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IPECAC
IPECAC - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

IPECAC - ORAL

(IPP-eh-kack)

Uses

Ipecac irritates the stomach and stimulates the vomiting center of the brain to cause vomiting. This medication is used to empty the stomach to treat certain poisonings or drug overdoses.

How To Use

This medication should only be taken when instructed to do so by your doctor, the poison center or medical emergency personnel. In some poisoning situations, use of this medication may be harmful. Follow the administration advice given by the health care professional. The patient should be sitting upright with the head forward before giving this medication. Do not give this to a person who is incoherent or unconscious. General dosing guidelines are as follows: Children 6 months to one year old should be given 1 to 2 teaspoonfuls followed by one-half to one glass of water. Children 1 to 12 years should be given 1 tablespoonful (15 ml) followed by 1 to 2 glasses of water. Adults should be given 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls (15-30 ml) followed by 3 to 4 glasses of water. In older children and adults, a second dose may be necessary if vomiting does not occur within 20 minutes. If vomiting does not occur after taking this medication, contact your doctor or the poison control center. Have the patient vomit into a bowl, bucket or pan if possible. It is helpful to save the vomitus for inspection by a health care professional so they can determine what was swallowed or if the ipecac was effective. Take this only with water. Do not take with milk, juice or soda.

Side Effects

In addition to the expected effect of vomiting, this medication may cause drowsiness, diarrhea, and stomach ache. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Use only after contacting a healthcare professional. This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy or if breast-feeding. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of any over-the-counter or prescription medication you may take. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, chest or stomach pain, blood in vomit or stools, dizziness, seizures, swelling of the ankles or feet, trouble breathing, loss of consciousness.

Notes

Ipecac syrup has been abused by bulimic and anorexic patients as a means to lose weight. This medication causes severe heart problems and has even resulted in death in persons with eating disorders who use this regularly to cause vomiting.

Missed Dose

Not applicable.

Storage

Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) away from heat and light. All first aid kits should contain a bottle of ipecac. Parents of young children are advised to have a bottle of ipecac at home and to keep a bottle in the diaper bag when traveling should an emergency arise. Check the expiration date periodically and replace the bottle when necessary.