Which medications in the drug class GI agents are used in the treatment of Cocaine Toxicity?

Updated: Dec 31, 2020
  • Author: Lynn Barkley Burnett, MD, EdD, JD; Chief Editor: Sage W Wiener, MD  more...
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GI agents

Whole-bowel irrigation with polyethylene glycol promotes the passage of cocaine packets through the GI tract. Activated charcoal may be empirically used to minimize systemic absorption of the toxin.

Polyethylene glycol (Colovage, CoLyte, GoLYTELY, NuLytely)

Laxative with strong electrolyte and osmotic effects. Cathartic actions in GI tract. May be indicated in treatment of cocaine ingestion in people who carry cocaine packages in their body. Must administer after activated charcoal. Liquid reconstituted per package instructions.

Activated charcoal (Liqui-Char)

Emergency treatment for absorption of drugs or chemicals. Network of pores adsorbs 100-1000 mg of drug per gram of charcoal. Does not dissolve in water. Some formulations also contain a cathartic.

For maximum effect, administer within 30 min of poison ingestion. Although value of multiple doses to treat acute drug ingestion not established, in some carefully considered situations, dose may be repeated at half original dose q2-6h until symptoms of toxicity subside, serum drug concentrations return to reference range (if initially elevated) or drug packets eliminated. Repeat doses should not contain cathartic.

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