Symptom search: guide

When to use Symptom search


Symptom search is designed as a guide to what may have been taken; it should never be used to make or exclude a diagnosis.


Where the substance taken is known users should always consult specific TOXBASE entries by undertaking a Product search.

Where the substance taken is unknown Symptom search can be used to seek suggestions on the type of substance which may have been taken. 

Warning: Symptom search results are merely suggestive - users should always consider other substances.

Additionally, users can call NPIS for further assistance.


How to conduct a Symptom search

  • Type in one or more symptoms to find Management pages which contain all of the search term(s)
  • No need to type AND between words
  • Type quotation marks to find exact phrases, eg "metabolic acidosis"
    (note: spelling must be correct when using quotation marks)
  • Consider alternative words when searching - see glossary
  • Search for symptoms from different organ classes for best results


How to interpret Symptom search results

TOXBASE entries are made up of Product pages and Management pages. There are many thousands of Product pages linked to only several hundred Management pages. Thus Symptom search results provide a suggestion of what may have been taken, e.g. "tricyclic antidepressants" but do not provide a link to specific entries, e.g. 'Amitriptyline'.  


Search terms

TOXBASE uses standard vocabulary to describe symptoms and features. A glossary is provided.