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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Coumatetralyl is an anticoagulant of the warfarin type. Symptoms of overexposure relate to failure of the blood clotting mechanism and include bleeding gums and failure of blood clotting after skin wounds. After one exposure the toxicity of coumatetralyl is relatively low, however if overexposure continues for several days the product becomes more toxic. The product must therefore be constantly present in the bloodstream for more than 1 to 2 days in order to be highly toxic. A single exposure, even though relatively large, may not produce toxic symptoms as the compound is quite rapidly metabolised. Chronic animal studies show no evidence of carcinogenic or teratogenic effects.

Common Applications

Rat poison grains

Coumatetralyl is commonly used with grains and other cereals in conjunction with a tracking powder to monitor feeding activity in a particular area. Tracking powder also clings to fur, which allows more poison to be ingested from grooming. Concentrations of the chemical are usually 500mg per 1 kg of bait.


Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is antidotal. If swallowed, and if more than 15 minutes from a hospital, inducing vomiting is recommended, providing the patient is conscious, preferably using a correct emetic. If present on the skin, washing the material off the skin with soap and water is recocomended. If in the eye, holding the eye open and flooding with water for at least 15 minutes is recommended in addition to seeing a doctor.

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