Sorbitol Side Effects
It is possible that some side effects of sorbitol may not have been reported. These can be reported to the FDA here. Always consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.
For the Consumer
Applies to sorbitol: solution
Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur while taking sorbitol:
Anal irritation; diarrhea; gas; nausea; stomach cramps.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); continuing constipation; dizziness; rectal bleeding; sudden weight gain; unusual swelling; vomiting; weakness.
For Healthcare Professionals
Applies to sorbitol: compounding powder, irrigation solution, oral liquid
Gastrointestinal side effects have included sudden severe abdominal bloating, abdominal cramping, vomiting, and osmotic diarrhea.
Metabolic side effects have included reports of hypernatremia. These reports have primarily been associated with multiple administrations of activated charcoal sorbitol preparations.
One case study describes a 37-year-old patient who presented with phencyclidine intoxication. The patient was given four doses of activated charcoal in sorbitol and 1 dose of magnesium citrate over a 12-hour period of time. Lab results showed an increase in the serum sodium from 138 mmol/L to 165 mmol/L. The hypernatremia continued to worsen after the magnesium citrate was discontinued. It was felt that the increase was due to the repeated sorbitol administration. Other adult cases of hypernatremia secondary to activated charcoal-sorbitol regimens have been reported in the literature.
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