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How do medications treat botulism food poisoning?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Medications can stop the botulism toxin from damaging the nervous system. These medications are called antitoxins. The antitoxins work by attaching themselves to botulism toxin that is circulating in the bloodstream. This prevents the toxin from damaging the nerves. Medication cannot reverse damage that has already been done. Therefore, the earlier an antitoxin is given, the more effective it will be. Other medications can be used that induce vomiting or bowel movements. This helps to remove contaminated food from the body and prevents additional toxin from entering the bloodstream.

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