Emetics are used to induce vomiting in a person who has ingestedtoxic substances. Ipecac syrup is used to induce vomiting in early management of oral poinsoning or drug overdose.
The use of ipecac syrup has become controversial, however, be-cause it delays the use of activated charcoal. There’s a risk of po-tential abuse by individuals with eating disorders. The American Academy of Pediatrics no longer recommends the routine use of ipecac syrup. The first action parents or caregivers should take if a child has ingested a poisonous substance is to call the poison control center and emergency medical services.
Little information exists concerning the absorption, distribution, and excretion of ipecac syrup. After administration of ipecac syrup, vomiting occurs within 10 to 30 minutes.
The success of treatment is directly linked to fluid intake with ipecac administration.
Ipecac syrup induces vomiting by stimulating the vomiting center located in the brain’s medulla.
Ipecac syrup is used to induce vomiting in the early management of oral poisoning and drug overdose in individuals who are fully conscious. It shouldn’t be used after ingestion of petroleum prod-ucts, volatile oils, or caustic substances, such as lye, because of the risk of additional esophageal injury or aspiration.
Because ipecac syrup is used only in acute situations, drug inter-actions rarely occur. If poisoning results from ingestion of a phe-nothiazine, the phenothiazine’s antiemetic effect may decrease the emetic effect of ipecac syrup. Ipecac syrup shouldn’t be adminis-tered concurrently with activated charcoal, which will absorb and inactivate it. (See Adverse reactions to ipecac syrup.)