©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Scorpionfish Poisoning

Doctor's Notes on Scorpionfish, Lionfish, and Stonefish Poisoning

Scorpionfish, lionfish, and stonefish are poisonous fish that live in tropical and temperate oceans and are commonly found in the Red Sea and Indian and Pacific oceans. All these fish have sharp, venomous, erectile spines on their dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. Contact with these spines can cause the venom to enter a person’s bloodstream. These fish are not aggressive so poisonings are usually accidental or due to inappropriate handling of the fish.

Symptoms of scorpionfish, lionfish, and stonefish poisoning vary from person to person, and depend on the amount of toxin a person is exposed to. Symptoms of scorpionfish, lionfish, and stonefish poisoning include intense throbbing pain that peaks in 1 to 2 hours and lasts 12 hours. Pain may be severe and could cause hallucinations. Other symptoms of poisoning include redness, bruising, swelling, numbness, tingling, blisters, and tissue shedding at the wound site. Severe reactions include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, tremors, abnormal heart rhythms, weakness, headache, diarrhea, slow heart rate, shortness of breath, seizures, low blood pressure, fainting, and paralysis. Death may occur.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Scorpionfish, Lionfish, and Stonefish Poisoning Symptoms

Poisons from these fish spines, in general, may produce the following symptoms, which may vary from person to person, and their intensity is related to the amount of toxin the person is exposed to.

Summer Skin-Hazard Pictures Stings, Bites, Burns, and More Slideshow

Summer Skin-Hazard Pictures Stings, Bites, Burns, and More Slideshow

Their tentacles contain venom, so getting stung can be painful or sometimes life-threatening. Stings usually happen by accident when you carelessly handle a jellyfish, or swim or wade among them.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW