Cyanide is an ion with the formula of CN-, or a group with a formula of CN. It is a pseudohalogen, and forms a number of compounds, both organic and inorganic, many of them are extremely toxic.
- Potassium ferrocyanide (potassium hexacyanoferrate (II))
- Potassium ferricyanide (potassium hexacyanoferrate (III))
- Sodium tricyanocuprate (I)
- Prussian blue
Other compounds containing the cyanide group
Cyanide compounds are potent blood agents, particularly the infamous potassium cyanide. However, there are a number of antidotes.
- Methylene blue, a general purpose antidote against blood agents, 50-100 ml of 1% solution intravenously. However, this only temporarily binds cyanide and borrows more time for a more permanent solution.
- Sodium thiosulfate, 50 ml of a 250 mg/ml solution intravenously. This gradually binds cyanide into thiocyanate, which can be harmlessly purged from the body. This should be used after treatment with methylene blue, to thwart the cyanide permanently.
- Glucose, which has a similar, if weaker effect. Injecting it intravenously, or consuming sugar-rich food, is recommended before you start working with cyanides, to provide you with increased resistance for a time.
Note that cyanide poisoning is an exclusively acute condition with no chronic effects. It means, if you successfully thwart it, no long-term repercussions will follow. However, it is a very rapidly advancing condition, so in most cases there is no time to wait for medical attention, unless you have a personal crew of paramedics living at your home. This is the reason why you should know the antidotes and how to use them yourself.