Activated Charcoal: Uses, Dosage, Price, Side Effects, Precautions & More

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated Charcoal is a fine black powder made from

  • bone char,
  • coconut shells,
  • peat,
  • petroleum coke,
  • coal,
  • olive pits or sawdust.

‘Activation’ with gases at high temperature removes previously adsorbed substances and further reduces particle size, resulting in an exceptionally porous final product.

This results in a charcoal that is more porous than regular charcoal.

Manufactured By – West-Coast Pharmaceutical Works Ltd

Buy & Get Minimum 20% Discount: 1mg | Medlife

Uses of Activated Charcoal

  • Alleviates gas & bloating.
  • Treats alcohol poisoning & helps prevent hangovers.
  • Digestive cleansing property.
  • Teeth whitening
Also Read: Nitrofurantoin Uses | Penicillamine Uses

How does Activated Charcoal work?

The tremendous surface area and pores in Activated Charcoal permits the binding of many drugs and toxins in those pores from the digestive tract, reducing their systemic absorption.

Activated Charcoal Price in India

SpecificsActivated Charcoal Price
100 gm PowderRs 200
Also Read: Septillin Price | Stugeron Price

How to Take Activated Charcoal?

  • Activated Charcoal is generally available in the form of tablets or powder.
  • Tablets are generally swallowed with a glass of water.
  • When taken as a powder, activated charcoal may be mixed with water or a non-acidic juice.

Common Dosage for Activated Charcoal?

The drug dosage is decided by the healthcare professional based upon:

age and body weight of the patient

health status/medical condition of the patient

severity of the poisoning or disease

reaction to the first dose

history of allergy/drug reactions

Also Read: Promethazine Dosage  | Pyrimethamine Dosage

When to Avoid Activated Charcoal?

  • Activated Charcoal should be avoided or used with caution in following patients:
  • Patients with allergy to any of its components
  • Patients with altered mental status
  • Patients facing a difficulty in swallowing food

Side-effects of Activated Charcoal:

Common side effects with Activated Charcoal include:

  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting

In addition, it may also cause some allergic or unwanted effects. In such cases, seek medical attention immediately.

Reported Allergic Reactions?

Report to your doctor if you are allergic to the ingredients of Activated Charcoal :

Signs of allergic reaction include:

Rashes/itching of skin

Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat

Drug Interactions to Be Careful About

  • Drug interactions refer to effect of drugs on one another and on human body following ingestion.
  • Large numbers of medicines have shown interaction with other drugs resulting in decreased therapeutic results and increased chances of side effects.
  • The patient must always inform the doctor of all the medicines, over the counter products and vitamin supplements being used along with Activated Charcoal.
  • All the possible drug interactions might not be listed here. Few important drug interactions with Activated Charcoal include:
  • Drugs used for constipation (such as sorbitol or magnesium citrate).
  • Acetaminophen
  • Digoxin
  • Theophylline
  • Antidepressants


Is Activated Charcoal addictive?

  • No such addictive tendency has been reported.

Can I have Activated Charcoal with alcohol?

  • Interaction of alcohol with Activated Charcoal is unkown.
  • Consult your doctor before administering alcohol along with Activated Charcoal.

Any particular food item to be avoided?

  • No such interaction with food products seen.

Can I have Activated Charcoal when pregnant?

  • Activated Charcoal is probably safe to use during pregnancy.
  • Always communicate with your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant for case specific recommendations.

Can I have Activated Charcoal when feeding a baby?

  • Nursing mothers are advised to use Activated Charcoal with caution as it is not known whether the drug excretes in breast milk or not.
  • Always inform your doctor before if you are breast-feeding your child.

Can I drive after taking Activated Charcoal?

  • Few patients on Activated Charcoal may experience side effects like abdominal pain.
  • Caution must be exercised in such patients while driving.

What happens if I overdose on Activated Charcoal?

  • If anyone is suspected of an over-dosage, seek medical attention immediately.

What happens if I take expired Activated Charcoal?

  • Taking a single expired dose of Activated Charcoal may not cause any major adverse effect. However, the potency of the medicine reduces after expiry date.
  • To be on the safer side, always check and never use an expired drug.

What happens if I miss a dose of Activated Charcoal?

  • If a dose has been missed, always administer the missed dose as soon as you remember it.
  • But, if it is already time for the next dose- do not take double the dose to make up for the missed dose.

Storage of Activated Charcoal

Stored at room temperature away from direct sunlight and heat.

Keep medicines away from children and pets.

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