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J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2004;42(5):657-61.

Acute poisoning with emamectin benzoate.

Author information

  • 1Division of Clinical Toxicology, Department of Nephrology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.



Emamectin benzoate is the 4'-deoxy-4'-epi-methyl-amino benzoate salt of avermectin B1 (abamectin), which is similar structurally to natural fermentation products of Streptomyces avermitilis. Emamectin benzoate is being developed as a newer broad-spectrum insecticide for vegetables and has a very low application rate. The mechanism of action involves stimulation of high-affinity GABA receptors and a consequent increase in membrane chloride ion permeability. Animal studies indicate a wide margin of safety because mammalian species are much less sensitive due to lower GABA receptor affinities and relative impermeability of the blood-brain barrier. Notably, the literature has not reported human exposure resulting in toxicity.


This paper describes a case of acute poisoning with Proclaim insecticide (Syngenta, Taiwan), consisting of 2.15% w/w emamectin benzoate in 2, 6-bis (1, 1-dimethylethyl)-4-methyl-phenol and 1-hexanol. The clinical manifestation was transient gastrointestinal upset with endoscopy-proven gastric erosion and superficial gastritis, mild central nervous system depression, and aspiration pneumonia. No specific antidote exists for emamectin benzoate intoxication; this patient was treated successfully with gastric lavage, administration of activated charcoal, and empiric antibiotics. Drugs that enhance GABA activity such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines were avoided.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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