Activated charcoal consists of fine particles of low mineral content which meet BP specifications for adsorbence. When we discussed it in 19741 we concluded that the treatment of acute poisoning by haemoperfusion or an oral adsorbent needed further study, but since charcoal was harmless and cheap it was recommended for all overdoses. Since then, an effervescent activated charcoal (Medicoal - Lundbeck) has been introduced and activated charcoal is now included in an official list of drugs of special value in the treatment of acute poisoning.2
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