Agent Name


CAS Number




Major Category

Biological Agents


12-Hydroxysenecionan-11,16-dione; Aureine; Senecionan-11,16-dione, 12-hydroxy-; Senecionin; (1,6)Dioxacyclododecino(2,3,4-gh)pyrrolizine-2,7-dione, 3-ethylidene-3,4,5,6,9,11,13,14,14a,14b-decahydro-6-hydroxy-5,6-dimethyl-, (3Z,5R,6R,14aR,14bR)-; [ChemIDplus]


Plant Toxins


Solid; [Merck Index] White powder; [MSDSonline]


Hepatotoxic alkaloid from plants of the Senecio species; [Merck Index] Used as a folk remedy (uterine stimulant and treatment of diabetes mellitus, hemorrhage, and high blood pressure); [HSDB]


Emergency treatment: "Plants- pyrrolizidine alkaloids"; Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) cause veno-occlusive liver disease. Diagnosis is difficult because symptoms may be delayed for days or weeks. After drinking herbal tea or eating plants contaminated with seeds of PA plants, symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, hepatomegaly, and later cirrhosis and ascites. Jaundice may be present. Children may appear to have Reye's syndrome. [HSDB] The liver is the target organ. Plants containing significant amounts of pyrrolizidine alkaloids are found all over the world, comprising about 3% of all flowering plants. They have long been known to be toxic to livestock. Outbreaks of poisoning cases in humans after food contamination have been reported, and the problem is endemic in some central Asian republics. [Reference #1] Teas containing PAs include coltsfoot, comfrey, gordolobo, groundsel, mate, tansy ragwort, and T'u-san-chi. The teas may be prescribed as herbal remedies for anxiety or amenorrhea. The alkaloid is concentrated in the root of the plants. As little as 85 mg may be toxic. [Haddad, p. 1082]

Adverse Effects

Hepatotoxin, Secondary

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