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Dr. Meckler,

I can't put my hand on the paper I'm thinking of, but I believe the
majority opinion in the toxicology community is:

NO cathartics in small kids (no proven benefit; case reports of severe
electrolyte abnormalities).

Single dose of cathartics not recommended but are permissible in
teenagers/adults (no proven benefit, but risk is low).  Multiple doses
of cathartics not recommended.

1997 position paper of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology
supports the above (Clin Toxicol 1997;35(7): 743-52).

Eric Lavonas, MD
Emergency Medicine, Toxicology, Hyperbaric Medicine
Carolinas Medical Center
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-----Original Message-----
From: Pediatric Emergency Medicine Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Garth Meckler
Sent: Thursday, January 04, 2007 2:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Charcoal with Sorbitol

Does anyone have any evidence that sorbitol added to charcoal for GI
decontamination has a role in pediatrics?
Our division has been debating the topic - it seems that sorbitol only
makes a mess for parents and I am not aware 
of proven benefit in young children.  Thoughts?

Garth Meckler, MD, MSHS
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
Oregon Health and Science University

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