Activated Charcoal Paste
Activated charcoal is a substance used for the emergency treatment of oral poisonings or suspected poisonings in dogs and cats. The finely ground charcoal binds toxins in the gastrointestinal tract and passes them through the body without allowing absorption. Activated charcoal needs to be given (usually by stomach tube) as soon as possible after the toxin is ingested. Activated charcoal is available as granules, gel, paste or suspension. It may also be combined with other ingredients such as sorbitol, and/or kaolin to increase its efficacy.
WHAT IS THIS DRUG?
- An adsorbent or detoxification therapy
- FDA approved for use in dogs and cats
- Given by mouth
REASONS FOR PRESCRIBING:
- To treat accidental poisonings of some drugs or toxins (insecticides, herbicides, organic chemicals, ‘garbage poisoning’, etc.)
WHAT PETS SHOULD NOT TAKE THIS MEDICATION?
- Pets with ileus or an intestinal obstruction, or those receiving oral chemotherapy
- Unconscious patients
- Patients who have ingested caustic substances (bleach, lye) or mineral acids
- Not effective against certain types of toxins (alcohols, lead, arsenic, mercury and other heavy metals)
- Pets known to have had a prior allergic reaction or are hypersensitive to Activated charcoal
Consult with your veterinarian before giving Activated charcoal to your pet. Activated charcoal is not effective with all types of toxins.
If your pet is unable to swallow, this product should be given by stomach tube at your veterinarian’s clinic.
Depending upon the type of toxin ingested, your pet may need to be induced to vomit. Activated charcoal should be given after your pet has vomited.
This product is not an antidote so your pet will still need supportive care (intravenous fluids, medications, etc. ) to address the many serious symptoms associated with poisoning.
Give this medication as directed by your veterinarian. Read and follow the label carefully.
Give the exact amount prescribed and only as often as directed.
Ensure that no charcoal is aspirated (breathed in).
The dosage may need to be repeated several times. Consult with your veterinarian to establish what is best for your pet’s situation. Watch your pet closely.
WHAT IF DOSE IS MISSED?
STORAGE AND WARNINGS:
Store at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Keep from freezing.
Fabrics in contact with Activated charcoal will stain black.
Keep this and all medication out of reach of children and pets.
POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS:
- Vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, constipation, low blood pressure
- Feces will be black
- Aspiration of Activated charcoal may cause respiratory obstruction and have potentially fatal consequences. Ensure pets are conscious enough to protect their airway.
- If your pet shows any unusual symptoms or behaviors, stop therapy and contact your veterinarian immediately.
CAN THIS DRUG BE GIVEN WITH OTHER DRUGS?
- Yes, but possible interactions may occur with dairy products and mineral oil
- Give Activated charcoal after vomiting has been induced if vomiting is indicated for the type of toxin ingested
- Other oral medications and treatments should be given at least 3 hours after this medication is given to ensure proper absorption
- If your pet experiences any unusual reactions when taking multiple medications, contact your veterinarian
WHAT TO TELL/ASK VETERINARIAN BEFORE GIVING MEDICATION?
Talk to your veterinarian about:
- When will your pet need to be rechecked
- What tests may need to be performed prior to and during treatment with this drug
- Risks and benefits of using this drug
Tell your veterinarian about:
- If your pet has experienced side-effects on other drugs/products
- If your pet has experienced digestive upset now or ever
- If your pet has experienced liver or kidney disease now or ever
- If your pet has experienced any other medical problems or allergies now or ever
- All medicines and supplements that you are giving your pet, including those you can get without a prescription.
- If your pet is pregnant or nursing
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
Notify your veterinarian if your animal's condition does not improve or worsens despite this treatment.
This is just a summary of information about Activated charcoal. If you have any questions or concerns about Activated charcoal or for the condition it was prescribed, contact your veterinarian.