Toad venom, “Chan su” in Chinese and “somso” in Korean, is a well-known traditional orientalmedicine obtained from the skin venom gland of the toad. Formulations of toad venom have beenwidely applied in China, Japan, Korea and other oriental countries for a long time. It is oftenfound in traditional Chinese formulations, such as Jiuxin (or Kyushin in Japan), Yixin, Huoxin,Shexiang baoxin wan, Lu shen wan and Laryngitis pills. According to a pharmaceutical chemistrystudy, toad venom contains multiple biological active substances, such as bufalin, resibufogeninand cinobufagin. Modern pharmacological studies indicated that toad venom has multiplepharmacological actions, including acting as a cardiotonic, antitumor local anesthetic effects,stimulates the respiratory center, vasopressor action, anti-inflammatory and diuretic effects. Likeother medications, toad venom also has certain toxicity and adverse effects, for example, inducingdelayed afterdepolarization and triggered arrhythmia. The major chemical constituents, basicpharmacological actions and adverse reactions of toad venom are discussed in this article.