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Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2016 Sep;54(8):655-8. doi: 10.1080/15563650.2016.1186806. Epub 2016 May 23.

The toxicity of picaridin containing insect repellent reported to the National Poison Data System.

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a Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology , University of Virginia , Charlottesville , VA , USA ;
b Department of Emergency Medicine , Cooper University Health Care , Camden , NJ , USA.



While low toxicity is reported, there are sparse data on the safety of acute picaridin (icaridin) exposures in humans.


The purpose of this study was to review National Poison Data System (NPDS) data regarding ingestion of insect repellents containing picaridin and compare those to insect repellents containing DEET and other insect repellents not containing DEET.


NPDS was queried for single agent human insect repellent ingestions reported between 1 January 2000 and 31 May 2015 using the American Association of Poison Control Center generic categories 201048 (Insect Repellents with DEET) and 201049 (Insect Repellents without DEET). Picaridin-containing product exposures were assessed using Poisindex(®) product ID 6744589. Insect repellents of unknown type were not included.


68,429 exposures occurred; 24% were non-DEET-containing products, of which 2% were picaridin-containing products. Among picaridin exposures, 92.9% were managed outside of a health-care facility; there were no reported cases of major effect or death, and only one case of moderate effect. Primary symptoms across all insect repellent exposures included ocular irritation/pain, vomiting, red eye/conjunctivitis, and oral irritation. Treatment primarily included dilution/irrigation/wash.


Unintentional ingestion of picaridin-containing and other insect repellents was associated only with minor toxicity and was generally managed outside of a health-care facility.


Icaridin; insect repellent; picaridin; toxicity

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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