How We Help You

The Iowa Poison Control Center (IPCC), located in Sioux City, provides 24-hour toll-free telephone access to emergency poison information and treatment for all Iowa residents. The IPCC is contacted for various kinds of poisonings and overdoses affecting people of all ages, including:

  • Ingestion of household productsThree IPCC staff members
  • Overdose of therapeutic, illegal, foreign, and veterinary drugs
  • Chemical exposure on the job or elsewhere
  • Hazardous material spills
  • Bites from snakes, spiders, and other venomous creatures
  • Plant and mushroom poisonings
  • Medication errors, product misuse, and drug interactions
  • Environmental/biochemical disasters

The Poison Help service is provided through a national toll-free telephone number, 1-800-222-1222, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at no cost to the caller. Services are available for the hearing impaired and non-English speaking.

The IPCC specializes in providing expert advice for human poisonings only. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, we recommend contacting your veterinarian immediately or reaching out to a dedicated animal poison control center. The Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680 or 855-764-7661) and the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) offer 24/7 assistance. Please note that these services may charge a fee for their consultation. 

Reducing Your Health Care Costs

In 2023, 90% of IPCC cases involving a child under the age of 5 were safely treated at home with Poison Center advice. This saved Iowa and its residents more than $16 million in unnecessary healthcare costs by avoiding a trip to the hospital or doctor. Patients managed with Poison Center expertise on average experience shorter hospitalizations, helping healthcare providers serve more patients, improving health outcomes, and decreasing healthcare costs.

Our Prevention and Education Service

The IPCC has various programs available that are designed to promote awareness and prevent accidental and intentional exposures. These initiatives are also tailored to improve patient management in response to such exposures.

To arrange an on-site continuing poison education program for your professional healthcare staff, please call the IPCC education line at 712-279-3717 or 800-222-1222 and ask for the education office.

Informative materials aimed at preventing poison exposure, such as brochures, telephone stickers, and magnets are available to the general public by mail, fax, or internet in multiple languages. These resources offer crucial guidance on avoiding dangerous substances, raising awareness about poison prevention, and encouraging the use of poison control services.

National Real-Time Poisoning Surveillance

Real-time poison control center data, collected by the nation’s 55 poison control centers into a national database, triggers the recognition of a variety of public health threats and provides a tracking mechanism for those events. Poison centers are often the first to detect emerging public health threats such as contaminated food outbreaks, new drugs of abuse, tainted medication, and other hazards. Once a threat is detected, the Poison Center is a vital partner in local, state, and federal response efforts.

Who We Are

The Specialists in Poison Information (SPIs) who answer the phones at the Poison Center are registered nurses or pharmacists uniquely trained in clinical toxicology. Poison information specialists are required to pass a rigorous national certification exam administered by the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

Board-certified medical toxicologists provide clinical supervision and backup support for the SPIs. They are available 24/7 for consultations with health care providers. From questions about food poisoning to advice on child poison prevention, our experienced staff is here to help you.

If you suspect a poisoning, call our poison control number at 1-800-222-1222.