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Syrup of Ipecac

What is syrup of ipecac?

Syrup of ipecac is an emetic (an agent used to cause vomiting) made from the dried root of a plant called ipecacuanha, which is grown in Brazil.

New guidelines issued regarding ipecac:

Ipecac was once recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as an important aspect of first aid for poisoning, as long as it was used only on the advice of a physician or poison control center.

Now, the AAP has issued new guidelines for professionals at its 2003 annual meeting on the use of ipecac. The organization has asked its members to emphasize to parents to NOT use ipecac for poison control. The guidelines were published in the medical journal Pediatrics, as a result of growing evidence that ipecac use is not effective and can even interfere with other remedies for poison ingestion.

The AAP says the primary goal should be to prevent poisoning in the first place. The AAP recommends the following to parents:

For more information on ipecac guidelines, see the Online Resources section for a link to the AAP.

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