Piperonyl butoxide with pyrethrins is an ingredient found in medications to kill lice. Poisoning occurs when someone swallows the product or too much of the product touches the skin.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Seek immediate medical help. Do not make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional. If the chemical is in the eyes, flush with lots of water for at least 15 minutes.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
Patient's age, weight, and condition
Name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)
Time it was swallowed
The amount swallowed
Poison Control, or a local emergency number
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive:
Cleaning of exposed skin
Washing and examination of eyes as necessary
Treatment of allergic reactions as necessary
If the poison was swallowed, treatment may include:
Fluids through a vein (IV)
Tube through the mouth into the stomach to empty the stomach
Most symptoms are seen in patients who are allergic to pyrethrins. Piperonyl butoxide has a low toxicity, but extreme occupational exposures may result in more severe symptoms.
Robey WC III, Meggs WJ. Insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, Ma OJ, Cline DM, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2004:chap 182.
Eric Perez, MD, St. Luke's / Roosevelt Hospital Center, NY, NY, and Pegasus Emergency Group (Meadowlands and Hunterdon Medical Centers), NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.