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Position paper update: ipecac syrup for gastrointestinal decontamination

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ruben ThanacoodyORCiD


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An update of the first position paper on ipecac syrup from 1997 was published by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and the European Association of Poison Centres and Clinical Toxicologists in 2004. The aims of this paper are to briefly summarize the content of the 2004 Position Paper and to present any new data. Methods. A systematic review of the literature from the year 2003 forward. Results. The literature search yielded a limited number of meaningful articles, and there remains no convincing evidence from clinical studies that ipecac improves the outcome of poisoned patients. Furthermore, the availability of ipecac is rapidly diminishing. Conclusions. The routine administration of ipecac at the site of ingestion or in the emergency department should definitely be avoided. Ipecac may delay the administration or reduce the effectiveness of activated charcoal, oral antidotes, and whole bowel irrigation. There is not sufficient evidence to warrant any change in the previous ipecac position papers. There are, however, insufficient data to support or exclude ipecac administration soon after ingestion of some specific poisons in rare situations.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hojer R, Troutman WG, Hoppu K, Erdman A, Benson BE, Megarbane B, Thanacoody R, Bedry R, Caravati EM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Toxicology

Year: 2013

Volume: 51

Issue: 3

Pages: 134-139

Print publication date: 01/03/2013

ISSN (print): 1556-3650

ISSN (electronic): 1556-9519

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.3109/15563650.2013.770153


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