Mushrooms are a common toxic exposure, with >8600 poisonous mushroom exposures and five deaths reported to poison control centers in 2004.1 More than 77% of these ingestions were unintentional, with >50% occurring in children <6 years of age. Fortunately, the majority of reported mushroom exposures have a benign outcome.2,3 The most important factor in preventing mushroom poisoning is to avoid eating wild mushrooms. There are no easily recognizable differences between nonpoisonous and poisonous mushrooms. Mushroom toxins are not heat labile and so are not destroyed or deactivated by cooking, canning, freezing, drying, or other means of food preparation.


Depending on the type of mushroom, adverse effects from ingestion range from mild GI symptoms to major cytotoxic effects resulting in organ failure and death. Toxicity may also vary based on the amount ingested, the age of the mushroom, the season, the geographic location, and the way in which the mushroom was prepared prior to ingestion. Individuals also vary in their response to any given mushroom ingestion, so that one person may show significant effects whereas others may be asymptomatic after ingesting the same mushroom (Table 214-1).

Table Graphic Jump Location
Table 214-1 Mushrooms: Symptoms, Toxicity, and Treatment 

Mushroom toxicity is divided into early toxicity (within 2 hours after ingestion) and delayed toxicity (6 hours to 20 days later). In general, if toxicity begins within 2 hours of ingestion of a mushroom, the clinical course will be benign. If symptoms begin ≥6 hours after ingestion, the clinical course will be more serious and potentially fatal. Nearly all fatalities ...

Want access to your institution's subscription?

Sign in to your MyAccess Account while you are actively authenticated on this website via your institution (you will be able to tell by looking in the top right corner of any page – if you see your institution’s name, you are authenticated). You will then be able to access your institute’s content/subscription for 90 days from any location, after which you must repeat this process for continued access.


About MyAccess

If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess account, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.

Subscription Options

AccessMedicine Full Site: One-Year Subscription

Connect to the full suite of AccessMedicine content and resources including more than 250 examination and procedural videos, patient safety modules, an extensive drug database, Q&A, Case Files, and more.

$995 USD
Buy Now

Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessMedicine

24 Hour Subscription $34.95

Buy Now

48 Hour Subscription $54.95

Buy Now

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.