DefinitionAcetone is a chemical used in many household products. This article discusses poisoning from swallowing acetone-based products.This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or a local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
Alternative NamesDimethyl formaldehyde poisoning; Dimethyl ketone poisoning; Nail polish remover poisoning
Poisonous IngredientAcetone; Dimethyl formaldehyde; Dimethyl ketone
Where FoundFingernail polish removerSome cleaning solutionsSome glues, including rubber cementSome lacquersNote: This list may not be all-inclusive.
Low blood pressureGastrointestinal system
NauseaPain in belly area (abdomen)Person may have a fruity odorSweet taste in mouthVomitingNervous system
Acting as if drunkComaDrowsinessStuporRespiratory system
Difficulty breathingSlowed breathing rateShortness of breathUrinary system
Increased need to urinate
Home TreatmentSeek immediate medical help. Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
Before Calling EmergencyDetermine the following information:The patient's age, weight, and condition
The name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)
The time it was swallowed
The amount swallowed
Poison Control, or a local emergency numberIn the United States, call 1-800-222-1222 to speak with a local poison control center. This hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.This is a free and confidential service. 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.Take the container with you to the hospital, if possible.See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to expect at the emergency roomThe health care provider will measure and monitor the patient's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. The patient may receive:Tube through the nose into the stomach to empty the stomach (gastric lavage)Oxygen, if needed
Expectations (prognosis)Accidentally drinking small amounts of acetone/nail polish remover is unlikely to harm you as an adult. However even small amounts can be dangerous to your child, so it is important to keep this and all household chemicals in a safe place.If the person survives past 48 hours, the chances for recovery are good.