Belladonna Poisoning as a Facet of Psychodelia

Ben M. Cummins, MD; S. Wendell Obetz, MD; M. Robert Wilson Jr., MD
JAMA. 1968;204(11):1011. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140240067029.
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To the Editor:—  During the past year, seven youths between the ages of 15 and 19 were admitted to the psychiatric services of the Mayo Clinic with acute belladonna intoxication, and two others were referred for psychiatric evaluation after episodes of acute psychotic behavior subsequent to the ingestion of a stramonium and belladonna mixture (Asthmador) for conscious-expanding purposes. This is another documentation of the use of this patent medicine as a hallucinogen.1-3 A substance intended for burning with inhalation of the smoke by asthmatics, the mixture's active ingredients are belladonna, stramonium, and related alkaloids which have hallucinogenic properties when taken orally in less than lethal amounts. It is readily obtainable without a prescription from any drugstore.Of the seven patients seen to date for acute belladonna intoxication, one is borderline mentally retarded. Another was felt to have a personality disorder, and a third appeared fairly normal in every respect.


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