Contrary to typical belief, a couple of drops the Visine brand eye drops taken internally will certainly not cause diarrhea. However swallowing that can develop much much more serious medical problems.

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Published2 September 2003

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The desire for revenge operation deep in every one of us. Everyone who has ever been wronged has at once or one more felt the urge to strike a counterblow. Most of united state don’t indulge in this pursuit due to the fact that we’ve deemed the cost of getting also too high to justification the benefits gained, yet us revel in think of comeuppances doled out by others. Together imaginings offer us the possibility to vicariously suffer the joys of retribution, joys we’re not most likely to sample in actual life, such together the following:

I’ve heard the barmaids and cocktail waitresses have a mystery for obtaining rid the obnoxious customers. Appears they use the eye medicine Visine for a little Montezuma’s revenge. A few eyedrops in someone’s drink have the right to apparently leave him sitting on the toilet because that the rest of the evening through a nasty case of “the runs.”

The “Visine slipped right into the drink” pay earlier carries extr appeal because it seems to offer an effective yet harmless kind of retaliation that could be easily and also furtively administered even by the wimpiest of revenge seekers. Also, the mental photo of an adversary sent hotfooting for the toilet is a hugely to solve one, especially in a society that see fecal calculation as something to it is in ashamed of. An action of spite that pressures the victim into making repetitive visits come the john is related to as not only incredibly inconveniencing come him, but degrading together well.

Yet all is not well in revenge land. While that is true the Visine is conveniently obtainable (it’s one non-prescription eye drop produced by pharmaceutical large Pfizer), a drink spiked v it is not a sure-fire method of producing diarrhea in the one unfortunate enough to gulp down it, and also ingestion of together a concoction is downright dangerous, making this “harmless” type of retaliation fraught v hazard.

The active ingredient in Visine eye drops is Tetrahydrozoline HCl 0.05%. Swallowing this problem can result in a variety of nasty effects, including:


Lowering human body temperature come dangerous levels Making breath difficult, or also halting it entirely Blurring vision resulting in nausea and also vomiting Elevating and then dropping blood pressure resulting in seizures or tremors sending the ingester into a coma

Pfizer’s alerts to users of Visine include: “If swallowed, gain medical aid or call a poison Control facility right away.” In view of the above list, the advice must not it is in taken lightly.

One thing tetrahydrozoline has not been recognized to perform is to cause sudden beginning bouts of serious diarrhea. Return this belief has been roughly for decades, and also everyone to know someone that knows someone that really did provide a Visine mickey come a deserving miscreant and thereby brought about him an prompt serious situation of the trots, there’s no documented evidence the producthas that effect. Of every the Visine poisoning instances studied by medical observers, we uncovered none that discussed diarrheal calculation brought around by the drug.

Yet if Visine doesn’t cause diarrhea, it has done points far an ext terrible. Drinking it deserve to (and has) brought about severe depression the the main nervous system. In 1996, a two-year-old kid who ingested at many 2 to 3 mL the Visine eye drops became dangerously lethargic and also unresponsive come every stimulus except deep pain. Many thanks to prompt medical attention the son recovered, yet not prior to enduring intubation and two days’ worth of mechanically-assisted breathing.

In June 2014, a 22-year-old woman named Samantha Elizabeth Unger to be arrested in Thurmont, Maryland, and also charged v aggravated assault and also endangering the welfare of children. Follow to police, Unger confessed come poisoning she 3-year-old boy by placing Visine in his water bottle and also juice party (the young was hospitalized numerous times however survived) and additionally causing she 1-year-old kid to autumn ill as soon as he accidentally consumed the poisoned drinks she had made because that his brother. In January 2015 Unger pleaded guilty to six counts the aggravated attack of a victim less than 6 years old and one counting of endangering the welfare that a child.

Medical literary works reports other situations of small children carried to the brink of dilemm by sloop down of tiny amounts of over-the-counter eye drops. The hazard is real, and parents space well advised to keep eye drops away from children.

