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Generic Name: charcoal

It is used to absorb gases in the stomach that cause stomach gas
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What is this medicine?

CHARCOAL (CHAR kole) is a dietary supplement. It is used to absorb gases in the stomach that cause stomach gas. Do not use this supplement to treat poisonings or overdose. The FDA has not approved this supplement for any medical use.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • food or medicine poisoning
  • have frequent heartburn or gas
  • have recently traveled to another country
  • stomach or intestinal disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to charcoal, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the package label or use as directed by a health care provider. Do not take this medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • ipecac

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • acarbose
  • aripiprazole
  • birth control pills
  • carbamazepine
  • dapsone
  • digoxin
  • olanzapine
  • phenothiazines like chlorpromazine, mesoridazine, prochlorperazine, thioridazine
  • phenytoin
  • pindolol
  • some herbal medicines or dietary supplements
  • theophylline
  • ursodeoxycholic acid

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or healthcare professional if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. See your doctor if your symptoms last for 3 days.

Do not use this medicine to treat a poisoning or overdose. Get emergency help.

This medicine may bind to other medicines or dairy products in the stomach. Do not take any other medicines for at least 2 hours before or after taking this medicine. Do not eat or drink milk, cheese, or other diary for at least 2 hours before or after taking this medicine.

Herbal or dietary supplements are not regulated like medicines. Rigid quality control standards are not required for dietary supplements. The purity and strength of these products can vary. The safety and effect of this dietary supplement for a certain disease or illness is not well known. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

The Food and Drug Administration suggests the following to help consumers protect themselves:
  • Always read product labels and follow directions.
  • Natural does not mean a product is safe for humans to take.
  • Look for products that include USP after the ingredient name. This means that the manufacturer followed the standards of the US Pharmacopoeia.
  • Supplements made or sold by a nationally known food or drug company are more likely to be made under tight controls. You can write to the company for more information about how the product was made.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • constipation
  • dark stools
  • dark tongue
  • diarrhea or vomiting

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All visitors to AARP.org should seek expert medical care and consult their own physicians for any specific health issues. Read this disclaimer in its entirety.
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Note: This information is not intended to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions, or adverse effects for this drug. If you have question about the drug(s) you are taking, check with your health care professional.
 
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