Activated Charcoal (By mouth)
Adsorbent, Gastrointestinal Agent (About this – PubMed Health)
Uses of This Medicine
Activated charcoal is used in the emergency treatment of certain kinds of poisoning. It helps prevent the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body. Sometimes, several doses of activated charcoal are needed to treat severe poisoning. Ordinarily, this medicine is not effective and should not be used in poisoning if corrosive agents such as alkalis (lye) and strong acids, iron, boric acid, lithium, petroleum products (e.g., cleaning fluid, coal oil, fuel oil, gasoline, kerosene, paint thinner), or alcohols have been swallowed, since it will not prevent these poisons from being absorbed into the body.
Some activated charcoal products contain sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sweetener. It also works as a laxative, for the elimination of the poison from the body.Products that contain sorbitol should be given only under the direct supervision of a doctor because severe diarrhea and vomiting may result.
Activated charcoal has not been shown to be effective in relieving diarrhea and intestinal gas.
Activated charcoal may be available without a doctor’s prescription; however, before using this medicine, call a poison control center, your doctor, or an emergency room for advice.
Other uses (PubMed Health)
How To Use
Tablet, Granule, Powder, Liquid, Capsule
Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
This medicine is not for long-term use.
Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
Liquid: You may need to shake the product container for at least 30 seconds before use.
Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
Many other drugs can interact with activated charcoal. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you are using.
When Not To Use
This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients listed on the package label.
Do not use this medicine to treat poisoning unless you are told to do so by a doctor or poison control center. This product can be dangerous if it is not used correctly. Do not give this medicine to a person who is not fully awake.
Some forms of this product should not be given to a child younger than 1 year. Do not give this product to a child who is younger than 12 years, unless your doctor tells you to.
Drink plenty of liquids to help avoid constipation.
Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
Possible side effects
Summary More details
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
New or worsening abdominal pain, or severe constipation
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
Dark urine, or urinating less often than usual
Dark or black stools
Nausea or vomiting
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More side effects of this drug
Brand names include
Actidose-Aqua, Aqueous Charcodote Adult, Aqueous Charcodote Pediatric, CharcoCaps, Charcoal, Charcodote, Charcodote Pediatric, Charcodote Tfs, Charcodote Tfs Pediatric, Di-Gon II, Diarrest, Donnagel, Donnagel-Mb, EZ-Char, Kao-Con, Kaodene NN, Kaolinpec, Kaopectate, Kaopek, Kerr Insta-Char, Parepectolin, Reese’s Charcoal, Requa Activated Charcoal
There may be other brand names for this medicine.