Yet it is not just toddlers that risk main nervous system shutdown or various other dire outcomes if they swallow Visine, together demonstrated through the adhering to examples:


In 1995 one adult customer at a whole Foods industry (a retail chain of natural and organic foods) had actually his wheat-grass smoothie spiked v a party of Visine by a clerk intent upon play a handy joke. The victim, Rudy Trabanino the Houston, came to be violently ill and also had to it is in hospitalized for several days with acute pain and also a range of serious clinical problems. The clerk responsible because that the act to be dismissed, and Whole foods Market worked out out of court with Trabanino for an undisclosed sum after he brought a $1 million suit against the store.

top top 17 November 2001, Damien Kawai, a member that the U.S. Wait Force, eliminated his roommate and fellow airman, Charles Eskew, by strangling the young man, then attempted to conceal the crime through slitting the wrists the the corpse to do the death show up to it is in a suicide. Kawai admitted to earlier spiking his roommate’s beer through Visine, under the belief this would render the doomed male unconscious. (It actually caused him come vomit and also suffer labored breathing.) In may 2002, the 19-year-old Kawai to be sentenced come life in jail for the killing of Eskew.

In October 2003, one unnamed southern California high school student placed eye fall in teacher’s water bottle in an effort to give his instructor major diarrhea. Rather in the course who witnessed the act gotten rid of the adulterated beverage prior to the plan victim could drink it. The college student responsible has actually been charged with tampering through a drink through intent to reason harm.

In June 2006, 5 Wisconsin high college students make the efforts to traction the Visine prank poured around a 4 minutes 1 of a bottle of the eyedrops into a classmate’s water. The victim spent number of days in the hospital recovering from reaction to the poisoning that contained a dangerously short heart rate and also blood pressure. Each of the 5 “pranksters” pleaded no contest to misdemeanor counts the battery and disorderly conduct and received sentences of 18 months’ probation and also 60 hours of neighborhood service.

also in June 2006, Kristine Anzalone offered her roommate, Joseph Gentissi Jr., one iced tea spiked v Visine. Gentissi proficient vomiting and also bleeding native his rectum, and also Anzalone ultimately agreed come a plea bargain with prosecutors under which she to be ordered to salary $10,000 in hospital bills, serve three years’ probation, and obey an stimulate of protection.

In January 2009, 40-year-old Tonia L. Peterson of fair Grove, Missouri, to be charged through first-degree assault for dumping half a party of eye drops into her husband’s tea in an attempt to kill her spouse. As soon as investigators contacted the husband the reported enduring stomach problems for the past two months, and also poison manage personnel educated a detective the ingesting too much Visine “would put a human in a coma v several other serious symptoms.”

In June 2009, Denise Moyer that Wells, Vermont, to be arrested for third degree assault after police evidenced she’d spiked a co-worker’s drink v Visine a few days before the woman became ill and died. The attack took place on 31 October 2008 in ~ a Halloween party, and also on 2 November 2008, 49-year-old Marceline Jones the Comstock passed away of what were climate presumed come be organic causes.

In 2012, 56-year-old Byron Shull spiked the milk of his 84-year-old father through Visine fall “because he thought his dad was mean and wanted to do him pay.” candid Shull virtually died together a result, spending one month in the hospital and another month in rehab.

In February 2013, a Pennsylvania court sentenced 33-year-old Vickie Jo Mills to 2 to four years in prison for putting eyedrops into her boyfriend’s drinking water 10 come 12 times, causing him to endure from nausea, vomiting, blood press problems and breathing trouble before blood test revealed the visibility of tetrahydrozoline in his system. Mills said she wanted her friend to pay more attention to her.

In in march 2013, a 27-year-old mechanic called Shayne Carpenter was arrested in Grass Valley, California, for placing eye autumn in his girlfriend’s drink after ~ an discussion with her, resulting in her to feeling ill. The girlfriend later found that Carpenter had been text massage his friends to boast about the eye fall prank and called the police ~ above him.

Revenge seekers still not quite persuaded that a Visine mickey finn won’t develop the diarrheal outcomes they crave, or the the drink of together a potion can potentially result in a life-threatening medical crisis in the thing of your prank, should consider one last fact: the action of secreting noxious substances in ingestibles because that the function of bringing injury to others is called poisoning. It matters not if actual injury results native the attempt — the act chin is sufficient to soil one in the hoosegow.

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Sightings: In an illustration of television’s CSI (“Revenge Is ideal Served Cold,” initial air date 26 September 2002), a drink spiked in this fashion led to a fatality when the eye drops initiated a fatal reaction with chocolate the victim had eaten.