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activated charcoal (OTC)Brand and Other Names:Actidose-Aqua, charcoal (activated), more...CharcoalAid, Insta-Char, Liqui-Char, Superchar

 
 
 

Dosing & Uses

AdultPediatric

Dosage Forms & Strengths

tablets

  • 250mg

capsules

  • 260mg

liquid

  • 208 mg/mL

suspension

  • 25g
  • 50g

pellets for suspension

  • 25mg
more...

Overdose, Poisoning

1 g/kg, 25-100 g PO

Alternatively 10 g charcoal/1 g drug ratio

Minimum dose = 25 g

Commonly used with sorbitol 25 g; multiple dose regimen 25 g PO q2hr or 50 g q4hr without sorbitol

DO NOT give sorbitol after first dose due to risk for severe diarrhea; use aqueous solution

Dose cathartic once daily if used

Shake vigorously prior to use

Administer in closed container with straw; may place on ice to improve taste; mix 1:3 soda for pediatrics

Multiple doses used with dapsone, carbamazepine, digitoxin and digoxin, phenobarbital, theophylline, meprobamate, quinine

Dosage Forms & Strengths

tablets

  • 250mg

capsules

  • 260mg

liquid

  • 208 mg/mL

suspension

  • 25g
  • 50g

pellets for suspension

  • 25mg
more...

Poisoning

Aqueous suspension

  • Infants: 1 g/kg/ dose PO; may repeat q4-6hr
  • Children: 1-2 g/kg/dose (or 25-50 g/dose) PO; may repeat q4-6hr
  • Adolescents: 5-10 times the estimated weight of drug/chemical ingested (or 50-100 g/dose) PO; may repeat q4-6hr

Sorbitol suspension

  • Infants and children: Not indicated; due to risk for severe diarrhea associated with sorbitol suspension, the aqueous formulation is recommended
  • Adolescents: 50 g as a single dose PO; not recommended for multiple dosage regimens (use aqueous solutions for repeat dosing)
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Interactions

Interaction Checker

activated charcoal and

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    Contraindicated

      Serious - Use Alternative

        Significant - Monitor Closely

          Minor

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            Adverse Effects

            Frequency Not Defined

            Common

            • Black stool
            • Constipation

            Rare

            • Slowing of intestinal tract
            • Blocking of intestinal tract
            • Regurgitation into the lungs
            • Dehydration
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            Warnings

            Contraindications

            Intestinal obstruction

            Unprotected airway (aspiration may occur)

            Caustic ingestions

            Cautions

            Vomiting may occur

            Caution in patients with decreased peristalsis

            Ipecac may decrease effectiveness of activated charcoal

            Sorbitol or other cathartics may increase risk of significant electrolyte abnormalities

            Capsules or tablets not recommended for treatment of poisoning

            Product containing sorbitol not for use in patients with fructose intolerance

            Note: not effective with alcohols, caustics (contraindicated), iron, lithium, heavy metals, mineral acids

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            Pharmacology

            Mechanism of Action

            Adsorbs a variety of drugs and chemicals (eg, physical binding of a molecule to the surface of charcoal particles); desorbtion of bound particals may occur unless the ratio of charcoal to toxin is extremely high

            Pharmacokinetics

            Absorption: None

            Metabolism: None

            Excretion: Unchanged in feces

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