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ACUTE EXPOSURE INFORMATION

  1. Antimony is irritating to the eyes, skin, and mucous membranes. Antimony's principle toxic properties mimic those of arsenic, and signs and symptoms of exposure may include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea which may be bloody, and a metallic taste. Exposure to the dust and fumes may cause gingivitis, rhinitis, chest tightness, shortness of breath, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, headache, and dizziness.
  1. Signs and symptoms of chronic exposure may include ECG changes, laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, pneumonitis, pneumoconiosis, ulceration of the nasal septum and larynx, and contact allergy to metal. Skin contact with antimony compounds can cause papules and pustules around sweat and sebaceous glands. QT prolongation and T wave changes have been reported on ECG.
  1. Acute oral exposures are unusual as there are few oral preparations. Antimony compounds are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Antimony shows slow renal excretion following parenteral injection. Most exposures are of a chronic occupational nature.
    1. Trivalent and pentavalent antimony compounds have also been used as anthelmintic and antiprotozoal drug treatments. Tartar emetic (antimony potassium tartrate) and antimony sodium tartrate were used to treat schistosomiasis infections (liver fluke). PRAZIQUANTEL, a less toxic oral agent, and other drugs have replaced these trivalent antimony compounds. Antimony sodium tartrate was also used as an emetic and expectorant.
    1. MEGLUMINE ANTIMONIATE (Glucantime(R)) and SODIUM STIBOGLUCONATE (sodium antimony gluconate, Pentostam(R)) are pentavalent antimony compounds used for the treatment of leishmaniasis, a protozoan parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected sandflies. Meglumine antimoniate is a drug of choice for cutaneous, mucocutaneous, and visceral leishmaniasis; the drug is not available in the US. Sodium stibogluconate is only available in the United States from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia.
  1. STIBINE - Avoid conditions in which nascent hydrogen will react with antimony to form extremely toxic stibine (SbH3). Effects of stibine exposure include nausea, vomiting, headache, hemolysis, hematuria, abdominal pain, and death.
  1. EXPERIMENTAL ANIMALS - Acute antimony poisoning in experimental animals is characterized by marked weight loss, hair loss, dry scaly skin, eosinophilia, and myocardial failure. Exposure to antimony salts may result in irritation of skin and mucous membranes. Chronic exposure has resulted in extensive pneumonitis; fatty degeneration of the liver; hypertrophy of splenic follicles; and decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte, eosinophil, and white blood cell counts.
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