Activated charcoal is used when accidental poisoning has occurred. The charcoal helps absorb the poison and carry it out of the body. It is also used to treat diarrhea, upset stomach, and gas.
Other names for activated charcoal include: active carbon, adsorbent charcoal, carbo activatus, carbon active, carbon attivo, decolorizing charcoal, and medicinal charcoal.
Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.
Tell your doctor if you
Talk with your caregiver about how much activated charcoal you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking activated charcoal. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.
Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.
Since charcoal has such a strong ability to absorb material, it may cause problems with any medicine you may be taking by reducing how much gets absorbed by your body. This has the potential to be life threatening. If you are taking any drugs, check with your health care giver before taking activated charcoal. The following have been studied and are not well absorbed when taken with charcoal:
Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:
You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.
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12. Product information: Zyprexa(TM), olanzapine. Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN; 1999.
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15. Product information: Charcocaps(R), activated charcoal. Requa,Inc, Greenwich, CT; 1997.
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21. Product Information: Myfortic(R), mycophenolic acid delayed-release tablets. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, East Hanover, NJ, 02/2004.
22. Actidose-Aqua(TM), activated charcoal suspension. Paddock Laboratories, Inc. Minneapolis, MN 2004.