- Current recommendations from American Academy of Clinical Toxicology
are against syrup of ipecac's use in the emergency department stating
that its administration may delay other more life-saving interventions.2
- Randomized controlled trial in adults compared syrup of ipecac and
activated charcoal with activated charcoal alone and found no difference
in symptoms or need for hospitalization between the two groups.
- Syrup of ipecac is mixture of two alkaloids, emetine & cephaeline,
which work at the brainstem's chemoreceptors to trigger nausea.
- Severe side effects of ipecac include cardiac conduction abnormalities
(a-fib and bradycardia), hypotension, and myocarditis. Administrations
is linked with increased risk of aspiration.
- Chronic dieting, a risk factor for bulimia, is associated with an
8 increase in relative risk for chronic ipecac administration.3
Young WF, Bivins HG. Evaluation of gastric emptying using radionuclides:
gastric lavage versus ipecac-induced emesis. Annals of Emergency
Medicine 1993; 22(9):1423-7.
Krenzelok EP, McGuigan M, Lheur P. Position statement: ipecac syrup.
American Academy of Clinical Toxicology; European Association of Poisons
Centers and Clinical Toxicologists. Journal of Toxicology -
Clinical Toxicology 1997; 35(7):699-709.
Story M, Rosenwinkel K, Himes JH, Resnick M, Harris LJ, Blum RW. Demographic
and risk factors associated with chronic dieting in adolescents. American
Journal of Diseases of Children 1991; 145(9):994-8.