this through?
What should happen to eyedrops?
They get put in eyes and, like tears they drain away through to your nose and to the back of the throat where they are swallowed.
How toxic can they be?
Certainly, enough of the stuff would be toxic; same with water, so what?

How did a myth like this ever get started without someone spotting this slight problem with the story?


Yeah, enough of anything is toxic, but how much is important. A few drops are obviously harmless. A few ounces are not, which is a huge difference from, say, saline. The question was, is it plausible that you could slip someone enough visine to kill them without them noticing. Apparently the answer is yes, but barely.
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I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

#8 Victom

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Posted 6 April 2011 - 08:03 AM

About two years ago I was at work, and I started to have thumping in my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. I was taken to the Hospital and had an EKG done, it was good and the blood test was good. This happened to me over and over again when I was at work. One day I ripped my shoulder at work and was put on light duty. While at work one of my co workers came up to me and said, "What you never learn from what happen to you the last time". then he walked away. This guy stole something worth over $2000.00 from one other worker, and I was the whistle blower. When I fist got sick and had that thumping in my chest, he was there, and he was there all the other times. One of my co workers told me not to leave my drink in the office when he is around. I said why? he told me that he talks about putting visine in peoples food. Two years later Im still sick and and some one else came up to me and said he got you. I said what. I went to internal affairs and told them my story, its being investigated right now. The first time I got sick I pissed blood many times my stool was black I was weak I had bad chest pains I had a hard time breathing and I feel cold when every one is hot and my blood pressure gets high and I have chest pains, then it drops and I feel sick and I have to rest. Today I still have chest pains,I feel sick and weak and still feel like I have a hard time breathing. Now I heard they put visine in an other workers coffee.
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#9 Marat

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Posted 7 April 2011 - 02:53 PM

Although toxins are often put in the eyes on the theory that they will not leak out to affect the body, this is not true. The worst example is the use of beta blockers to reduce intraocular pressure. For years ophthalmolgists scolded their patients that the beta blocker eyedrops they were prescribed could not possibly be making them dizzy, hypotensive, and confused, because they simply could not leak out of the eye. After experiments proved that they could and did, opthalmologists started doing something they train you in medical school never to do: they started listening to their patients to check for somatic effects of Timolol and then switched them if necessary to Pilocarpine, an older and less effective, but ultimately less toxic eye drop.

Ah, the wonders of modern medicine, which can only treat symptoms by poisoning the patient so that he can no longer manifest those symptoms, and then calls this a 'cure.'
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#10 John Cuthber

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Posted 7 April 2011 - 06:25 PM

A couple of points
Marat, I draw your attention to the reply I gave earlier.

Victom,
Never mind internal affairs- go to your doctor, then the police.
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#11 ewmon

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Posted 7 April 2011 - 08:06 PM

MSDS on Tetrahydrozoline HCl:

Toxicological Data on Ingredients: Tetrahydrozoline HCl: ORAL (LD50): Acute: 785 mg/kg [Rat]. 345 mg/kg [Mouse].

So, we're talking about an LD50 (50% probability of Dose being Lethal) of:

8-lb baby: 2½ to 5½ liters of Visine (0.05% API)
This is between 85 and 193 one-fluid ounce bottles.

160-lb adult: 50 to 114 liters of Visine (0.05% API)
This is between 1,694 and 3,853 one-fluid ounce bottles.

Victom might be supersensitive to Visine, but the above numbers makes me think it was something much different ... like Trazodone.

Edited by ewmon, 7 April 2011 - 08:20 PM.

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