Consuming high-concentration peroxide for natural healing in alternative medicine has been linked to serious and life threatening blood clots, according to a study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
High-concentration peroxide is sold online and in some retail stores as a natural remedy for conditions ranging from cancer and emphysema, to diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But taken orally, high-concentration peroxide can be deadly, researchers found.
Benjamin W. Hatten, MD, MPH, and colleagues set out to characterize the high-concentration peroxide ingestion cases reported to U.S. poison centers, and examine whether treatment with hyperbaric oxygen and use of routine endoscopy to check for esophageal lesions was beneficial.
Of the more than 1,000 cases initially identified during the retrospective analysis of National Poison Data System data, 294 met the study’s criteria. Life-threatening side effects associated with ingestion of the product included seizure, altered mental state, respiratory distress, stroke, pulmonary embolism and heart attack.
Over the course of a decade, researchers found that 13.9 percent of the cases involved embolic events, or events involving blood clots. Nearly 7 percent of those patients died or suffered continued disability. Patients who underwent early hyperbaric oxygen therapy had the best outcomes. High-grade esophageal lesions were only seen in five cases in which endoscopy was performed.
“This is a caustic liquid, and as with many poison prevention efforts, we recommend keeping this product in its original container and adding both child-resistant capping and a colorizing agent to reduce the possibility of accidental ingestion,” Dr. Hatten concluded.