Ricin Poisoning: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 5/12/2021

Ricin poisoning is caused by ingestion of the poison ricin. Ricin can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid.

The major symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on the route of exposure and the dose received. Initial symptoms of inhalation poisoning can develop from 4-24 hours after exposure. Following ingestion of ricin, initial symptoms typically occur in less than 10 hours. Symptoms and signs can include

Ricin poisoning can lead to failure of multiple organ systems and can be fatal.

Cause of ricin poisoning

Ricin is a poison protein found naturally in castor beans from the castor bean plant (Ricinus communis).

Other ricin poisoning symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.