Strychnine poisoning can be fatal to humans and other animals and can occur by inhalation, swallowing or absorption through eyes or mouth. It produces some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction, making it quite noticeable and a common choice for assassinations and poison attacks. For this reason, strychnine poisoning is often portrayed in literature and film, such as the murder mysteries written by Agatha Christie.
The probable lethal oral dose in humans is 1.5 to 2 mg/kg. Similarly, the median lethal dose for dogs, cats, and rats ranges from 0.5 to 2.35 mg/kg.