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A black granular mass or fine powder prepared from soft charred wood.

In treating people who have ingested organic poisons, activated charcoal is given orally as a suspension in water, using 8 mL of diluent per gram of charcoal. This may be given to infants by using a nippled bottle. The dose is 1 to 2 g/kg of body weight. Superactivated charcoal is two to three times more effective (and therefore effective) than activated charcoal. Charcoal should be administered as soon as possible after intake of the toxin. It is contraindicated in patients who have ingested corrosive chemicals. Ionized chemicals, e.g., acids, alkalis, and salts of cyanide, iron, and lithium, are not well absorbed by charcoal.

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