Contrary to typical belief, a few drops that Visine brand eye drops bring away internally will not reason diarrhea. Yet swallowing it can produce much more serious clinical problems.

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Published2 September 2003

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The desire because that revenge operation deep in all of us. Everyone who has ever been wronged has at once or another felt the advice to win a counterblow. Many of us don’t indulge in this pursuit since we’ve understood the expense of getting even too high to justification the benefits gained, yet us revel in think of comeuppances doled out by others. Such imaginings give us the chance to vicariously endure the joys that retribution, joys we’re not most likely to sample in genuine life, such as the following:

I’ve heard that barmaids and also cocktail waitresses have actually a an enig for obtaining rid the obnoxious customers. Appears they usage the eye medication Visine for a little Montezuma’s revenge. A couple of eyedrops in someone’s drink can apparently leaving him sit on the toilet for the remainder of the evening with a nasty case of “the runs.”

The “Visine slipped right into the drink” pay ago carries extr appeal because it appears to sell an efficient yet harmless type of retaliation that could be easily and also furtively administered also by the wimpiest that revenge seekers. Also, the mental image of an opponent sent hotfooting for the toilet is a hugely to solve one, specifically in a society that views fecal output as something to be ashamed of. An act of spite that pressures the victim into making repetitive visits come the man is regarded as not only very inconveniencing to him, yet degrading together well.

Yet all is not well in revenge land. While it is true that Visine is conveniently obtainable (it’s an non-prescription eye drop made by pharmaceutical huge Pfizer), a drink spiked v it is no a sure-fire means of creating diarrhea in the one unfortunate sufficient to sloop 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 autumn is Tetrahydrozoline HCl 0.05%. Swallowing this problem can result in a number of nasty effects, including:


Lowering human body temperature to dangerous level Making breathing difficult, or also halting it totally Blurring vision causing nausea and vomiting Elevating and also then dropping blood pressure causing seizures or tremors sending out the ingester right into a coma

Pfizer’s alerts to customers of Visine include: “If swallowed, gain medical aid or call a toxicity Control facility right away.” In see of the over list, that advice should not it is in taken lightly.

One point tetrahydrozoline has not been known to execute is to reason sudden beginning bouts of major diarrhea. Return this belief has been around for decades, and everyone to know someone who knows someone that really did administer a Visine mickey come a deserving miscreant and also thereby brought about him an prompt serious instance of the trots, yes no documented evidence the producthas that effect. Of all the Visine poisoning cases studied by medical observers, we discovered none that mentioned diarrheal calculation brought around by the drug.

Yet if Visine doesn’t cause diarrhea, it has actually done things far an ext terrible. Drink it have the right to (and has) caused severe depression of the main nervous system. In 1996, a two-year-old son who ingested at many 2 come 3 mL that Visine eye drops ended up being dangerously lethargic and also unresponsive come every stimulus except deep pain. Thanks to prompt medical attention the child recovered, however not before enduring intubation and two days’ worth of mechanically-assisted breathing.

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

Medical literary works reports other instances of small children brought to the brink of situation by sloop down of tiny quantities of over-the-counter eye drops. The danger is real, and parents are well recommend to keep eye drops away from children.

Yet that is not just toddlers that risk central nervous system shutdown or various other dire results if they swallow Visine, together demonstrated by the adhering to examples:


In 1995 one adult client at a whole Foods industry (a retail chain that natural and organic foods) had his wheat-grass smoothie spiked v a party of Visine by a clerk intent upon play a practical joke. The victim, Rudy Trabanino the Houston, ended up being violently ill and had to be hospitalized for numerous days through acute pain and also a range of serious medical problems. The clerk responsible because that the act to be dismissed, and also Whole foodstuffs Market resolved out of court v Trabanino because that an undisclosed sum after he lugged a $1 million suit versus the store.

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

In October 2003, one unnamed southern California high institution student placed eye autumn in teacher’s water bottle in an attempt to give his instructor significant diarrhea. Others in the course who witnessed the act removed the adulterated beverage before the plan victim could drink it. The student responsible has been charged v tampering through a drink with intent to cause harm.

In June 2006, five Wisconsin high college students make the efforts to pull the Visine prank poured around a quarter of a party of the eyedrops into a classmate’s water. The victim spent number of days in the hospital recovering from reactions to the poisoning that consisted of a dangerously low heart rate and blood pressure. Every of the 5 “pranksters” pleaded no dispute to misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct and also received sentence of 18 months’ probation and also 60 hours of community service.

also in June 2006, Kristine Anzalone offered her roommate, Joseph Gentissi Jr., an iced tea spiked v Visine. Gentissi skilled vomiting and bleeding indigenous his rectum, and also Anzalone ultimately agreed to a plea bargain through 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, was charged through first-degree attack for dumping half a bottle of eye drops into her husband’s tea in an effort to kill her spouse. As soon as investigators contacted the husband he reported enduring stomach troubles for the past two months, and also poison regulate personnel notified a detective that ingesting too lot Visine “would placed a human in a coma through several various other serious symptoms.”

In June 2009, Denise Moyer that Wells, Vermont, was arrested for 3rd degree assault after police evidenced she’d spiked a co-worker’s drink v Visine a few days prior to the woman became ill and also died. The assault took place on 31 October 2008 at a Halloween party, and also on 2 November 2008, 49-year-old Marceline Jones of Comstock passed away of what were climate presumed to be organic causes.

In 2012, 56-year-old Byron Shull spiked the milk of his 84-year-old father v Visine drops “because he thought his dad to be mean and wanted to do him pay.” candid Shull virtually died together a result, safety 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 4 years in prison for putting eyedrops into her boyfriend’s drink water 10 come 12 times, causing him to endure from nausea, vomiting, blood press problems and also breathing trouble before blood test revealed the presence of tetrahydrozoline in his system. Mills claimed she wanted her boyfriend to pay more attention come her.

In march 2013, a 27-year-old mechanic named Shayne Carpenter to be arrested in Grass Valley, California, for putting eye autumn in his girlfriend’s drink ~ an discussion with her, resulting in her to feeling ill. The girlfriend later found that Carpenter had actually been texting his friends come boast about the eye autumn prank and also called the police top top him.

Revenge seekers still not quite convinced that a Visine mickey finn won’t develop the diarrheal outcomes they crave, or the the drink of such a potion might potentially result in a life-threatening medical dilemm in the object of their prank, should think about one final fact: the act of secreting noxious building material in ingestibles because that the purpose of bringing damage to rather is dubbed poisoning. It matters not if actual injury results native the attempt — the act chin is sufficient to land one in the hoosegow.

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Sightings: In an illustration of television’s CSI (“Revenge Is finest Served Cold,” initial air day 26 September 2002), a drink spiked in this fashion resulted in a death when the eye autumn initiated a deadly reaction with chocolate the victim had eaten.