Toxicity of muscimol and ibotenic acid containing mushrooms reported to a regional poison control center from 2002–2016

Michael J. Moss, Robert Hendrickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background:Amanita muscaria (AM) and A. pantherina (AP) contain ibotenic acid and muscimol and may cause both excitatory and sedating symptoms. Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms are not classically described but have been reported. There are relatively few reported cases of poisoning with these mushrooms in North America. Methods: This is a retrospective review of ingestions of ibotenic acid and muscimol containing mushrooms reported to a United States regional poison center from 2002–2016. Cases were included if identification was made by a mycologist or if AM was clearly described. Results: Thirty-four cases met inclusion criteria. There were 23 cases of AM, 10 AP, and 1 A. aprica. Reason for ingestion included foraging (12), recreational (6), accidental (12), therapeutic (1), self-harm (1), and unknown (2). Of the accidental pediatric ingestions 4 (25%) were symptomatic. None of the children with a symptomatic ingestion of AM required admission. A 3-year-old male who ingested AP had vomiting, agitation, and lethargy and received benzodiazepines. He was intubated and had a 3-day ICU stay. There were 25 symptomatic patients. All but one patient developed symptoms within 6 h. Six patients had symptoms for less than 6 h while 15 had symptoms lasting less than 24 h. Ingestions of AP were more symptomatic than AM with regard to the presence of any GI symptoms (80% vs. 35%), central nervous system (CNS) depression (70% vs. 35%), and CNS excitation (70% vs. 35%) respectively. Five patients were intubated. No patients experienced hypotension, seizures, acute kidney injury, or hepatotoxicity. No deaths were reported. Discussion: Ingestion of ibotenic acid/muscimol containing mushrooms often produces a syndrome with GI upset, CNS excitation, and CNS depression either alone or in combination. Ingestion of AP was associated with a higher rate of symptoms compared to AM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Toxicology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Amanita muscaria
  • Amanita pantherina
  • ibotenic acid
  • muscimol
  • poisoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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