Adamsite (Diphenylaminechloroarsine or DM)

Most of the exposures to this chemical occur by breathing it in. Another common chemical name for adamsite is phenarsazine chloride.


Symptoms may include irritation of:

  • The eyes, nose, and respiratory tract.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea might also occur.

The effects of adamsite takes minutes to begin. The effects might last for hours. If a rapid onset of one of the following effects occurs, adamsite poisoning has happened:

  • Nose or throat irritation.

  • Cough.

  • Shortness of breath.


Your caregiver may suspect what is wrong by:

  • Your recent history.

  • Symptoms you are having.

There is no testing available for exposure.


  • Suspected: A person is being watched by caregivers for poisoning by a chemical agent.

  • Probable: A case in which a threat or patient history regarding location and time exists for adamsite exposure. A link exists between this case and a laboratory-confirmed case.

  • Confirmed: The case can be confirmed if either by:

  • A predominant amount of clinical and nonspecific laboratory evidence that a particular chemical was present.

  • 100% certainty of the cause of the agent is known.

Information is courtesy of the Department of Health and Human Services branch of the CDC.