Metabolic acidosis in prometryn (triazine herbicide) self-poisoning

Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2008 Mar;46(3):270-3. doi: 10.1080/15563650701665126.


Introduction: Prometryn is a triazine herbicide, which is one of the most extensively used groups of herbicides. The mechanism of acute triazine herbicide toxicity in humans is not known. We report a first case of acute prometryn poisoning.

Case report: A 62-year-old male ingested 50 g of prometryn and ethanol in a suicide attempt. On arrival two hours after ingestion, he was somnolent and vomited. Seven hours after ingestion laboratory tests showed metabolic acidosis with a calculated anion gap of 47.5 mmol/L and lactate of 23.4 mmol/L. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry revealed serum prometryn concentrations of 48.1 mg/L. Hemodialysis corrected metabolic acidosis, but the serum prometryn concentration increased to 67.7 mg/L. The lactate level after hemodialysis was 11.7 mmol/L and returned within normal limits 47 hours after ingestion. The patient was discharged without any sequelae after psychiatric evaluation.

Conclusion: In high anion gap metabolic acidosis we should consider poisoning with prometryn and other triazine herbicides. Hemodialysis corrects metabolic derangements, but it does not lower serum prometryn concentration.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / chemically induced*
  • Bicarbonates / blood
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Herbicides / blood
  • Herbicides / poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prometryne / blood
  • Prometryne / poisoning*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Suicide, Attempted


  • Bicarbonates
  • Herbicides
  • Prometryne
  • Lactic Acid