# Tag Info

## Hot answers tagged poisons

54

As noted, I feel like my answer to a previous question will also apply here. What you're looking for is an emetic: a substance that induces vomiting. Your X threshold remains the point at which a dose becomes lethal, but the Y threshold becomes the point at which the emetic properties kick in and you throw all the poison back up before it can enter your ...

25

Ergot Variants: This sounds like some version of ergot poisoning, or possibly a related toxicity from another similar fungus. Ergot caused a wide variety of neurological conditions, and is often cited as the cause for the Salem witch trials. In ancient societies, this was a common toxicity. There are potentiators that interact with ergot at lower doses to ...

24

One possibility would be a mixture of a poison that binds to a cell receptor and a lower concentration of a non-poison that binds more strongly to the same receptor (i.e. an antagonist with higher affinity). With a small dose, the non-poison only binds to a fraction of the receptors; the poison binds to the remaining ones and the target dies. With a large ...

15

I can imagine a solution, but it's gross. The poison can have two effects. One mild effect if that it will cause very mild nausea. This effect kick in quite fast, in the first minutes. The second effect is the lethal effect (paralysis of the lungs, for example, or any other), but the substance provocking this second effect is hard to digest, and it doesn't ...

15

You describe iodine deficiency. Health Consequences of Iodine deficiency Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) are one of the biggest worldwide public health problem of today. Their effect is hidden and profoundly affects the quality of human life. Iodine deficiency occurs when the soil is poor in iodine, causing a low concentration in food products and ...

12

Time period would be an issue (you wouldn't have it available in medieval times or something), but if you want a truly ghastly death: Dimethylmercury This stuff is truly horrific. Even a little bit making skin contact is a death sentence, but not an immediate one. The masseuse would have to be very careful. A few drops will result in death by heavy metal ...

11

Heavy metal poisoning — a mixture of lead, arsenic, mercury, manganese, and maybe a few others should be enough to produce these effects.. Manganese poisoning can cause mental health problems, including hallucinations. Mercury poisoning can cause lethargy. Chronic lead and arsenic poisoning can lead to a number of health problems, such as high blood pressure ...

10

Solanaceae The Solanacea are a variety of similar plants, many of them are used as food, including tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers and chilli peppers. Tomatoes, and many solanaceaes, are rich in vitamin C. Among them, there is also unedible plants with mild neurotoxins, like the tobacco, which contains nicotine. However, some solanaceae are very poisonous, ...

10

The poison doesn't actually kill you, it just makes you thrash around uncontrollably, jump off cliffs, swim out into shark-infested waters, start fights with large predators, and take assorted other actions that shorten your lifespan. At a high enough dose, though, you pass out, sleep it off, and wake up with nothing worse than a hangover.

7

Botox The estimated human lethal dose of type A toxin is 1.3–2.1 ng/kg intravenously or intramuscularly, 10–13 ng/kg when inhaled, or 1000 ng/kg when taken by mouth. No-ones calculated $LD_{50}$ for botox via eye, but I bet it'd be small enough. I don't think it needs to actually pierce the eye - mixed with a drop of lubricating eye drops it could form a ...

7

I have an idea that delivers the effect through a different mechanism. Caesium-137 This is used in medicine for radiotherapy. It's a source of both beta and gamma radiation. Have it under the massage bed, encased in a lead container with an opening towards the head of the patient (or some other bodily part that you won't be massaging. You just need to dose ...

6

Various nerve agents. 10 mg of VX on the skin are lethal. It takes only slightly more Sarin. The problem, of couse, is that you cannot simply buy them in the next drug store. And it is difficult to handle, but compare the death of Kim Jong-nam.

5

Nanites! The poison was designed by a xenophobic warlord long ago, to kill off strangers and newcomers to the defended lands. All original citizens of these lands were inoculated with large populations of the nanites long ago. When they have children, those children have large colonies of the nanites within them even from the moment of their birth. All ...

4

Coprine is a mycotoxine, found in the mushroom Coprinopsis atramentaria, thus being obtainable in low tech setting, if you know what to look for. The substance is toxic when mixed with alcohol - how to make the unsuspecting victim drink enough alcohol in wine is left as an excercise for the reader...

4

Culpepper can help! Culpepper's Complete Herbal Hemlock: …The whole plant, and every part, has a strong, heady, and ill favored scent. Hemlock is exceedingly cold, and very dangerous, especially to be taken inwardly. Hellebore (Black): …It is an herb of Saturn, and therefore no marvel if it has some sullen conditions with it, and would be ...

