What is syrup of ipecac?
Syrup of ipecac is an over-the-counter medicine that makes people throw up. People used to use it to treat poisonings, but health care providers no longer recommend using ipecac.
What are the effects of syrup of ipecac?
Syrup of ipecac will make you throw up, but it will not stop the harmful effects of a poison. Throwing up can also cause problems:
- Some harmful items become very dangerous if you throw them up (for example, acids, gasoline and oils).
- Throwing up may delay other helpful treatments.
- Throwing up can dehydrate you.
What can you do to treat poisonings instead of using ipecac?
- If someone has swallowed something that may be harmful, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 or chat now.
- If it would take you more than an hour to get to the nearest hospital in bad weather, consider buying activated charcoal for your home. When you call the poison center, we will tell you if you need to use it.
- Always call the poison center before using activated charcoal.