Toxins

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Definition

Toxins are substances created by plants and animals that are poisonous to humans. Toxins also include some medicines that are helpful in small doses, but poisonous in large amounts.

Most toxins that cause problems in humans come from germs such as bacteria. For example, cholera is caused by a poisonous bacteria.

Other toxins that cause problems include metals, such as lead, and certain chemicals in the environment.

Related topics:

References

Kao LW, Rusyniak DE. Chronic poisoning, trace metals and others. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 22.

Nelson LS, Ford MD. Acute poisoning. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 110.

Russell JA. Shock syndromes related to sepsis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 108.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 4/30/2015
  • Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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