European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 501–505 | Cite as

Comparative antidotal efficacy of activated charcoal tablets, capsules and suspension in healthy volunteers

  • H. P. Remmert
  • M. Olling
  • W. Slob
  • W. F. van der Giesen
  • A. van Dijk
  • A. G. Rauws


The efficacy of several formulations of activated charcoal (AC) was compared by measuring the intestinal absorption of a solution of 1 g paracetamol administered 2 min before administration of 5 g AC as suspension (200 ml), tablets (40 of 125 mg) or capsules (25 of 200 mg). The suspension medium without AC was used as the control treatment. Based on the results of a pilot experiment, an 8 subject panel was used in a two 4×4 Latin square design.

All treatments with AC resulted in a statistically significant decrease in paracetamol absorption compared to the control treatment. The suspension was considerably and significantly more effective than the tablets or capsules. Treatment with tablets was slightly but significantly more effective than capsules. The intake of large numbers of tablets and capsules was difficult.

In the hospital AC suspensions are available. For first aid elsewhere, at home, at the working place or in the general practitioner's surgery a preservable and easily redispersible AC formulation would be preferable to the present solid forms.

Key words

activated charcoal antidotal efficacy healthy volunteers formulation paracetamol 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. P. Remmert
    • 1
  • M. Olling
    • 1
  • W. Slob
    • 1
  • W. F. van der Giesen
    • 2
  • A. van Dijk
    • 3
  • A. G. Rauws
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Public Health and Environmental ProtectionBilthoven
  2. 2.State Institute of Medicines Control (RIGO)Leiden
  3. 3.Department of PharmacyUniversity Hospital Utrecht (AZU)Utrechtthe Netherlands

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