Intravenous lipid emulsion (ILE) has been demonstrated to be effective in amelioration of cardiovascular and central nervous system sequelae of local-anaesthetic and non-local-anaesthetic drug toxicity in animal models. Sequestration of lipophilic toxins to an expanded plasma lipid phase is credited as the predominant beneficial mechanism of action of ILE. Systematic review of published human experience is however lacking. We determined to report a comprehensive literature search of all human reports of ILE application in drug poisoning. Forty-two cases of ILE use (19 local-anaesthetic, 23 non-local-anaesthetic) were identified, with anecdotal reports of successful resuscitation from cardiovascular collapse and central nervous system depression associated with ILE administration in lipophilic toxin overdose. Although significant heterogeneity was observed in both agents of intoxication, and reported outcomes; case report data suggest a possible benefit of ILE in potentially life-threatening cardio-toxicity from bupivacaine, mepivacaine, ropivacaine, haloperidol, tricyclic antidepressants, lipophilic beta blockers and calcium channel blockers. Further controlled study and systematic evaluation of human cases is required to define the clinical role of ILE in acute poisonings.