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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FDA Poisonous Plant Database

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AUTHOR(S): Gaudreault, P.; McCormick, M. A.; Lacourture, P. G.; Lovejoy, F. H. Jr
TITLE: Poison exposures and use of ipecac in children less than 1 year old.
YEAR: 1986 CITATION: Ann Emerg Med, 15(7), 808-810 [English]
FDA #: F21874
ABSTRACT: Poison exposures in children less than 1 year old and the safety and efficacy of syrup of ipecac in children 9 to 12 months old were evaluated in a prospective eight-month study conducted at the Massachusetts Poison Control Center. Poison exposures in children less than 1 year old represented approximately 9% of the 38,080 calls received. Mobile children (in walkers, crawling, or walking) were at the greatest risk of poisoning. The majority of children (94%) were asymptomatic and none were hospitalized or died. The products involved were primarily plants (38%) and household products (30%). All 21 patients, ages 9 to 12 months, were given 10 mL syrup of ipecac under medical supervision and vomited within one hour. The mean time to vomit was 21.7 (SEM +/- 2.8) minutes. The patients vomited 3.3 (SEM +/- 0.3) times and all episodes of vomiting abated by 26.4 (SEM +/- 6.6) minutes. No significant side effects were noted. The use of the syrup of ipecac in the 9- to 12-month-old child appears to be safe and effective.