What is an antidote? The term antidote literally means “given against”, and is a substance, typically a medicine, given to counteract a particular poison. Hundreds of years ago, potions and concoctions were created to treat poisons and stings, some with success. However, many were not helpful and some actually did harm. Currently there are many antidotes available to treat the poisoned patient in a health care setting. At the poison center we hear about various home remedies used to treat poisonings, most of which are outdated “old wives tales” and are NOT recommended.