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Beeswax

Beeswax is wax taken from the honeycomb of bees. Beeswax poisoning occurs when someone swallows beeswax.

This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

Poisonous Ingredient

Beeswax

Where Found

  • Beeswax
  • Some candles

Symptoms

Beeswax is considered nonpoisonous, but it may cause a blockage in the intestines if a large amount is swallowed.

Home Care

Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by Poison Control or a health care professional.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:

  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • Name of the product (ingredients and strengths, if known)
  • Time it was swallowed
  • Amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a Local Emergency Number

The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

See: Poison control center - emergency number

What to Expect at the Emergency Room

The health care provider will measure and monitor your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure.

Symptoms will be treated as appropriate.

A laxative may be given to move the wax quickly through the gastrointestinal tract and prevent bowel blockage.

You may not need to be seen in the emergency room.

Outlook (Prognosis)

How well you do depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received.

Since beeswax is considered relatively nontoxic, recovery is very likely.

Update Date: 1/24/2014

Updated by: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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