- Poisoning by drugs, in particular: paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, chloroquine, quinine, dapsone, phenobarbital, carbamazepine, digoxin
- Poisoning by other toxic substances: certain plants (datura, lantana, etc.), certain domestic, industrial or agricultural chemicals
Forms and strengths
- Granules for oral suspension, in 50 g bottle, to be reconstituted with 250 ml of water
Dosage and duration
The dose of charcoal has to be administered as soon as possible (preferably within one hour after ingestion of the toxic compound) and swallowed within a limited period, e.g., in 15 to 20 minutes:
- Child under 1 year: 1 g per kg
- Child from 1 to 12 years: 25 g
- Child over 12 years and adult: 50 g
If the dose of charcoal is not entirely swallowed or the toxic substance was ingested in large quantities or over 2 hours beforehand: follow the treatment for 24 hours after poisoning, by administering half or a quarter of the initial dose of charcoal every 4 or 6 hours, depending on the tolerance and cooperation of the patient.
Contra-indications, adverse effects, precautions
- Do not administer in case of poisoning by caustic or foaming products, or hydrocarbons: risk of aggravation of lesions during vomiting (caustic products), aspiration pneumonia (foaming products, hydrocarbons), and airway obstruction due to foaming when vomiting (foaming products).
- The charcoal is ineffective in poisoning by: alcohols (ethanol, ethylene glycol, methanol, isopropyl alcohol, etc.), organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides, metals (lithium, iron salts, etc.).
- May cause: black colouring of stools (normal), constipation; vomiting in the event of rapid administration of large quantities.
- Do not administer charcoal simultaneously with other drugs by oral route. Administer 2 hours apart.
- Pregnancy: no contra-indication
- Breast-feeding: no contra-indication
- To facilitate the administration of charcoal and avoid vomiting in children, mask the taste (mix with fruit juice, syrup) and administer the suspension slowly in small quantities.
- If there is a specific antidote to the drug ingested, use it in complement.