4

Dimethyl mercury. What you want is dimethyl mercury. Dimethyl mercury is extremely poisonous, can penetrate almost anything (indeed, it even penetrates most lab safety gear that isn't specifically designed to shield for it), is slow acting, and is very hard to detect if you aren't intentionally looking for it. As an example, there was a recent controversy in ...

3

Rabies. New Aspects of Rabies with Emphasis on Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Prevention of the Disease in the United States Most striking in the investigation of these cases is the absence of a clear history of animal bite exposure. Only 2 of the 13 case histories include an account of a bite by a bat, and in one of these cases, the parents of the 5-year-old ...

3

Actually alcohol tainted with methanol has exactly this effect. Ethanol is more preferred on the metabolic pathway than methanol. As long as you're sufficiently drunk, your body will be occupied with ethanol and will not try to metabolise methanol, which means methanol will exit body through urine. However if you only drink smaller amount of tainted alcohol, ...

3

Grapefruit juice and Codeine (etc) There is a lovely long list of medication that should not be mixed with Grapefruit Juice. One large subset of these are prodrugs, which are not active medication when consumed, but become active when digested. They are transformed by chemical reaction during digestion, Grapefruit juice (and a number of other compounds) can ...

3

Microwave sources/emissions I find myself wondering whether some source of low to medium intensity generally pervasive environmental microwave levels could be a candidate. Microwaves are non-ionising (low energy) radiation, that transfer as heat and elevated kinetic energy, upon interacting with water and fats and a few other things (which is why we use them ...

2

Heavy water, D2O, would kill your victim within a week if you could substitute it for most of the H2O they would normally ingest over that time. It could be detected, but only via mass spectrometry or gas chromatography. Tests for both common and uncommon poisons would produce negative results. It would be a somewhat expensive way of killing someone though ...

2

TL;DR It's a superpower; you decide! Poisons are a general term for a range of substances that are harmful to living creatures. Every poison can attack the body in different ways; but I think, for the sake of your plot, you should differentiate between things that harm through specific chemical pathways, disrupting the body's processes (i.e. a classic ...

2

pH. It itself is highly acidic. In small doses, it's poisonous payload is activated (say the pH has to be slightly above the normal pH of some part of the digestive tract). In larger doses, it inactivates itself and passively moves through the system. Play with the numbers to get the values where you want them and in accordance with a normal digestive system....

2

Some possibilities: unpleasant scent, though this is dependent on prevailing winds unpleasant taste. It does limit the ability of the victim to survive, but others of the species will benefit. A skin surface that reflects sound oddly. Perhaps more intensely than most surfaces. Perhaps it manages to shift the sound. The organism's own sonar is unusually ...

2

Mild milk sickness Milk sickness produces both listlessness and insanity, although I'm not sure if it causes infertility. It also causes sensitivity to light, which would go along with the bog environment they live in. However, large (or even medium) doses of it are very deadly. Therefore, you could do a little handwaving to produce another (seemingly) ...

1

Easy, Actually. And relatively inexpensive to source as well. Any of the several organophosphates used as pesticides in ag applications could be used. VX and sarin are in the organophosphate category; they're much harder to source though, as they're protected class chemical weapons. Organophosphates don't require injection, are hard to identify before ...

1

To add to Mary's good answer, I'd suggest a sound that's very disruptive. It's either very loud, very annoying to predators, or prevents location of the prey by causing the echo location to become "fuzzy". For the first option, simply a loud noise that scares the predator off or potentially hurts their ears might be good enough. Something on the ...

1

You can hear overtones just like musical instruments. A C on a piano sounds different than a C on a violin than a C on a flute. So you know what kind of surface you're echoing off of. If you are using time-of-flight then you also know how far away something is and the strength of the return signal also lets you know how hard the surface was since you know ...

1

Your "poison" is electric charge delivered through clever use of pill coating materials. The lethality of electric shock reaches a peak between 100-200mA, with shocks of lower current being less able to affect the heart, and shocks of higher current tending to clamp the heart completely, which it is often able to recover from. Such a poison would ...

1

This substance is a meat dish made from a poisonous animal. In the wild, this animal exudes some poison over its skin in order to protect itself from predators, in addition to using it on its prey. As with most venomous species, the antidote is also obtained from the same animal; they need not to intoxicate themselves with its poisoned prey, so they ...

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