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picrotoxin


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A bitter-tasting crystalline compound extracted from the seeds of the climbing plant Cocculus indicus (the fishberry shrub) that functions as a central nervous system stimulant and convulsant by blocking the neuroreceptors that normally mediate the inhibitory effects of GABA. It is used as an antidote to barbiturate poisoning. Compare strychnine, tetanus toxin. [From Greek pikros bitter + toxikon pharmakon arrow-poison, from toxon a bow]

Subjects: Chemistry.


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