Low‐Volume Whole Bowel Irrigation and Salicylate Absorption: A Comparison With Ipecac‐Charcoal

Keith M. Olsen, Frank H. Ma, Bruce H. Ackerman, Richard E. Stull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Study Objective. To evaluate two methods of gastrointestinal decontamination, low‐volume whole bowel irrigation (WBI) and activated charcoal, for their ability to prevent absorption of salicylate. Design. Randomized, two‐phase crossover study. Setting. A clinical research unit in a university‐based teaching hospital. Patients. Six healthy, volunteer men. Interventions. Subjects were assigned to receive 3000 ml WBI or syrup of ipecac 30 ml followed by activated charcoal 50 g in sorbitol, and were crossed over to the other treatment phase after 1 week. All treatments began 30 minutes after ingestion of 3.25 g aspirin. Urine was collected over 24 hours for analysis of total urinary excretion of salicylate. Serial blood samples were collected for salicylate determination and were subjected to pharmacokinetic analysis. Measurements and Main Results. Mean ± SD recovery of salicylate were WBI 48.6 ± 5.4% and ipecac‐charcoal 37.0 ± 2.6% from urine (p<0.01). Conclusion. Ipecac‐charcoal produced a significantly lower salicylate absorption (peak concentration, AUC) than WBI (p<0.01) and thus was superior to low‐volume WBI. 1993 Pharmacotherapy Publications Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-232
Number of pages4
JournalPharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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