Ipecac syrup

Generic Name: ipecac (IP-eh-kak)
Brand Name: Generic only. No brands available

Ipecac syrup is used for:

Causing vomiting in emergency situations (eg, poisoning, overdose).

Ipecac syrup is an emetic. It works by irritating the stomach lining and stimulating the vomiting center of the brain.

Do NOT use ipecac syrup if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in ipecac syrup
  • you have swallowed strychnine, an alkaline (eg, lye), an acid, kerosene, gasoline, coal oil, fuel oil, paint thinner, or cleaning fluid
  • you have already been given activated charcoal
  • you are unconscious, semiconscious, very drowsy, severely drunk, or having seizures

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Slideshow: 10 Common Symptoms That Should Never Be Ignored

Before using ipecac syrup:

Some medical conditions may interact with ipecac syrup. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have heart disease, an impaired gag reflex, or seizures, or you are in shock

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with ipecac syrup. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Activated charcoal because it may decrease the effectiveness of ipecac syrup

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if ipecac syrup may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use ipecac syrup:

Use ipecac syrup as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Follow the directions for using ipecac syrup provided by a health care provider, doctor, emergency personnel, or poison control center.
  • Drink 1 to 2 glasses of water (8 to 16 ounces/240 to 480 mL) after taking ipecac syrup.
  • If vomiting does not occur within 30 minutes, repeat the dose. If the second dose does not cause vomiting, contact a health care provider immediately.
  • If you are unable to use ipecac syrup as prescribed, contact your doctor immediately.
  • If you miss a dose of ipecac syrup, contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use ipecac syrup.

Important safety information:

  • Ipecac syrup may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to ipecac syrup. Using ipecac syrup alone, with certain other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • Keep the patient active and moving after giving ipecac syrup.
  • Use ipecac syrup with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 12 months of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using ipecac syrup during pregnancy. It is unknown if ipecac syrup is excreted in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you are taking ipecac syrup, check with your doctor or pharmacist to discuss the risks to your baby.

Possible side effects of ipecac syrup:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; drowsiness; stomach cramps; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); continued vomiting; fast or irregular heartbeat.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center ( http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include blood in vomit or stools; chest or stomach pain; dizziness; fast or irregular heartbeat; loss of consciousness; nausea; seizures.

Proper storage of ipecac syrup:

Store ipecac syrup at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Keep ipecac syrup out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about ipecac syrup, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Ipecac syrup is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take ipecac syrup or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about ipecac syrup. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to ipecac syrup. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using ipecac syrup.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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