The initial management of acute poisoning includes attempts to prevent further absorption of the poison either by removing it from the gut, or rendering it unavailable for absorption. Activated charcoal can adsorb aspirin, paracetamol, barbiturates and certain other drugs in vitro1 and its oral administration has been used to treat self -poisoning.2 Activated charcoal is also widely used as a purifying and decolorising agent and in respirators to adsorb toxic gases.
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