Activated charcoal is often used as medicine to treat some diseases such as dyspeptic dyspepsia, flatulence, bloating and some other daily uses such as water filter, cosmetics production. Although it is considered as a cheap drug, it is always considered as priority in emergency, prevention of food poisoning, especially in treatment of toxic poisoning.

Activated charcoal is usually extracted from wood or from other organic residues such as coconut fiber and coconut shells, which are heated at 950 ° C in a rotary kiln. At this temperature, the carbon content of the chemical reaction with water vapor and some of the other chemicals present in the rotary kiln form the bulk of the cavity within the coal, forming a product known as activated carbon. . Thanks to that, activated carbon with very porous characteristics, very large surface area, occupying from 500-2,500 m2 / 1g products. With similar properties, the hollows, cracking of the IC are very strong absorption properties, because of the very large surface of active carbon, it has the ability to capture some substances on the surface (adsorption) , both inorganic and organic. Particularly, gases such as carbonic (CO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), ammonia … can absorb  50-100 times of  its mass.

Activated carbon is not toxic, when taken in it doesn’t  acclimated blood that excretes the body in feces (black). Activated carbon plays a key role in the management and treatment of food poisoning. Particularly active charcoal has been used by doctors at Bach Mai Hospital for emergency treatment, effective treatment of cases of toxic poisoning in Bac Kan and Tuyen Quang. Some guidelines for using activated carbon at food poisoning:

– Food poisoning caused by microorganisms and toxins: commonly used in the form of chewable tablets, capsules, sugar tablets, the dose commonly used from 62.5 to 125 mg/once x 2-3 times/day,  after meals, use for 4-5 days. In case of indigestion, adults can take 125mg/day x 2-3 times daily.

– Food poisoning due to chemicals: often used in the form of powder or emulsion.

+ Fine powder: adults use 50 grams, stir in 250 ml, shake well before drinking, can use catheter tube. In case of repeated heavy poisoning repeatedly from 25-50g, 4-5 hours apart. May take up to 48 hours, children consume 1g/kg body weight, severe cases can repeat 4-6 hours.

+ Emulsion: daily dose for adults is 200 ml, children 100 ml. The total amount used is in the range of 1-6 bottles or more, depending on the level of poisoning. If it is mild poisoning, just use a vial, but if heavy poisoning (metal …), may have to use 6 bottles or more.

– Food poisoning by poisonous mushrooms: adults use 1g/kg body weight, children 1-2 g/kg body weight. Severe case for activated charcoal multiple times (3 to 4 hours), taken with sorbitol (6 packs, children 2-4 packs). Activated carbon and sorbitol should be used for a minimum of 3 days.

Use activated charcoal in whatever form must be done as soon as possible, preferably within 1-3 hours after the poison is into the body. The drug will no longer work when the poison is absorbed into the blood. Therefore, when the poison is suspected, it should be taken immediately.

Activated charcoal is not toxic but note the side effects from other medicinal ingredients when using a pharmaceutical form, so read the instructions carefully before use, or consult your doctor. If you drink too much activated carbon can cause constipation, nausea, vomiting, please note the following:

– Do not use activated charcoal regularly and for a long time because when using, gastrointestinal tract activated charcoal not only linked the toxins but also reduced the effect of many substances beneficial to the body (enzymes , Vitamins, amino acids …)

Do not drink activated charcoal at the same time with other drugs, it should be taken apart by about 2 hours, because the active rod is capable of absorbing generic drugs, which reduces the absorption of drugs into the blood and makes the drug less effective

– Not used in patients with coma, seizures, people who drink gasoline, chemicals with iron, acid or strong alkaline.

– Not for children under the age of two.

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