Following the ingestion of a lethal dose of azide, and in the period prior to loss of consciousness, symptoms include nausea, gastric irritation, and the development of moderate to severe headache. This is presumably due to a rapid drop in blood pressure. Indeed, in a report commissioned by CLW into the use of azide as a possible suicide agent, toxicologist Dr. G.H.M. Counotte discussed the benefit of pre-ingestion of a suitable analgesic (pain relief drug) together with an effective anti-emetic (anti-nausea drug). Paracetemol or naproxin were suggested, although for these authors, it is hard to see how the suggested 500mg paracetemol tablet could ameliorate the symptoms of a significant hypotensive headache.
Question 1: Is sodium azide definitely deadly? Answer: Yes, sodium azide is certainly deadly. The lowest fatal dose is approximately 1 to 2 grams for people and a dose of more than 10 grams is certainly fatal.
Question 2: What are the significant side effects of sodium azide ingestion? Answer: The side effects may be (within a few minutes after ingestion): headache, perspiration, fainting, drop in blood pressure, arrhythmia, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal discharge, sore throat, shortness of breath.
Question 3: Can the possible side effects caused by azide ingestion be limited? Answer: A painkiller can help against headaches and throat irritation.