Poisoning caused by organophosphate anticholinesterase nerve agents

What is an Organophosphate Anticholinesterase Nerve Agent?

Organophosphate anticholinesterase nerve agents are chemical agents that block the action of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme essential to the normal functioning of the nervous system. By blocking this enzyme, organophosphates interfere with the transmission of nerve impulses, resulting in a wide range of short- and long-term health problems, including paralysis, seizure, coma, and death.

What are the symptoms of Organophosphate Poisoning?

Initial symptoms of exposure to an organophosphate nerve agent typically include abdominal pain, excessive sweating, blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting. Other symptoms can include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, confusion, runny nose, excessive salivation, and difficulty speaking. Long-term effects of organophosphate poisoning can include permanent nerve damage, cognitive and behavioral changes, and organ damage.

How can Organophosphate Poisoning be Treated?

Medical treatment for organophosphate poisoning is typically divided into three phases. During the first phase, a professional medical team may administer an antidote such as atropine, edrophonium, or pralidoxime in order to reverse the effects of the nerve agents. The second phase involves ventilator support and supportive care in order to minimize the risk of complications from the poison. The third phase may involve long-term management of the effects of the poisoning, including the use of medications, physical and occupational therapy, or psychiatric care.

How can Organophosphate Poisoning be Prevented?

Organophosphate poisoning can be prevented by avoiding exposure to organophosphate nerve agents. If you suspect that you or someone else has been exposed to an organophosphate nerve agent, seek medical attention immediately. Additionally, safety precautions should be taken when handling organophosphates, such as wearing protective clothes, gloves, and masks. Safety equipment, such as respirators, should be used whenever possible.


Organophosphate anticholinesterase nerve agents are toxic chemicals that can result in acute and long-term health effects if improperly handled or used. Immediate medical attention should be sought if there is any suspicion of organophosphate exposure, and the best way to prevent poisoning is to avoid contact with these agents.