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Quick Facts

Mushroom Poisoning


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Oct 2019| Content last modified Oct 2019
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What is mushroom poisoning?

Certain mushrooms contain chemicals that are poisonous. The poisons (toxins) in these mushrooms can make you sick.

  • Many types of mushrooms are poisonous

  • The most common symptoms are throwing up and belly pain

  • It's very hard to tell whether a mushroom is poisonous or not

  • Don't eat mushrooms you find growing outside

  • Some types of mushrooms are very poisonous and can kill you

Call for emergency medical assistance (911 in most areas of the United States) if you or someone else may have eaten poisonous mushrooms, or call the poison control center for advice (1-800-222-1222 in the United States). The World Health Organization provides a world directory of poison centers.

What are the symptoms of mushroom poisoning?

Symptoms from eating poisonous mushrooms vary but almost always include:

  • Throwing up

  • Belly pain

Depending on the type of mushroom, you may also have other symptoms.

Mushrooms that cause symptoms quickly (within 2 hours) are less dangerous than those that cause symptoms later (after 6 hours).

The Chlorophyllum molybdites type of mushroom

Symptoms usually go away within 24 hours:

  • Diarrhea (frequent, loose, or watery poop), which can be bloody

  • Body aches

  • Headaches

The Psilocybe type of mushroom

Symptoms begin within 15 to 30 minutes:

  • Feeling of extreme excitement and happiness (euphoria)

  • Extra imagination

  • Hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that aren’t there)

  • Fast heartbeat

The Inocybe type of mushroom and some species of Clitocybe

  • Watery eyes

  • Abnormally small pupils (black areas in the center of the eye)

  • Throwing up

  • Belly cramps

  • Sweating

  • Diarrhea (frequent, loose, or watery poop)

  • Twitching muscles

  • Confusion

  • Coma (when you’re unconscious and can’t be woken up)

With treatment, symptoms usually go away in 12 hours. You can die within a few hours if you aren't treated.

The Amanita phalloides type of mushroom

Symptoms start within 6 to 12 hours:

  • Throwing up

  • Diarrhea (frequent, loose, or watery poop)

  • Yellow skin and eyes

  • Very little urination (peeing)

Amanita mushrooms and related mushrooms are very dangerous. About half of the people with this type of mushroom poisoning die in 5 to 8 days.

How do doctors treat mushroom poisoning?

Treatment depends on the type of mushroom you ate.

Doctors will:

  • Give you a sedative (a medicine to relax your body), if you're having hallucinations

  • Give you medicine through an IV (into your vein)

  • Use a special filter to take poison out of your blood (a procedure called dialysis)

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