Poisoning by Coriaria myrtifolia Linnaeus: a new case report and review of the literature

Toxicon. 2005 Nov;46(6):600-3. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2005.06.026. Epub 2005 Sep 12.


Coriaria myrtifolia should be recognized as one of the most neurotoxic plants in western Mediterranean area. This shrub produces a toxin, coriamyrtin, that is present in high concentrations in the berries. Ingestion of few fruits similar to blackberries may induce digestive and neurological manifestations including seizures, coma and apnea. The authors present a new case report that took place in the French Catalonia: an 8 year-old boy developed vomiting and generalized recurrent convulsions after ingestion of C. myrtifolia berries. He needed repeated diazepam administrations and was managed in the hospital. He recovered after one day of benzodiazepine treatment. In order to evaluate the consequences of C. myrtifolia poisoning, 83 cases of the literature were analyzed: the cases occurred in three countries (Spain, France and Morocco); the mean delay of the symptom development was 150 min; the neurological disturbances were the most frequent signs and 11 patients died (6 children, 5 adults) mainly in old reports.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Benzodiazepines / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Clonazepam / therapeutic use
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Fruit / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Lactones / toxicity*
  • Magnoliopsida / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Picrotoxin
  • Plant Poisoning / drug therapy*
  • Plant Poisoning / pathology*
  • Plants, Toxic / chemistry
  • Time Factors


  • Lactones
  • Picrotoxin
  • Benzodiazepines
  • coriamyrtine
  • Clonazepam