Activated Charcoal (Toxiban®)
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Generic Name
Activated Charcoal

Brand Name
CharcoAid, Liqui-Char-Vet Aqueous Suspension, Toxiban

Type of Drug
Adsorbent/detoxification therapy

Form and Storage
Store in a tightly closed metal or glass container or in the manufacturer's supplied container.

Indications for Use
Treatment of certain poisoning and drug overdoses.

General Information
FDA approved for use in veterinary medicine. Available by prescription and over the counter. Finely ground charcoal is given to the patient by mouth to bind toxins in the stomach and intestines and pass them through the body without allowing them to be absorbed. Needs to be given soon after ingestion of the toxin. It is usually administered via a stomach tube. Some toxins such as acids and alkalis are poorly adsorbed by activated charcoal.

Usual Dose and Administration
Contact your veterinarian, as it does not help with all types of toxins.

Side Effects
May see vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. Feces will be black.

Do not give to a patient who is not fully conscious.

It is not an antidote. Supportive and symptomatic care is needed.

Do not use in case of ingestion of caustic substances or mineral acids.

Does not help with certain types of toxins such as alcohol, ethanol, or methanol.

Endoscopic evaluation will be inhibited after treatment with activated charcoal.

Use with caution to avoid aspiration of the charcoal.

Will stain fabrics black.

There are no known contraindications for using activated charcoal during pregnancy and lactation.

Drug or Food Interactions
Separate other oral medications/treatments by at least 3 hours or the absorption of the medication will be decreased.

Give after vomiting has been induced if vomiting is indicated for the type of poison ingested.

Dairy products and mineral oil will decrease the effectiveness of activated charcoal.

None known.


Activated charcoal is used orally to prevent the absorption of various toxins (e.g., insecticides, aspirin overdose) from the stomach and intestine. It must be given soon after the ingestion of the toxin/poison. It is not an antidote, and other supportive care and medications may be needed for the treatment of the poisoning.

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Keep this and all other medications out of the reach of children and pets.

If you think your pet has been poisoned...

Contact your veterinarian or one of the Animal Poison Hotlines (listed below) if you think your pet may have accidentally received or been given an overdose of the medication.

**ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center - 24-hour service available throughout North America.

1-888-4ANI-HELP (1-888-426-4435). $65.00 per case, billed to caller's credit card.

Follow-up calls can be made for no additional charge by dialing 888-299-2973.

There is no charge when the call involves a product covered by the Animal Product Safety Service.

**Pet Poison Helpline - 24-hour service available throughout North America for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance with treating a potentially poisoned pet.

1-800-213-6680 ($59.00 per incident). Staffed 24-hours a day.

Updated 6/20/17

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