White Veratrum

(BAN, USAN, rINN)

💊 Chemical information

Eléboro blanco; European Hellebore; Veratrum Album; White Hellebore; White Hellebore Rhizome.
ATC — C02KA01.
ATC Vet — QC02KA01.

Description.

White veratrum consists of the dried rhizome and roots of Veratrum album (Liliaceae) from which are derived the alkaloids protoveratrine A and B.

💊 Adverse Effects

Veratrum alkaloids may cause nausea and vomiting at conventional therapeutic doses. Other adverse effects include epigastric and substernal burning, sweating, mental confusion, bradycardia or cardiac arrhythmias, dizziness, and hiccup. Profound hypotension and respiratory depression can occur at high doses.

Sneezing powder.

Various symptoms of intoxication occurred in 7 patients due to the use of a sneezing powder containing white veratrum alkaloids.1
1. Fogh A, et al. Veratrum alkaloids in sneezing-powder: a potential danger. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1983; 20: 175–9.

💊 Treatment of Adverse Effects

After oral ingestion of veratrum alkaloids the stomach should be emptied by aspiration and lavage; activated charcoal may be considered within 1 hour of ingestion. Excessive hypotension with bradycardia or cardiac arrhythmias can be treated with atropine. The patient should be placed in a supine position with the feet raised.

💊 Uses and Administration

White and green veratrum contain a number of pharmacologically active alkaloids that produce centrally mediated peripheral vasodilatation and bradycardia. They have been used in the treatment of hypertension but are generally considered to produce an unacceptably high incidence of adverse effects and have largely been replaced by less toxic antihypertensives. Both green and white veratrum have also been used as insecticides.

Homoeopathy.

White Veratrum has been used in homoeopathic medicines under the following names: Veratrum album; Ver. alb.
Published May 08, 2019.