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Activated Charcoal - #PHARMFAX

Activated charcoal is most effective when given within 1 hour of toxic ingestions.

 

Activated charcoal is most effective when given within 1 hour of toxic ingestions. It works by adsording to toxins and preventing systemic absorption. It may be beneficial to give up to four hours in certain ingestion. An example is APAP and consideration up to 4 hours. Do not give in high aspiration risk patients.


The dosing can be weight-based at 1 mg/kg or 25 - 100 g per age-range. Activated charcoal should be considered for patients presenting shortly after an ingestion. Keep in mind certain substances are not adsorbed to charcoal, alcohols, inorganic salts, metals like iron and lithium, and acids or alkalis.


Activated charcoal can be suspended in any liquid, and it is contraindicated in higk aspiration risk patients.


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