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COMMON INJURY/POISON :: First-Aid for Poisonings

Syrup of Ipecac

What is syrup of ipecac?

Syrup of ipecac is an emetic (an agent used to cause vomiting) made from the dried root of a plant called ipecacuanha, which is grown in Brazil.

New guidelines issued regarding ipecac:

Ipecac was once recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as an important aspect of first aid for poisoning, as long as it was used only on the advice of a physician or poison control center.

Now, the AAP has issued new guidelines for professionals at its 2003 annual meeting on the use of ipecac. The organization has asked its members to emphasize to parents to NOT use ipecac for poison control. The guidelines were published in the medical journal Pediatrics, as a result of growing evidence that ipecac use is not effective and can even interfere with other remedies for poison ingestion.

The AAP says the primary goal should be to prevent poisoning in the first place. The AAP recommends the following to parents:

  • Keep potential poisons out of sight and out of reach.
  • Always reengage child-resistant closures in the locked mode immediately after using a pharmaceutical or consumer product.
  • Never transfer a substance from its original to an alternate container.
  • Safely dispose of all unused and no longer needed medications.
  • Do not refer to medications as candy.
  • Post the poison control center number near the telephone. The universal telephone number in the United States is (800) 222-1222. Calls are routed to the local poison control center.

For more information on ipecac guidelines, see the Online Resources section for a link to the AAP.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Common Childhood Injuries & Poisonings

GR_ATP

It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
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