[Measures to reduce absorption in the treatment of intoxications]

I de Vries, G A van Zoelen, A J H van Riel, J Meulenbelt
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2005 December 31, 149 (53): 2964-8
New guidelines on gastrointestinal decontamination in overdose situations have been published. In cases of serious and potentially life-threatening intoxication, gastric lavage can be performed up to 1 hour after ingestion. It should not be considered as routine treatment. If a patient has ingested a potentially toxic amount of a poison which is known to be absorbed by charcoal, single-dose activated charcoal in powder form may be considered up to 1 hour after ingestion. After ingestion of a potentially lethal amount of a toxin that is travelling through the enterohepatic or entero-enteral circulation, multiple-dose activated charcoal can be considered. The efficacy of carbamazepine, theophylline, quinine, dapsone and phenobarbital has been proven. In the treatment of potentially life-threatening intoxications with sustained-release preparations or drug-filled packages, particularly after ingestion of substances that do not bind to activated charcoal, whole bowel irrigation can be considered. Only ifdefaecation is insufficient should administration of a laxative together with activated charcoal be considered.

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