Agent Name

Saxitoxin dihydrochloride

CAS Number




Major Category

Biological Agents


1H,10H-Pyrrolo(1,2-c)purine-10,10-diol, 2,6-diamino-4-(((aminocarbonyl)oxy)methyl)-3a,4,8,9-tetrahydro-, dihydrochloride, (3aS-(3aalpha,4alpha,10aR*))-; 1H,10H-Pyrrolo(1,2-c)purine-10,10-diol, 3a,4,8,9-tetrahydro-2,6-diamino-4-(((aminocarbonyl)oxy)methyl)-, dihydrochloride, (3aS-(3a-alpha,4-alpha,10aR*))-; Biclorhidrato de saxotoxina [Spanish]; Clam poison dihydrochloride; Gonyaulax catenella poison dihydrochloride; Gonyaulax toxic dihydrochloride; Mussel poison dihydrochloride; Paralytic shellfish poison dihydrochloride; STX dihydrochloride; Saxitoxin HCl; Saxitoxin hydrochloride; [ChemIDplus]


Seafood Toxins


White hygroscopic solid; [Merck Index]


A strong neurotoxin from the dinoflagellates Gonyaulax catenella and G. tamerensis (connected to red tides); Ingestion by shellfish makes them poisonous; Used in neurochemical research; [Merck Index]


Highly toxic by ingestion; Stable at normal cooking temperatures; Causes paralytic shellfish poisoning; [HSDB] Onset of action is within 30 minutes after ingestion. [Olson, p. 247] Oral LD50 (mouse) = 263 ug/kg; [RTECS] Humans are poisoned after eating shellfish that have eaten saxitoxin-producing algae. Initial symptoms are nausea/vomiting, paresthesias, and sometimes diarrhea. In severe cases symptoms may include difficulty breathing, swallowing, and talking as well as incoordination, weakness, paralysis, respiratory failure, heart failure, shock, and rhabdomyolysis. [Weinstein, p. 94] The disease is associated with eating scallops, mussels, clams, and cockles. Patient may need respiratory support. The duration of illness is in days. [MMWR. Vol. 53/RR-4]

Adverse Effects

Other CNS Neurotoxin

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Health Studies

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Toxicity Information


Chemical Information

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