Complete atrioventricular block after self-ingestion of Nerium oleander for relief of hemorrhoidal complaints.
Nerium oleander is a plant native only in the Mediterranean region, but it can also be cultivated worldwide, particularly in warm areas. Biologically active oleander compounds may be used for therapeutic purposes. However, when used for self-medication, it may cause serious problems including death. We present a 30-year-old otherwise healthy man who developed complete atrioventricular block after taking a syrup of N. oleander leaves for self-medication to relive hemorrhoidal complaints. The patient was treated by oral administration of charcoal combined with sodium sulfate as well as electrolyte solutions and transient use of an external cardiac pacemaker. The atrioventricular block reverted to sinus rhythm in 30 hours and he was discharged in good hemodynamic status and general condition.