Drug Index

Activated Charcoal

Synonym :


Mechanism :

Activated charcoal is a powerful adsorbent and is not absorbed itself from the GIT. Being inert itself, it absorbs orally ingested toxins and reduces their absorption from the gut.

Indication :

  • To prevent absorption of any orally ingested poison.

Contraindications :

Contraindicated in unconscious patients, where there is risk of aspiration. Hence used only in intubated children.

Activated charcoal is not recommended in the following poisonings:

Ingestion of a caustic substance since it masks evidence of burns.

Ingestion of a hydrocarbon since it does not adsorb hydrocarbons.

Ingestion of alcohol since it does not adsorb alcohol.

Ingestion of iron separations, lithium or lead since it does not adsorb metals.

Not recommended below 1 year of age.

Dosing :

Aqueous suspension should be taken within one hour of ingestion of poison.
Infants: 1 g/kg/dose orally, repeat every 4-6 hours.
Children: 1-2 g/kg/dose or 25-50 g/dose orally; repeat every 4-6 hours.
Adolescents: 5-10 times the estimated weight of the drug/chemical ingested (or 50-100 g dose); repeat every 4-6 hours.

Adverse Effect :

GIT disturbances like constipation, diarrhoea, black stools. Aspiration may cause airway obstruction.

Interaction :

Charcoal, activated: May decrease serum concentrations of the active metabolite(s) of Leflunomide.

Hepatic Dose :

No dosage adjustments are recommended.
02/20/2024 23:27:39 Activated Charcoal
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