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Charcoal, Activated


Related terms
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    Related terms
    • Brand Names: U.S.: Actidose® with Sorbitol [OTC];Actidose®-Aqua [OTC];Charcoal Plus® DS [OTC];CharcoCaps® [OTC];EZ-Char® [OTC];Kerr Insta-Char® in Aqueous Base [OTC];Kerr Insta-Char® in Sorbitol Base [OTC];Requa® Activated Charcoal [OTC]
    • Brand Names: Canada: Charac-25 [OTC];Charac-50 [OTC];Charactol-25 [OTC];Charactol-50 [OTC];Charcodote Susp [OTC];Charcodote TFS [OTC];Charcodote-Aqueous Sus;Premium Activated Charcoal [OTC]

    • It is used to treat some poisonings.
    • It is used to ease too much gas in the stomach.
    • Charcoal takes in the poison and gets rid of it from the body.
    • It takes in gas.


    How to take

    • Poisoning:
    • This drug will be given to you by a doctor.
    • Gas:
    • Take after meals.
    • Swallow tablet or capsule whole. Do not chew, break, or crush.
    • Take with a full glass of water.
    • Mix powder with water.
    • Mix with chocolate, cola, or fruit juice to make it taste better.

    Missed Dose

    • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it, after a meal.
    • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
    • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.


    • Store at room temperature.
    • Protect capsules and tablets from water. Do not store in a bathroom or kitchen.



    • If you have an allergy to charcoal or any other part of this drug.
    • Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs. Make sure to tell about the allergy and what signs you had. This includes telling about rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
    • If you have any of these health problems: GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding or intestinal block.


    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Check all drugs you are taking with your doctor. This drug may not mix well with some other drugs.
    • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.
    • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

    Side Effects

    • Belly pain.
    • Upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Hard stools (constipation).
    • Loose stools (diarrhea).


    • Change in the health problem being treated. Is it better, worse, or about the same?

    Contact a healthcare provider

    • Signs of a very bad reaction to the drug. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue or gray skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.
    • Very hard stools (constipation).
    • Very bad belly pain.
    • Very upset stomach or throwing up.
    • Any rash.
    • Side effect or health problem is not better or you are feeling worse.

    General Statements

    • If you have a very bad allergy, wear an allergy ID at all times.
    • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
    • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
    • Most drugs may be thrown away in household trash after mixing with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealing in a plastic bag.
    • In Canada, take any unused drugs to the pharmacy. Also, visit to learn about the right way to get rid of unused drugs.
    • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
    • Call your doctor for help with any side effects. If in the U.S., you may also call the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or if in Canada, you may also call Health Canada's Vigilance Program at 1-866-234-2345.
    • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including OTC, natural products, or vitamins.

    Author information
    • Copyright © 1978-2013 Lexi-Comp Inc. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (

    The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

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