Ipecac Syrup: Uses, Precautions, Side Effects And More

Ipecac is a syrup used to expel the poison from the mouth (by vomiting) in some poisonings.

It is very important to use it carefully, as the side effects of the syrup can be very severe.

This syrup should not be used if abrasives such as acids, petroleum distillates such as strychnine, alkalis (caustic soda), gasoline, coal oil, fuel oil, thinner or cleaning fluid are swallowed.

If you use this syrup in the above-mentioned situations, it can cause seizures and additional injuries to the throat, even pneumonia.

You should not use Ipecac Syrup as a weight loss medicine.

If you use it for such a purpose, it can cause serious heart problems and even death.

More than 1 ounce of ipecac syrup is available by prescription only, while ipecac syrup, available in ½ and 1-ounce bottles, can be purchased without a prescription.

If you are going to use ipecac syrup, inform the poison control center, emergency service or your doctor about this situation.

What should be considered in the use of ipecac syrup?

You should discuss this with your doctor before using the medicine. When using the syrup, attention should be paid to the following:

  • Allergies – If you have used this medicine or any other medicine in the past and have experienced an allergic reaction, tell your doctor about this. If you are allergic to preservatives, paints, animals or food, inform your doctor about this as well.
  • Pediatric – Be sure to consult your doctor before using the medicine, as young children and infants are at risk of choking on their own vomit (or vomiting into their lungs).
  • Geriatric – Studies have shown that this drug does not cause different side effects in elderly people.

Can You Use Ipecac Syrup While Breastfeeding?

Studies have shown that this syrup poses a minimum risk to babies when used during lactation in pregnant women.

Drug Interactions

While the syrup can interact with some drugs, it can be used in combination with some drugs. If you are using prescription or over-the-counter medications, be sure to tell your doctor about the list of these medications.

If you are going to use this medicine after tobacco and alcohol consumption, inform your doctor about this.

Other Medical Issues

Certain diseases may make the use of this drug risky.

Be sure to inform your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Heart disease: The use of this syrup can cause your heart to beat fast, which may pose a risk to heart patients.

How to Use Ipecac Syrup?

If your doctor has prescribed this medicine for you, you should use the medicine as your doctor has told you.

Do not increase or decrease the dose of the drug unless the doctor recommends it.

Overuse of the drug can cause serious damage to the muscles and heart, and may even result in death.

Do not give Ipecac syrup to people who are very sleepy or unconscious, as the vomit may enter the lungs and cause pneumonia.

The dose of syrup can be different in different people. Be sure to follow the Label on the medicine or your doctor’s instructions.

It should not be forgotten that the doses below are only the average dose of the drug, if your doctor has determined your dose, you should make sure that you take the doses your doctor says, not the doses below.

The standard dosage of this medicine is listed below:

  • Adults – 15 to 30 millimeters (1 to 2 tablespoons) followed by 240 mL (full glass) of water. If vomiting does not occur, the same dose can be repeated once after 20-30 minutes.
  • Children aged 1 to 12 years – The usual dose is 15mL (1 tablespoon). Half or one full glass of water should be drunk before or after the dose. If vomiting does not occur, the same dose can be repeated once after 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Children 6 months to 1 year old – The usual dose is 5 or 10 mL (1 or 2 teaspoons). Half or one full glass of water should be drunk before or after the dose. If vomiting does not occur, the same dose can be repeated once after 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Children up to 6 months – Children up to 6 months: Children up to 6 months should be given Ipecac syrup only on doctor’s orders.

Avoid taking this medication with dairy products, milk, or carbonated products.

Fizzy drinks may cause stomach bloating, while milk or dairy products may prevent this medicine from working.

If vomiting does not occur after the first dose, wait 20 or 30 minutes, then take the second dose.

If vomiting does not occur again, contact an emergency room without waiting.

How Should The Syrup Be Stored?

The syrup should be stored at room temperature with its mouth closed, away from heat and moisture, and away from direct sunlight.

It should be kept out of reach of children as it may pose a risk to children.

You should not store an opened bottle of ipecac for too long as the medicine may evaporate after a while.

What Are The Side Effects Of Ipecac Syrup?

Some side effects of this medicine can be serious and require medical attention.

The side effects listed below may occur in the use of ipecac drug:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting (30 minutes or more)
  • Stomach aches and cramps
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Weakness, stiffness and pain of the muscles in the neck, arms and legs

There is also the possibility of side effects not listed above.

If these side effects occur, you should contact the hospital without waiting.

You can also report these side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

How Is Food Poisoning Diagnosed?

The symptoms of many types of food poisoning are as follows:

  • Siarrhea or bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Fever and headache

Food poisoning is usually caused by parasites, bacteria and viruses. In addition, harmful chemicals are in some cases a cause of food poisoning.

How To Prevent Food Poisoning?

You can prevent food poisoning by storing food in the right environment, checking the expiration date, washing and eating foods thoroughly, and cooking them correctly.

If you have a cold, our article about the DayQuil drug may also catch your attention.


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