CHARCOAL, ACTIVATED            Actidose-Aqua 



BRAND NAME: Charcoal, Actidose-Aqua CLASS: Adsorbent, Gastrointestinal agent

Mechanism of Action:


Physical binding (adsorption) of poisons from GI tract.

Clinical effects:

Prevents/reduces systemic absorption of poisons. Indications and Field Use:

Sole prehospital therapy of oral ingestion of poisons Pre- lavage of oral ingestions of poison substances


Ingestion of caustics (risk of gastrointestinal hemorrhage) Ingestion of hydrocarbons (relative) Oral administration to comatose patient Simultaneous administration of other oral drugs

Absence of bowel sounds Gastrointestinal perforation Intestinal obstruction Recent surgery

Adverse Reactions:

May provoke vomiting, diarrhea and constipation May worsen overdosed induced Ileus Pulmonary aspiration Fecal discoloration (black)

Acute pancreatitis


Incompatibilities/Drug Interactions:

Ineffective for iron, lithium, heavy metals, and other
ions May reduce the effectiveness of other treatments (Mucomyst) in pure acetaminophen OD's. Since charcoal bonds with whatever it is mixed with, flavoring with drinks reduces effectiveness.

Adult Dosage:

50-100 Gm (1-2 Gm/kg) as a single initial dose; if not in pre- mixed slurry, mix one part charcoal with four parts water.

Pediatric Dosage:

0.5 -1 Gm/kg; if not in pre-mixed slurry, mix one part charcoal with four parts water.

Routes of Administration: Oral (po), nasogastric tube (ng), orogastric (og)

Onset of Action:


Peak Effects:

Not applicable

Duration of Action:

Dependent upon GI function; acts until excreted

Dosage Forms/Packaging:

Powder Pre-mixed slurries of 15, 25, and 50 Gms Pre-mixed

tubes of 25 Gms

Arizona Drug Box Supply:

PARAMEDIC: Optional 50 gm.

Special Notes:

> Charcoal mixture should not contain sorbitol; carefully read label of exchange supply. 

© Matt Dillard 2012