Ipecac Syrup

Reviewed on 9/22/2021

What Is Ipecac Syrup Used For and How Does it Work?

Ipecac syrup has been used to cause vomiting after suspected overdose or poisoning. Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for poisonings; activated charcoal is the treatment of choice.

Ipecac syrup is also used to treat bronchitis associated with croup in children, a severe kind of diarrhea (amoebic dysentery), cancer, and as an expectorant to thin mucous and make coughing easier. Small doses are used to improve appetite.

Dosages of Ipecac Syrup

Oral Syrup

  • 7%

Dosage Considerations - Should Be Given as Follows

Overdose/Poisoning

  • Ipecac syrup is no longer recommended for poisonings; activated charcoal is the treatment of choice.
  • Adults and children 12 years and older: 15-30 mL orally once; may repeat once with 15 mL if vomiting does not occur within 20-30 minutes
  • Children age 1 to 12 years: 15 mL orally once with 1-2 glasses of water; may repeat once with 15 mL once if vomiting does not occur within 20-30 minutes
  • Children age 6-12 months: 5-10 mL orally once with 4-8 ounces of water; give only under medical supervision
  • If vomiting does not occur within 30-45 minutes after second dose, perform gastric lavage
  • Give with 3-4 glasses of water

QUESTION

About how much does an adult human brain weigh? See Answer

What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Ipecac Syrup?

Common side effects of Ipecac include:

This document does not contain all possible side effects and others may occur. Check with your physician for additional information about side effects.

What Other Drugs Interact with Ipecac Syrup?

If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider or pharmacist first.

  • Ipecac Syrup has no listed interactions with other drugs.

This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your physician if you have health questions or concerns.

What Are Warnings and Precautions for Ipecac Syrup?

Warnings

This medication contains ipecac syrup. Do not take ipecac syrup if you are allergic to ipecac syrup or any ingredients contained in this drug.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.

Contraindications

  • Lethargy
  • Absent gag reflex
  • Coma
  • Short time between ingestion of poison and charcoal administration/lavage
  • History of ingestion of substance that causes CNS depression or seizures
  • Ingestion of caustics, volatile liquids, or sharp objects

Effects of Drug Abuse

No information available.

Short-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Ipecac Syrup?"

Long-Term Effects

  • See "What Are Side Effects Associated with Using Ipecac Syrup?"

Cautions

  • May not work on empty stomach
  • Do not confuse ipecac syrup with ipecac fluid extract (14 times stronger)
  • Not indicated if patient had spontaneous vomiting
  • Falling out of favor with many poison control centers; may delay gastric lavage if vomiting prolonged
  • Milk or carbonated beverages may decrease effect
  • Abuse may occur in patients with bulimia or anorexia nervosa; associated with cardiomyopathies and death in patients with eating disorder
  • May be cardiotoxic if not vomited and allowed to be absorbed; emetine absorption may result in heart conduction disturbances

Pregnancy and Lactation

Use ipecac syrup during pregnancy with caution if the benefits outweigh risks. Animal studies show risk and human studies are not available or neither animal nor human studies were done. It is unknown if ipecac syrup is excreted in breast milk; caution is advised while breastfeeding.

References
Medscape. Ipecac Syrup.

https://reference.medscape.com/drug/ipecac-syrup-343735

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