Charcoal, activated

Generic Medicine Info
Indications and Dosage
Acute oral poisoning
Adult: As susp: 50-100 g taken as soon as possible after ingestion. For multiple doses: of 25 - 50 g 4-6 hourly.
Child: As susp: <1 year 1 g/kg as single dose to be taken as soon as possible after ingestion or 4-6 hrly for multiple dose. 1-12 years 25-50 g as single dose to be taken as soon as possible after ingestion or 4-6 hourly for multiple dose. >13 years Same as adult dose
Cyanide, mineral acids, caustic alkalis, organic solvents, iron, ethanol, methanol poisoning; lithium, methionine; intestinal obstruction, anatomically-broken GI tract, haemorrhage or GI perforation. Concomitant use of charcoal with sorbitol: Patients with fructose intolerance; Childn <1 yr.
Special Precautions
Decreased peristalsis: administer within 1 hr of ingestion. Induce vomiting of ipecac syr before admin of charcoal to prevent adsorption of ipecac. Petroleum distillate, caustic ingestions may harm gastric lining upon induction of vomiting by charcoal. Limit admin of charcoal in sorbitol doses to prevent loss of fluid and electrolyte. Monitor for active bowel sounds before administering charcoal. Pregnancy.
Adverse Reactions
Vomiting, constipation, diarrhoea, black stools, swelling of abdomen, bowel obstruction; platelet aggregation, charcoal embolism, thrombocytopenia, haemorrhage, hypoglycaemia, hypocalcaemia, hypothermia, hypotension (haemoperfusion with activated charcoal); blackening of teeth and mouth; hypernatraemia, hypokalaemia, hypermagnesemia (with concomitant admin with cathartics).
Drug Interactions
Reduces absorption of most drugs from GI tract. Decreases effectiveness of methionine via adsorption. Decreases ipecac effect.
Food Interaction
Milk products eg, milk, ice crm or sherbet, marmalade reduces charcoal effect. Food, nutritional supplements or herbs must not be taken within two hr of ingestion of charcoal.
Description: Charcoal due to its large surface area, inhibits the GI absorption of toxic substances or irritants eg, aromatic or benzenoid-type substances through adsorption. As a laxative, the addition of sorbitol provides hyperosmotic environment thus causing catharsis. Moreover, charcoal interferes with the enterohepatic circulation of bile acids resulting to a lower cholesterol level.
Absorption: Unabsorbed via the GI tract.
Metabolism: Unmetabolised.
Excretion: Via faeces (as unchanged form).
MIMS Class
Antidiarrheals / Antidotes & Detoxifying Agents
Disclaimer: This information is independently developed by MIMS based on Charcoal, activated from various references and is provided for your reference only. Therapeutic uses, prescribing information and product availability may vary between countries. Please refer to MIMS Product Monographs for specific and locally approved prescribing information. Although great effort has been made to ensure content accuracy, MIMS shall not be held responsible or liable for any claims or damages arising from the use or misuse of the information contained herein, its contents or omissions, or otherwise. Copyright © 2022 MIMS. All rights reserved. Powered by
Register or sign in to continue
Asia's one-stop resource for medical news, clinical reference and education
Sign up for free
Already a member? Sign in