Actidose-Aqua

Name: Actidose-Aqua

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Actidose-Aqua (charcoal)?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to charcoal.

If possible, before you receive charcoal, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease; or

  • any type of serious illness.

If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.

It is not known whether charcoal is harmful to an unborn baby. Before you take charcoal, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether charcoal passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

In a poisoning or overdose situation, it may not be possible to tell your caregivers that you are pregnant or breast-feeding before you are treated with charcoal. However, make sure any doctor caring for your pregnancy or your baby knows that you have received the medication.

Do not give this medication to a child younger than 1 year old without the advice of a doctor.

How should I take Actidose-Aqua (charcoal)?

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take it in larger amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Take this medicine with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Do not crush, break, or chew a charcoal tablet or capsule. Swallow the pill whole.

Charcoal is usually taken after meals or at the first sign of stomach discomfort.

Stop taking charcoal and call your doctor if your diarrhea lasts longer than 2 days or you also have a fever.

Store charcoal at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

An overdose of charcoal is not likely to cause life-threatening symptoms.

Actidose-Aqua (charcoal) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Uses of Actidose-Aqua

  • It is used to treat some poisonings.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Actidose-Aqua?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take Actidose-Aqua. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take Actidose-Aqua or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to Actidose-Aqua. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to charcoal: compounding powder, oral capsule, oral delayed release tablet, oral granule for reconstitution, oral powder for reconstitution, oral suspension, oral tablet

Gastrointestinal

Gastrointestinal side effects have frequently included nausea and vomiting (13% to 30%) and constipation. Bowel obstruction, ileus, chalk like taste, perforation of the gastrointestinal tract and subsequent charcoal (the active ingredient contained in Actidose-Aqua) peritoneum, and black colored stools have also been reported.[Ref]

A young woman developed a surgically acute abdomen following orogastric lavage and charcoal administration. Laparotomy revealed charcoal throughout the peritoneum. Complications included peritonitis, adhesions, abscess formation, persistent peritoneal charcoal deposits, oophorectomy, and small bowel resection.

A case report has described charcoal bezoar and small bowel obstruction following administration of 30 to 60 g of activated charcoal via nasogastric tube every 4 to 6 hours for 5 days.

In a study of 275 patients, 18 years old or younger, 20.4% (56/275) experienced vomiting within < 1 to 120 minutes (mean of 10 minutes) following enteral administration of 1 g/kg (no more than 50 g) of activated charcoal for acute poison ingestion. The following risk factors for vomiting were identified: nausea, a vomiting occurrence prior to charcoal ingestion, presence of signs or symptoms of poisoning (exclusive of nausea &/or vomiting), age greater than 12 years, administration by nasogastric or orogastric tube, and ingestion of emetogenic drug or chemical.

Bowel obstruction and ileus have occurred with multiple-dose administration.

Although charcoal is tasteless, it adheres to the surfaces of the mouth and tongue, producing a chalk like taste that can be unpalatable.[Ref]

Metabolic

Metabolic side effects have included hypernatremia, hypermagnesemia. electrolyte abnormalities, dehydration, and shock.[Ref]

Metabolic side effects occur primarily when sorbitol is combined with charcoal. Multiple-dose activated charcoal has been associated with hypernatremia and hypermagnesemia.[Ref]

Respiratory

Respiratory side effects have included bronchiolitis obliterans, empyema, and Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.[Ref]

Bronchiolitis obliterans and empyema have occurred due to charcoal aspiration following emesis.

Accidental administration of charcoal directly into the lungs has resulted in Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome.[Ref]

Ocular

Ocular side effects have included corneal abrasions.[Ref]

Corneal abrasions may occur if charcoal comes in contact with eyes.[Ref]

Hematologic

Exacerbation of variegate porphyria may lead to increases in skin lesions, and urine and plasma porphyrins.[Ref]

Hematologic side effects have included exacerbation of variegate porphyria.[Ref]

Some side effects of Actidose-Aqua may not be reported. Always consult your doctor or healthcare specialist for medical advice. You may also report side effects to the FDA.

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