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Charcoal, Activated


Related terms
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    Related terms
    • U.S. Brand Names: Actidose® with Sorbitol [OTC];Actidose®-Aqua [OTC];Char-Caps [OTC];Charcoal Plus® DS [OTC];CharcoCaps® [OTC];EZ-Char® [OTC];Kerr Insta-Char® [OTC];Requa® Activated Charcoal [OTC]
    • Canadian Brand Names: Charcadole®;Charcadole® TFS;Charcadole®, Aqueous
    • Mexican Brand Names: Carbotural
    • Pharmacologic Category: Antidote

    • This medicine is used to treat certain poisonings.
    • This medicine is used to relieve excess gas in the stomach.
    • Charcoal absorbs the poison and removes it from the body.
    • It absorbs gas.


    How to take

    • Poisoning:
    • This medicine will be given to you by a healthcare provider.
    • Gas:
    • Take this medicine after meals.
    • Swallow tablet or capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
    • Mix powder with water.
    • Mix with chocolate, cola, or fruit juice to improve taste.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as possible, after a meal.
    • If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your regular schedule.
    • Do not take a double dose or extra doses.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from moisture. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.



    • If you have an allergy to charcoal or any other part of this medicine.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Make sure to tell about the allergy and how it affected you. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other symptoms involved.
    • If you have any of the following conditions: Gastrointestinal bleeding or intestinal blockage.


    • Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Diarrhea.
    • Belly pain.
    • Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.
    • Constipation.


    • Change in condition being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Severe constipation.
    • Severe belly pain.
    • Severe nausea or vomiting.
    • Any rash.
    • No improvement in condition or feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a life-threatening allergy, wear allergy identification at all times.
    • Do not share your medicine with others and do not take anyone else's medicine.
    • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most medicines can be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada return any unused drugs back to the pharmacy. Also, visit for more facts about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your medicines (prescription, natural products, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter) with you. Give this list to healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist, physician assistant).
    • Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or in Canada to Health Canada's Canada Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with healthcare provider before starting any new medicine, including over-the-counter, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2010 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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