To use all functions of this page, please activate cookies in your browser.
With an accout for my.chemeurope.com you can always see everything at a glance – and you can configure your own website and individual newsletter.
- My watch list
- My saved searches
- My saved topics
- My newsletter
Syrup of ipecac
Syrup of ipecac (derived from the dried rhizome and roots of the Ipecacuanha plant), is an emetic—a substance used to induce vomiting. It is used in cases of accidental poisoning, and is perhaps the best-known emetic. Ipecac was also used in cough mixtures as an expectorant and from the 18th until the early 20th century, Ipecac and opium were used to produce Dover's powder, which was used in syrup form.
Additional recommended knowledge
In children up to six months of age:
Children 6–12 months of age:
Children 1–12 years of age:
Adolescents and adults:
Vomiting typically happens within 15 to 20 minutes. If the patient has not vomited within 20 to 30 minutes, a second dose can be administered. Saving the vomit is recommended for medical inspection.
One recent scientific review (2005) by an expert panel concluded that vomiting alone does not reliably remove poisons from the stomach. The study suggested that indications for use of Ipecac syrup were rare and patients should be treated by more effective and safer means. Additionally, Ipecac’s potential side effects, such as lethargy, can be confused with the poison’s effects, complicating diagnosis. Ipecac may also delay the administration or reduce the effectiveness of other treatments such as activated charcoal, whole bowel irrigation, or oral antidotes. The current first-line treatment for most ingested poisons is now activated charcoal, which operates much more quickly and effectively than Ipecac treatment.
Although Ipecac was once recommended by pediatricians to be kept in the home, the current guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against keeping syrup of Ipecac in the home and in fact recommends disposal of any syrup of Ipecac present in the home.
The reason for this new policy was:
Mechanism of action
The actions of Ipecac are mainly those of its major alkaloids, emetine (methylcephalin) and cephalin. They both act locally by irritating the gastric mucosa and centrally by stimulating the medullary chemoreceptor trigger zone to induce vomiting.
Ipecac has been used by individuals with bulimia nervosa as a means to achieve weight loss. Repeated abuse is believed to cause damage to the heart, which can ultimately result in the user's death. It can also destroy teeth due to long term contact with stomach acid, as what generally happens in bulimics. The death of singer Karen Carpenter in 1983 has been popularly attributed to her abuse of Ipecac for weight control.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Syrup_of_ipecac". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|