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Activated Charcoal

Presentation

50g/250mL suspension

*Note: Coformulation with sorbitol not recommended.

Role

  • Decontamination of poisons adsorbed by activated charcoal.
  • Enhanced elimination of compounds that undergo enterohepatic recirculation.

Dose

Decontamination of poisonings

  • 50g (child 1g/kg up to 50g) PO/NG stat

Enhanced elimination of poisonings

  • 25g (child 0.5g/kg up to 25g) PO/NG q4h
Carbosorb-x activated charcoal suspension

Stocking recommendations

Tertiary centre Regional centre Rural centre Remote centre
> 5 bottles > 5 bottles 2 bottles 2 bottles

Rationale

Activated charcoal is a safe and effective decontamination option for poisonings.  It should be available in all centres.

Precautions

Activated charcoal should only be provided to patients who can protect or have a protected airway. Offer orally to alert and co-operative patients.  If patient is ventilated it can be provided via a nasogastric tube.

Disclaimer

Fact sheet developed by Queensland Poisons Information Centre, Updated: July 2020.

This fact sheet is about the use of these antidotes in Australia, and may not apply to other countries. Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this fact sheet.

CHQ