Effect of delayed administration of activated charcoal on nortriptyline absorption

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1978 Dec 18;14(6):445-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00716388.


Activated charcoal is known to reduce the absorption of therapeutic doses of nortriptyline in vivo when administered 30 min after drug ingestion. In a group of volunteers, one sachet (10 g) of a new activated charcoal preparation, 'Medicoal' was found to produce a highly significant reduction in nortriptyline absorption when given as long as four hours after nortriptyline dosing. Activated charcoal may therefore be useful in the treatment of tricyclic antidepressant poisoning even if a delay of several hours ensues before medical help is sought.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Charcoal / pharmacology*
  • Depression, Chemical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Nortriptyline / metabolism*


  • Charcoal
  • Nortriptyline