How Poisons Work to kill you!

  • There are 7 different groups/types of poison each with their own particular method of killing.
  • Many of the symptoms are shared between the types though. The different groups of poisons are Blood Poisons, Nerve poisons, Systemic poisons, Muscle relaxants, Narcotics, Corrosive and Chocking poisons, and Oxygen-replacing poisons.  

Most poisonings are accidental ingestion or exposure and the second biggest cause of poisoning is suicide. We then have the final one that is truly evil and underhanded and that is murder. Below we will look at how poisons work.

1. Blood Poisons

how blood poisons work

The effects of blood Poisons:

Because blood poisons attack the body like a disease (The Poison causes the overproduction of white blood cells), blood clotting happens and septicemia sets in.

Symptoms of Blood Poisons:

Heart Failure, high white blood cell count, fever, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, dropping blood pressure, racing pulse, dizziness, tissue hemorrhage.

Examples of Blood Poisons:

Ricin, Rattlesnake Venom.

2. Corrosive and Choking Poisons

how corrosive poisons work

Corrosive poisons come in a gaseous state and directly attack the lung and brain cells of your body.

Symptoms of Corrosive and Choking poisons:

Choking and coughing, eyes watering, chest tightening and pain in the chest, vomiting, and nausea. Sometimes blisters form on the skin which has come into contact with the gas.

Examples of corrosive poisons:

Mustard gas, Chloroform, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Ammonia.

3. Narcotics

how narcotics work

Narcotics stop messages to be carried to and from the brain by blocking nerve synapses. Even though narcotics can give you a “High” while used in small quantities they are highly addictive. Overdosing on narcotics can kill the user.

Symptoms of Narcotics:

Feeling happy and relaxed, pain relief, drop in blood pressure, seizures, coma, death.

Examples of narcotics:

Opium, Heroin.

4. Muscle relaxants

how muscle relaxants work

Effects of Muscle relaxant poisoning:

Muscle relaxants are made to slow down the activity of muscles and that is why we use them if we suffer from spasms. The problem with muscle relaxants is that they not only work on the affected area but on all muscle groups, voluntary, and involuntary. The relaxant concentrates in the heart and slows it down to the point where it stops completely.


Interference with sight, Irregular heartbeat, weakness, drowsiness, unconsciousness, death.


Digitalis, Rhododendron.

5. Systemic poisons

how systemic poisons work


Systemic poisons are over-all killers; they are absorbed by every cell type in the body and blocks the enzymes that make cells work. No system in the body is safe from these poison’s attack.


When it is acute poisoning the effects are pain, vomiting, diarrhea, thirst, cramps.

Chronic poisoning produces loss of weight and appetite and also anemia.


Arsenic, insecticides: neonicotinoids and fipronil.

6. Oxygen-replacing poisons

how oxygen replacing poisons work

Effects of Oxygen-replacing poisons:

Oxygen replacing poisons attach itself to the hemoglobin (Protein in blood that carries oxygen) in the blood. This prevents the body from functioning due to a lack of oxygen.


Headaches, nausea, increased rate of breathing, shortness of breath, convulsions (Erratic movements of the body, breathing stops.


Cyanide, Carbon monoxide

7. Nerve Poisons

how nerve poisons work

Effects of nerve poisons:

The way in which neve poisons work can be very quick. The poisons stops the brain from sending messages to the rest of the body; therefore the vital organs shut down.


Difficulty Breathing, thight chest, intense headaches, sweating, nausea, loss of controll over your body, muscle spasms, covulsions, coma and eventually death.


Pesticides and Curare

How can Poisons be introduced to the body?

Poisons have long been a choice of assassins and have been used since ancient times and there is no way it will stop being a method of murder in the future. What makes poisons so great (From the poisoner’s point of view) is all the different ways it can be introduced to the body. Poisons can be absorbed through the skin, taken orally, inhaled, injected and even introduced and absorbed through the rectum.

Leave a Reply