Homeopathic remedy is under the branch of alternative medicine. It was established in Germany over 200 years ago. This kind of treatment administers highly diluted solutions to an individual for the purpose of promoting the same effect as the illness being treated. The Ipecac Syrup is a homeopathic remedy and is part of the home remedies to treat poison ingestion.
The Ipecac syrup came from drying the rhizome and the roots of the flowering plant Carapichea ipecacuanha or simply called Ipecacuanha. The word Ipecacuanha means “roadside sick-making plant”. This is a Tupian word from the Tupian language used by the Tupi people, a native group of Brazil that existed in the 16th to the 18th centuries.
What is Ipecac Syrup?
The syrup of Ipecac is a medicine utilized to promote vomiting. It is an emergency measure to help drain the stomach contents of a poisoned or an overdosed person. The Ipecac plant’s root derivative in its simple undiluted form is considered to be poisonous. However, its weak preparation, such as the Ipecac syrup, was made to stimulate immediate vomiting and is used for health and medical purposes specifically the treatment of poisoning. This emetic facilitates vomiting by irritating the linings of the stomach. When these linings are provoked it will then stimulate the vomiting center of the brain that will result to vomiting.
The modern world still uses the Ipecac syrup as an emergency home treatment for cases of poisoning. However, Poison Centers and Poison Control services advocate calling their emergency line before using this alternative due their potential harm when used inappropriately. Ipecac can be purchased in half and 1 ounce bottles with no need for prescription. A doctor’s prescription would only be required when buying Ipecac Syrups that are over one ounce in quantity. Although it is certified to be very effective in inducing vomiting, the solution is not recommended as a weight loss management.
- The Ipecac Syrup may also be used as a remedy for nausea and vomiting.
- It may also alleviate stomach problems that include continuous salivation.
- It may also relieve asthma and cough that needs vomiting.
The Ipecac syrup should not be used during the following situations:
- It should not be given when the individual is having seizures, feels very drowsy, severely drunk, and semiconscious as well as when unconscious.
- It should not be used if you have taken any of the following substances: acids, lye, gasoline, kerosene, strychnine, cleaning fluid, paint thinner, coal oil, or fuel oil.
- The Ipecac syrup should not be taken if you’re allergic to any of the ingredients indicated in the package.
- Ipecac is not recommended when you are driving or operating machineries.
- Do not take Ipecac syrup if you are taking activated charcoal or when activated charcoal has already been administered as an emergency treatment.
- Do not administer this preparation if the patient is in shock.
Just like any other medication, there are certain precautionary measures before taking Ipecac. The Ipecac syrup may provide adverse reactions with certain medical conditions. You should consult your doctor prior to taking Ipecac especially when:
- The patient is under the age of 12 months.
- You are breastfeeding or pregnant. Even patients who are planning to become pregnant should consult their doctor before taking the medication.
- You are using dietary supplements, herbal treatments or any other medications.
- You have allergies to the following: certain foods, medicines and other substances.
- You have heart problems, seizure disorders or gag reflex disorder.
Be sure to use this preparation as prescribed by your doctor and as advised by the label.
- The Ipecac syrup should be taken after drinking 1 to 2 glasses of water and administered while the person is sitting in an upright position with his head positioned forward. Do not take this preparation with soda, milk or juice.
- When vomiting was not induced by the syrup within half an hour, you may repeat the dosage. However, when the second dose does not work, you must call your doctor or seek emergency help.
- When vomiting had occurred, you may use a heating pad to relax or calm the stomach and the intestines.
- If Ipecac cannot be taken as specified by the safety measures, call your doctor or seek medical help.
- When Ipecac has been taken, you should encourage yourself to move and stay active.
- In cases of Ipecac overdose call the poison control center immediately.
Although Ipecac has little to no side effects aside from its intended purpose, it may still give negative reactions. It may provide drowsiness, diarrhea, stomach ache or cramps, severe allergic reactions, fast or irregular heartbeats or unrelenting vomiting. If any of these are experienced, call you doctor immediately.