It is slightly irritant to the skin, tending to dry up its secretion. It is quickly absorbed from mucous membranes. which it irritates if not diluted. It quickens the heart, dilates the arterioles, especially of the surface vessels, causing perspiration and loss of heat. It lowers the blood pressure, stimulates and excites the brain, and in toxic doses causes coma and death by paralysis of the central nervous system.
It is excreted in the urine and in the breath, though some of it is burned in the system.