Mescaline toxicity

(Redirected from Mescaline)


  • Psychedelic phenethylamine , naturally occurring in the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii) and other cacti
  • Similar to, but chemically distinct from and less potent than LSD
  • Thought to be a serotonin agonist
  • Sold as dried cactus parts or "buttons"
  • Used in religious ceremonies by some indigenous Central and South american peoples.

Clinical Features

  • Onset 30-60 minutes, lasts 5-12 hours (though wide individual variability)
  • Euphoria, energy, esoteric/spiritual experiences
  • Altered sensorium, altered sense of time, extreme focus or distractibility, hallucinations
  • Nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Adrenergic stimulation: mydriasis, mild tachycardia, mild hypertension, hyperthermia
  • Dizziness, headache

Differential Diagnosis


Serotonin-Like Agents


Dissociative Agents

Plant-based Hallucinogenics

  • Marijuana
  • Salvia
  • Absinthe
  • Isoxazole Mushrooms
  • Hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia nervosa)
  • Hawaiian woodrose (Merremia tuberosa)
  • Morning glory (Ipomoea violacea)
  • Olili- uqui (Rivea corymbosa)

Organic causes

Other Toxicologic Causes

Psychiatric Causes [1]

Dissociative drugs


  • Not detected on routine drug screens
  • Evaluate for other organic causes of hallucinations or hyperadrenergic symptoms
  • Evaluate for co-ingestions


  • Supportive care
  • Not usually associated with significant morbidity/mortality


See Also

External Links


  1. Visual Hallucinations: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment. PMID PMC2660156