Nicotine has not only local effects, but also purposefully affects the peripheral and central nervous system. In case of poisoning, the first signs depend on the amount of nicotine ingested and body weight and are manifested by irritation and burning in the mouth and throat, increased salivation, dizziness and headaches, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea (due to increased gastrointestinal peristalsis).
Typically, acute nicotine poisoning occurs in two stages or phases. During the first 15-60 minutes - in addition to the above - there are symptoms such as rapid, heavy breathing and coughing; increased heart rate with its increase (tachycardia); rise in blood pressure; profuse sweating; tremor, muscle fasciculations and convulsions.
At the second stage - after a few hours - the depressant effect of nicotine begins, evidenced by: a decrease in blood pressure, miosis (narrowing of the pupils), bradycardia (decrease in heart rate), atrial fibrillation and shortness of breath, pallor of the skin and chills, lethargy, muscle weakness, drowsiness. In extreme cases, there is difficulty in breathing and its violation, depression of consciousness (prostration) or its loss, which can progress to collapse and coma. The possibility of death is not excluded - due to paralysis of the respiratory muscles and / or central respiratory failure.
Chronic nicotine poisoning can be manifested by frequent headache and abdominal pain, decreased physical endurance and sleep disturbance, poor appetite and nausea, shortness of breath, jumps in blood pressure and changes in heart rate (from tachycardia to bradycardia) with cardialgia, hyperhidrosis and dehydration, eye irritation and visual impairment, stomatitis and bleeding gums.