The case of the salad shooters: intravenous injection of wild lettuce extract

Vet Hum Toxicol. 1998 Oct;40(5):290-1.


Three young adult drug users obtained wild lettuce and valerian root, prepared a crude aqueous extract of the wild lettuce, and injected the extract i.v. One also injected an alcohol extract of the valerian root. All 3 rapidly became ill with fevers, chills, abdominal pain, flank and back pain, neck stiffness, headache, leucocytosis and mild liver function abnormalities, but recovered over the next 3 d. Various literature and internet sources claim that wild lettuce has opiate properties not demonstrated in this case.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illicit Drugs / adverse effects*
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lettuce / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Valerian / chemistry


  • Illicit Drugs
  • Plant Extracts