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First Aid for Mouthwash Overdose

Last updated March 5, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Satish Krishnamurthy

Mouthwash Overdose occurs when an individual takes more than the normal or recommended amount of mouthwash, either by accident or intentionally.

What is Mouthwash Overdose?

  • Mouthwash Overdose occurs when an individual takes more than the normal or recommended amount of mouthwash, either by accident or intentionally
  • The condition is diagnosed based upon the clinical history, combination of signs and symptoms, and additional tests (that may include, in some cases, radiological studies and laboratory tests)

What are the Causes of Mouthwash Overdose?

Mouthwash Overdose occurs when the individual orally ingests (drinks) mouthwash.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Mouthwash Overdose?

The signs and symptoms of Mouthwash Overdose may include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, headache
  • Low body temperature
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Rapid, shallow breathing, or slowed breathing
  • Skin redness and pain
  • Slurred speech
  • Throat pain
  • Burns and damage to the clear covering of the front of the eye (cornea)
  • Urination problems
  • Uncoordinated movement, unresponsive reflexes
  • Unconsciousness and coma

How is First Aid administered for Mouthwash Overdose?

If you suspect Mouthwash Overdose, call National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 (or your local emergency number) and provide as much information as you can; even if the person does not have any symptoms.

Call 911 (or your local emergency number) if the person is:

  • Unconscious
  • Having chest pain or breathing difficulties
  • Suffering from drowsiness, seizures, vomiting, or has eye injuries
  • Or, if you are unable to obtain information

Until medical help arrives:

  • Remove any mouthwash from the mouth of the person, if he/she has swallowed the poison
  • Try to identify the poison, read and follow instructions as mentioned in the container (containing the chemical substance); and call National Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222
  • If the substance is spilled on clothing, remove the clothing and wash the skin thoroughly with water
  • If the individual is not breathing or not showing any signs of movement, immediately start CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • DO NOT induce vomiting (by using ipecac syrup)
  • If the individual vomits, turn them on one side to prevent from choking
  • Try to locate the poison (or pill) container and take it to the hospital
  • DO NOT give anything orally to the person
  • Unless directed by the physician, DO NOT give any medication

Who should administer First Aid for Mouthwash Overdose?

The person himself/herself or someone nearby may begin to administer First Aid. Call 911 (or your local emergency number) immediately as mentioned before.

What is the Prognosis of Mouthwash Overdose?

  • Recovery from a Mouthwash Overdose depends on how much of the poison was swallowed and how quickly treatment was given
  • Drinking large amounts of mouthwash can lead to alcohol intoxication

How can Mouthwash Overdose be Prevented?

A few helpful tips to prevent inadvertent Mouthwash Overdose:

  • Keep poisonous/hazardous chemicals, medicines, and other materials out of children’s reach
  • Keep all poisons correctly labeled and in suitable storage locations

What are certain Crucial Steps to be followed?

  • Call the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222), or your local emergency number
  • Even though, it does NOT need to be an emergency - take the patient to the hospital immediately

The patient may receive the following treatment at the hospital for a Mouthwash Overdose:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Breathing support
  • Chest X-ray
  • EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
  • Intravenous (given through a vein) fluids
  • Laxative
  • Medicine (antidote) to reverse the effect of the substance
  • Tube through the mouth into the stomach, to empty the stomach
  • Kidney dialysis

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Oct. 13, 2014
Last updated: March 5, 2018