Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Poisons

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Recently, I've took an interest to poisons. Not spontaneously but because of the lovely pre-registration syllabus.  'Poison' by definition of the term, is in itself, thought provoking. It was Paracelsus, who coined the term "The dose makes the poison".  When I discovered this expression, I remember thinking that's pretty good for 500 years ago. What a brilliant mind...   Anyway, my poisonous research hasn't been as interesting as Paracelsus. I've been focusing more on the legislation side of things. So what have I learnt? Well, the main act governing poisons is the Poisons Act 1972. For a substance to be an official 'poison', it must be stated in the poisons list. I found The Poisons List Order from 1982 in the back of my Dale and Applebe. It was interesting to see the differences in the two lists.   The poisons list consists of two parts, Part I and II. Very official sounding parts, with distinct differences. Part I poison sales can only occur in a pharmacy and must be dealt with under the supervision of a pharmacist. Part II can also be sold in a pharmacy or a by a person whose name is on the local authority's list (basically shops). Part I generally states the purer products e.g. Arsenic, whereas Part II states compounds e.g. Calcium arsenites.  Moving on. There are apparently eight schedules to the Poisons Act. The schedules actually go up to Schedule 12, but it appears Schedule 2, 3, 6 and 7 just didn't quite make the grade; deleted by the Poisons Rules Amendment Order of 1985. Fascinating. Anyway, most of these schedules seem to be forms or legal paperwork of  some description. Lists of poisons that are exempted from control are also stated. Generally, it seems that Schedule 1 and 12 are the most important. Schedule 1 are a list of poisons that are specially restricted. Schedule 12 are added restrictions to the sale and supply of specific poisons including strychnine.  Top tips for poisons:•Store away from food, customers and other medicines. •Consider creating a separate, appropriately labelled, poison drawer. •If you can help it, stay away! They're not nice.  On a serious note, strychnine was withdrawn from use by EU law in 2006. I think, I've seen a question about this in a previous exam paper. Apparently, moles don't like it. Who'd of thought?  References  Appelbe, GE and Wingfield, J (2005). Dale and Appelbe's Pharmacy Law and Ethics. 8th ed. London: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. p214-219, p457-473.  Borzelleca, JF. (2000) Profiles in Toxicology Paracelsus: Herald of Modern Toxicology. Toxicological Sciences. 53, p2-4. Link: http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/1/2.full.pdf+html

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.