Symptoms of Methanol poisoning

Methanol poisoning occurs when a person is exposed to or consumes toxic amounts of methanol, a type of alcohol. Methanol is highly toxic and can cause serious health consequences, including organ damage or failure, blindness, and even death. Here are some key points about methanol poisoning:

Sources of Methanol Poisoning:

  • Ingestion: Accidental ingestion of methanol is a common cause of poisoning. This can be caused by consuming contaminated beverages, illicit liquor, or products containing methanol.
  • Inhalation: Exposure to methanol vapor in industrial or laboratory settings can result in inhalation poisoning.
  • Skin Absorption: Although less common, absorption of methanol through the skin can occur, especially in occupational settings.

Symptoms of methanol poisoning:

  • Early symptoms may include headache, nausea, dizziness, and weakness.
  • As the body metabolizes methanol, more serious symptoms may develop, such as visual disturbances, confusion, respiratory distress, and abdominal pain.
  • Blindness is a well-known consequence of methanol poisoning due to its toxic effects on the optic nerve.
  • In severe cases, methanol poisoning can lead to seizures, coma, and death.


  • Methanol poisoning is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment. If anyone is suspected of ingesting or being exposed to methanol, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Treatment often includes supportive care, such as maintaining an airway and breathing, intravenous fluids, and administration of an antidote called fomepizole or ethanol. These substances can help block the metabolism of methanol and prevent its toxic effects.


  • Prevention is key to avoid methanol poisoning. This includes avoiding consuming illicit or home-made alcoholic beverages, as these may be contaminated with methanol.
  • Workers in industries where methanol is used must follow strict safety guidelines, including using proper personal protective equipment and working in well-ventilated areas.

Safety guidelines:

  • Always handle methanol and methanol-containing products with extreme caution using appropriate protective equipment.
  • Be aware of the risks associated with methanol, and follow safety guidelines and regulations in industrial and laboratory settings.

If you suspect methanol poisoning or have been exposed to methanol, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately. Early intervention can greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome.