Activated charcoal itself is a fine, black
powder that is odorless, tasteless, and
It works by binding (adsorbing) chemicals,
thus reducing their toxicity (poisonous
nature), through the GI tract.
It helps prevent the poison from being
absorbed from the stomach into the body.
It is most effective when given within one hour
after toxin ingestion .
It is the most effective decontaminant.
Bind substances excreted in the bile,
interrupting enterohepatic circulation.
The benefits are capable
to decontaminate the gut without requiring
its rapid administration and its proven safety
in both adults and children.
Mnemonic: These People Drink Charcoal
OPC poisoning, Multi drug overdose.
Activated charcoal is given through mouth or
nasogastric tube, in an activated charcoal drug
dose of 10:1 or
Dose 1 - 2 gm/kg
1-12 yrs -25-50 gm
Older than 12 yrs- 25-100 gm
Sorbitol and magnesium citrate are the most
commonly used cathartics. But they are no
longer recommended in poisonings.
The substance that does not adsorbed by
activated charcoal .
C-Caustics and corrosives
A-Alcohol and glycols
R-Rapidly absorbed substances
O-Other insoluble drugs
Pulmonary aspiration is a dreaded complication
that results in
obstruction in the respiratory tract
acute lung injury
Even in intubated patients ,aspiration pneumonia
have occurred with instillation of activated
Ingestion of large doses.
Prevent continued absorption of a drug that may
still present in GI tract.
Increase serum clearance of a drug.
After an initial dose of 50–100 g to an adult,
activated charcoal should be administered
at a rate of not less than 12.5 g/h or equivalent.
Lower doses (10–25 g) of activated
charcoal may be employed in children less than 5
years of age as usually they have ingested smaller
overdoses and their gut lumen capacity is smaller
The Universal Antidote is a mixture
that contains activated charcoal, magnesium
oxide, and tannic acid. All three components
neutralize the actions of many poisons.