Activated charcoal (By mouth)


Activated Charcoal (AK-ti-vay-ted CHAR-kole)

Treats certain types of poisonings. Also used for bloating and intestinal gas.

Brand Name(s)

Actidose-Aqua, CharcoCaps, EZ-Char, Kerr Insta-Char, Reese's Charcoal, Requa Activated Charcoal

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

How to Use This Medicine

Tablet, Granule, Powder, Liquid, Capsule

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • When used to treat poisoning, this product should be given by a health care professional, or given according to specific instructions from a health care professional. Do not give this medicine to someone who is not fully awake.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • When using the liquid form of this product, you may need to shake the product container for at least 30 seconds before using.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • There are many other drugs that can interact with activated charcoal products. Make sure your doctor knows about all other medicines you are using.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have any digestive problems such as a bowel obstruction or constipation. Tell your doctor if you have any intolerance to fructose (fruit sugar). Make sure your doctor knows about any medical conditions you have.
  • Do not use this medicine to treat poisoning unless you are told to do so by a doctor or poison control center. This product can be dangerous if used incorrectly when treating poisoning.
  • This product may cause dark or black stools.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • New or worsening abdominal pain, or severe constipation.
  • Severe diarrhea.

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Dark-colored urine, or urinating less often than usual.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 8/4/2014

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