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. 2004;42(3):243-53.
doi: 10.1081/clt-120039801.

Position Paper: Cathartics

No authors listed

Position Paper: Cathartics

No authors listed. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. .

Erratum in

  • J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2004;42(7):1000


The administration of a cathartic alone has no role in the management of the poisoned patient and is not recommended as a method of gut decontamination. Experimental data are conflicting regarding the use of cathartics in combination with activated charcoal. No clinical studies have been published to investigate the ability of a cathartic, with or without activated charcoal, to reduce the bioavailability of drugs or to improve the outcome of poisoned patients. Based on available data, the routine use of a cathartic in combination with activated charcoal is not endorsed. If a cathartic is used, it should be limited to a single dose in order to minimize adverse effects of the cathartic. A review of the literature since the preparation of the 1997 Cathartics Position Statement revealed no new evidence that would require a revision of the conclusions of the Statement.

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