The question is, how do you know if someone is suffering
from strychnine poisoning? Key symptoms occur after 15-
30 minutes, the critical time, as said in the effects section.

The ten main symptoms of strychnine poisoning:

  1. Initial symptoms are tightness and twitching of the muscles,
    agitation and hyperreflexia.
  2. Stiffness of the body.
  3. Lockjaw.
  4. Frothing of the mouth.
  5. Cessation of respiration.
  6. Tetanus like attacks appear every 10 ? 15 minutes. During
    these attacks the eye balls protrude and the pupils enlarge.
  7. Severe cyanosis, which disappears after the attack subsides.
  8. The attacks (each lasting about 3 ? 4 minutes) appear to be
    spontaneous while other times they are the result of external
    stimuli i.e. noises, slight movements or flashes of light. The
    patient never loses consciousness.
  9. When the poisoning is left untreated each attack lasts longer
    than the previous and the interval between them grows shorter.
  10. Up to 10 attacks occur before death or recovery. This could
    happen from 10 minutes to 3 hours and is a result of asphyxiat-
    ion or inner tissue paralysis.


If caught in time, strychnine poisoning can be treated with
barbiturate sedatives and muscle relaxants, by avoiding unne-
cessary sensory stimulation, and, if necessary, with artificial

The poison is metabolised in the liver and has a half-life of about
10 hours in humans. Therefore within a few days it will be more
or less eliminated and treatment can be withdrawn.