What is ipecac used for?
Ipecac is commonly used for causing vomiting in emergency situations (e.g., poisoning, overdose).
Ipecac syrup is an emetic. It works by irritating the stomach lining and stimulating the vomiting center of the brain.
How should I take ipecac?
Use ipecac syrup as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
Follow the directions for using ipecac syrup provided by a health care provider, doctor, emergency personnel, or poison control center.
Drink 1 to 2 glasses of water (8 to 16 ounces/240 to 480 mL) after taking ipecac syrup.
If vomiting does not occur within 30 minutes, repeat the dose. If the second dose does not cause vomiting, contact a health care provider immediately.
If you are unable to use ipecac syrup as prescribed, contact your doctor immediately.
How do I store ipecac?
Ipecac is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store ipecac in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of ipecac that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.
You should not flush ipecac down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Precautions & warnings
What should I know before using ipecac?
Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
- You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of ipecac or other medications.
- You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
- You have heart disease, an impaired gag reflex, or seizures, or you are in shock.
Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using ipecac during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking ipecac. Ipecac is pregnancy risk category C, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:
- A=No risk
- B=No risk in some studies
- C=There may be some risk
- D=Positive evidence of risk
What side effects can occur from ipecac?
Check with your doctor if any of these most common side effects persist or become bothersome:
- Stomach cramps
Seek medical attention right away if any of these severe side effects occur:
- Difficulty breathing
- Tightness in the chest
- Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue
- Continued vomiting
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.
What drugs may interact with ipecac?
Ipecac may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.
Product that may interact with this drug is activated charcoal because it may decrease the effectiveness of ipecac syrup.
Does food or alcohol interact with ipecac?
Ipecac may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.
What health conditions may interact with ipecac?
Ipecac may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using ipecac.
What is the dose of ipecac for an adult?
Ask your doctor for more information.
What is the dose of ipecac for a child?
The dosage has not been established in pediatric patients. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How is ipecac available?
Ipecac is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:
What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?
In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.
What should I do if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose of ipecac, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Ipecac. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/ipecac-syrup.html. Accessed August 2, 2017
Ipecac. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-157-ipecac.aspx?activeingredientid=157&activeingredientname=ipecac. Accessed August 2, 2017
Review Date: July 31, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019