POISONOUS AND HALLUCINOGENIC MUSHROOMS
by Michael W. Beug Email: beugm@evergreen.edu
The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA
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Slide 31.
Amanita muscaria var. muscaria, the toadstool if there ever was one, is a different type of fungal intoxicant producing Class F poisoning (Poisindex II). The onset of symptoms occurs 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating the mushrooms and is due to the toxins muscimol and ibotenic acid which are found in both Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina. A small amount of muscarine is present in these mushrooms as well. The symptoms are drowsiness, confusion, euphoria, staggering, muscular spasms, repetitive actions, dilation of pupils, dizziness, visual disturbances, dullness of colors, impression of heaviness but unusual strength, fragmentation of time, conviction of dying, deep coma-like sleep, with some patients reporting hallucinations upon wakening. Some people become violent. Complete recovery comes in 6-24 hours. In addition to large numbers of human ingestions, intentional and accidental, there are large numbers of ingestions by animals, especially dogs but sometimes cats as well. The symptoms in dogs and cats are similar to those in humans. Though there are reported cases of fatalities to cats, good supportive care is almost invariably successful and recovery is normally rapid even though for a few hours it can look like the animal cannot possibly survive.
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