Poison Q&A


Questions & Answers

What is a poison?

A poison is any substance (solid, liquid, spray, or gas) that can harm someone if used incorrectly. This can also mean that it was used in the wrong amount or by the wrong person.  Poisons can cause harm when they get into the eyes, on the skin, if you breathe them in, or if they are swallowed.

Is it dangerous to take expired medications?

The expiration date is there for your protection, therefore, it can be dangerous to take expired medication because they may not work properly. 

Why is it dangerous to store household products and other strong chemicals in a drink container?

Children and adults can easily mistake the chemicals stored in drink containers for ordinary drinks.  These mistakes can be deadly depending on the chemical ingested.  We discourage storing chemicals out of their original, labeled containers to avoid this problem.

What should I do if a child swallows something poisonous?

Call the poison center right away because every poison is different.  Therefore, treatment options will depend on the type and amount of poison involved and the child’s age, weight, and medical history.

Is it dangerous for a child to eat toothpaste?

Toothpaste contains fluoride, which can be dangerous in certain amounts. There usually is not enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to be a major problem.  However, if you believe your child may have eaten toothpaste, call the poison center to get recommendations.  

How can I dispose of medications safely?

Ask your local pharmacist or police department where you can return unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.  Free medication disposal locations can be found across Oklahoma with the following links:

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Free Medicaiton Take-Back Location Finder
 https://portal.obn.ok.gov/takeback/

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Controlled Substance Public DisposalLocations  https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1

State of Oklahoma Take-Back Location 

 https://www.ok.gov/obndd/documents/TakeBackBoxes.pdf

If this is not available, take the drugs out of their original containers.  Crush and mix the drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter, put them in waterproof containers, and throw the containers in the trash. 

What should I do if my pet is poisoned? 

Some poison centers offer help for poisoned animals.  It is recommended to call the 24 hour Animal Poison Control Center hotline at 1-888-426-4435. However, there is a fee for the call.  You may also take your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital.


Can I give Tylenol and Ibuprofen together?

Yes, they may even work better together in a staggered regimen. You will want to alternate each medication every 4-6 hours.  It is best to keep a log of which medication you give and at the exact time it was given.  This method is great to prevent any repeat dosing.