Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Department of Medicine

​​Division of Clinical Pharmacology

Poison Information Centre

The Division of Pharmacology, located at Tygerberg Hospital, provides an all hour Pharmacology/Toxicology Consultation Service to health care professionals (at all levels), industry, and the lay public. Although the service primarily provides in the needs of the Western Cape Province and neighbouring regions, demands to meet national requirements have been increasing steadily over the past years. A similar cross-border tendency is evident, and service interaction with other countries on the African continent continues to escalate.

The consultation service is geared to provide information on:

Medicines, their indications and optimal applications in rational regimens for treating diseases.

The interpretation of the concentrations of medicinal agents in body fluids and their optimisation in the course of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM).

The adverse manifestations of medicines comprising: toxic and side-effects; teratogenic potential in pregnancy; mutagenic and neoplastic potential; potential to induce an idiosyncratic response in an individual with an adverse pharmacogenetic predisposition; potentially deleterious interactions with foodstuffs and other xenobiotics (both risk and type); the potential to induce, or inhibit, enzyme systems involved in disposition pathways.

The manifestations (symptoms, signs and presentation) of medicine-related overdosage and the most appropriate management thereof in specific circumstances.

The manifestations (symptoms, signs and presentation) of exposure to drugs of abuse, and the most appropriate management thereof in the acute phase (if and when indicated) as well as in the long term.

General information on poisons, and potentially poisonous substances.

General information in respect of biological toxins, with special reference to poisonous and venomous creatures, poisonous plants and micro-organisms inhabiting the land, waterways and seas of the African continent.

The interpretation of the concentrations of medicinal agents and xenobiotics found in body fluids and tissues at autopsy (Forensic Toxicology).

Appropriate priorities to be set, and procedures to be followed, when dealing with cases of mass exposure to toxins, and potential toxins, after transit and industrial accidents.

Alcohol, medicines and substances of abuse in body fluids of individuals to which situational statutory limits apply, eg drivers, operators of heavy machinery etc.

Prohibited substances in sport.

Expert advice in courts of law in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology - serving the needs of both the prosecution and the defence as dictated by circumstances.

Poison Information Centre:
+27 21 938-6084 (office hours)
+27 21 931-6129 (24 hours)

» Poison information chart
(All rights reserved © 2014 Stellenbosch University Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences. The Poison information chart may not be used for financial gain.)

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​Tip of the month



The summer season is the time when snakes become active. 

If a snake bite occurs the most important thing to do is to get the person to a medical facility as soon as possible. Do not waist time by cutting, sucking or fiddling with the bite site.  Phone the hospital and let them know that you are on your way. Read more...