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Alternative NamesChristmas cherry poisoning; Winter cherry poisoning; Ground cherry poisoning
Definition Return to top
The Jerusalem cherry is a plant that belongs to the same family as the deadly nightshade. It has small, round, red and orange fruit. Jerusalem cherry poisoning occurs when someone eats pieces of this plant.
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 the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Poisonous Ingredient Return to top
Where Found Return to top
The poison is found throughout the Jerusalem cherry plant, but especially in the unripened fruit and leaves.
Symptoms Return to top
Home Care Return to top
Seek 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 Emergency Return to top
Determine the following information:
Poison Control Return to top
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. 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.
See: Poison control center - emergency number
What to Expect at the Emergency Room Return to top
The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as appropriate. You may receive:
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster you get medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
References Return to topHostetler M, Schneider S. Poisonous plants. In: Tintinalli JE, Kelen GD, Stapczynski JS, eds. Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 6th ed. New York, NY: McGraw Hill; 2004:chap 205. Update Date: 2/17/2009 Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Greg Juhn, MTPW, David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Stephen C. Acosta, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Portland VA Medical Center, Portland, OR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (2/27/2008).