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Toad egg poisoning is a rare form of toxic exposure. Many toads excrete poisoning, but they are a common delicacy in some Asian countries. Generally speaking, ingesting parts of a poison toad or even the eggs of most toad species is not dangerous as the toxin breaks down with cooking and most toads aren't poisonous. Direct exposure to the skin of a poison toad is almost always the form of transmission.
However, in very rare cases, patients will develop the symptoms of the toad toxin merely by eating eggs. The symptoms are usually non-specific to the condition, but typically involve suppression of autonomic functions such as blood pressure, heart rate and the peripheral nervous system. Symtoms tend to concentrate around the mouth, but can spread to the digestive tract.
A patient will recover with time, but faces life-threatening complications:
- Bradycardia is common, and generally has to be treated with a temporary pacemaker.
- Activated charcoal and gastric lavage are recommended to remove any remaining toxin before it is digested.
- Hyperkalemia is common, and can be treated with insulin, glucose and sodium bicarbonate.
- One of the active ingredients in the poison is digoxin, which can be removed with Fab fragments
- Potassium levels can rise quickly.