Signs and symptoms: Flushing, severe headache, a feeling of suffocation, hypotension, fainting, restlessness, blurred vision, impairment of respiration, bradycardia and rarely, cyanosis and methaemoglobinaemia may occur. In a few patients there may be a reaction comparable to shock with nausea, vomiting, weakness, sweating and syncope.
Treatment: Recovery often occurs without special treatment. Hypotension may be corrected by elevation of the legs to promote venous return.
Methaemoglobinaemia should be treated by intravenous methylene blue.
Symptomatic treatment should be given for respiratory and circulatory defects in more serious cases.
If methaemoglobinaemia is present, intravenous administration of ethylene blue, 1 to 2 mg/kg of body weight, may be required.