Charcoal

Name: Charcoal

What is charcoal?

Charcoal is used to treat stomach pain caused by excess gas, diarrhea, or indigestion.

Charcoal also is used to relieve itching related to kidney dialysis treatment and to treat poisoning or drug overdose.

Charcoal may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about charcoal?

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

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver or kidney disease, or any type of serious illness.

In a poisoning or overdose situation, it may not be possible before you are treated to tell your caregivers about any health conditions you have or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. However, make sure any doctor caring for you afterward knows that you have received this medication.

If you are taking charcoal at home to treat diarrhea, stop taking it and call your doctor if your diarrhea lasts longer than 2 days or you also have a fever.

Do not take charcoal with any other medicine. Take your dose of charcoal at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after a dose of any other medicine. Charcoal binds to other drugs and can make them less effective, which could become dangerous.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since charcoal is often taken only when needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are taking the medication regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What should I avoid while taking charcoal?

Do not take charcoal with any other medicine. Take your dose of charcoal at least 2 hours before or 1 hour after a dose of any other medicine. Charcoal binds to other drugs and can make them less effective, which could become dangerous.

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.

What other drugs will affect charcoal?

There may be other drugs that can interact with charcoal. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Side Effects

Consult your pharmacist.

In the US -

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Interactions

Consult your pharmacist.

Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.

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