July 26, 2016

Ipecac

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How does Ipecac work?

Ipecac contains chemicals that irritate the digestive tract and trigger the brain to cause vomiting.

Are there safety concerns?

Ipecac is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth and used for a short time. It can cause nausea, vomiting, stomach irritation, dizziness, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, and a fast heartbeat.

Ipecac is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when allowed to touch the skin or when inhaled. Ipecac contains emetine, with can irritate the skin and respiratory tract.

Ipecac is LIKELY UNSAFE when taken by mouth long-term or in large amounts, as well as when injected at a dose of more than 1 gram. Misuse of ipecac can lead to serious poisoning, heart damage, and death. Signs of poisoning include difficulty breathing, digestive tract problems, abnormal heart rates, blood in the urine, convulsions, shock, coma, and death.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Children: Ipecac is LIKELY SAFE for children when used appropriately as a prescription product to induce vomiting. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to keep a 1-ounce bottle of syrup of ipecac at home has recently been reversed. The new statement reads, "Syrup of ipecac should no longer be routinely used as a poison treatment intervention in the home." The thinking is that keeping ipecac at home hasn't been proven to save lives. Talk with your healthcare provider or poison control center about how to use ipecac correctly in cases of poisoning in children.

Ipecac is UNSAFE when used in high doses or in children under the age of one year. Children are more sensitive than adults to the side effects of ipecac. Misuse of ipecac can lead to serious poisoning, heart damage, and death. Signs of poisoning include difficulty breathing, digestive tract problems, abnormal heart rates, blood in the urine, convulsions, shock, coma, and death.

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is LIKELY UNSAFE to use ipecac if you are pregnant. It might stimulate the uterus and cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of using ipecac if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Unconsciousness or certain kinds of poisonings: Ipecac should not be used in people who are unconscious or have been poisoned with certain chemicals including corrosives, petroleum products, strychnine, and others. Talk to your healthcare provider or poison control center about whether ipecac is appropriate to use in each case of suspected poisoning. If ipecac is used incorrectly, serious complications can arise including damage of the esophagus, pneumonia, and convulsions.

Digestive tract problems including ulcers, infections, or Crohn's disease: Ipecac can irritate the digestive tract. Don't use it if you have one of these conditions.

Heart disease: Ipecac can affect the heart. Don't use it if you have a heart condition.


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