Excessive quantities of poisons frequently from the first cause free vomiting and purging per se, thereby largely correcting their evil effects, but when neither of these occurs, vomiting should at once be induced by either zinc sulphate, mustard, pump, apomorphine, etc.; next administer the proper chemical antidote (if one exists), or physiological antagonists (incompatibles), awaiting thereafter 15 minutes; now produce emesis, and wash out stomach with warm or warm-medicated water; finally treat functional and organic symptoms (respiration, circulation, temperature) that may necessarily arise. In depressing poisons, as well as corrosive substances, emetics should be used cautiously, lest by wrenching we occasion greater exhaustion and possibly a rupture of the impaired stomach-wall; here the pump or siphon-tube is to be preferred. The bladder should be emptied frequently, if necessary by catheter, and in many cases a quick-acting cathartic is of considerable advantage. Diffusible (cardiac) stimulants, artificial respiration, electricity, artificial heat, etc., are all at times of great service.

While it is true that the majority of poisons demand specific and different treatment, yet for simplicity sake a few groups can be formed, each containing drugs amenable to like antagonism, thus - alkalies and alkaline salts are combated with weak acids, albumen, demulcents; acids and acid salts with weak alkaline solutions, albumen, demulcents, oil; alkaloidal drugs with tannin, coffee, tea; depressants with stimulants and vice versa, etc.