Eugenol oil (clove oil) overdose occurs when someone swallows a large amount of a product that contains this oil. This can be by accident or on purpose.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual overdose. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual overdose. If you or someone you are with overdoses, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.
Eugenol can be harmful in large amounts.
Eugenol oil is found in these products:
- Some toothache medicines
- Food flavorings
- Clove cigarettes
Other products may also contain eugenol oil.
Below are symptoms of a eugenol oil overdose in different parts of the body.
AIRWAYS AND LUNGS
- Shallow breathing
- Rapid breathing
- Coughing up blood
BLADDER AND KIDNEYS
EYES, EARS, NOSE, THROAT, AND MOUTH
- Burns in the mouth and throat
STOMACH AND INTESTINES
HEART AND BLOOD
Seek immediate emergency help. DO NOT make the person throw up unless told to do so by a doctor or poison control center.
If the product touched the skin, clean the area with soap and water.
Before Calling Emergency
Have this information ready:
- Person's age, weight, and condition
- Name of the product (ingredients and strength, if known)
- Time it was swallowed
- Amount swallowed
Your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) 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.
What to Expect at the Emergency Room
Take the container to the hospital with you, if possible.
The health care provider will measure and monitor the person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
The person may receive:
- Blood and urine tests
- Breathing support, including a tube through the mouth and breathing machine (ventilator)
- Camera down the throat to see burns in the esophagus and the stomach
- EKG (electrocardiogram, or heart tracing)
- Fluids through a vein (by IV)
- Medicine to treat the effects of the poison
- Tube through the nose into the stomach to wash out the stomach (gastric lavage)
- Tube down the throat and windpipe to assess damage or burns
Survival past 48 hours is usually a good sign that recovery will occur. But, permanent injury is possible.
Clove oil overdose
Graeme KA. Toxic plant ingestions. In: Auerbach, PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 64.
Maypole J, Woolf AD. Essential oils. In: Shannon MW, Borron SW, Burns MJ, eds. Haddad and Winchester's Clinical Management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2007:chap 101.
Zosel AE. General approach to the poisoned patient. In: Adams JG, ed. Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 143.
Review Date 10/13/2015
Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.