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Abstract

In 1965, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of ipecac for over-the-counter sale. For years, ipecac remained on the list of “must have” items for households with small children. Typically, Ipecac was used to administer an emetic quickly before reaching the emergency room or to prevent the patient from having to be referred to a medical facility. In 2004, new ipecac guidelines were published stating that the routine stocking and use of ipecac would no longer be recommended. The new guidelines would change what had been accepted for decades. Though Ipecac is no longer suggested for home use, the possibility may still exist that for particular populations, it may still be necessary. The decision is left to the individuals’ healthcare provider or poison control center, as the recommendation states that the experts would be able to the make the best decision in determining a need to administer ipecac. The recommendation reinforces the need for healthcare providers to use current clinical guidelines and their own clinical judgment in providing advice to patients. The access to care problems we face will make it imperative that all healthcare providers keep up-to-date on public health issues. In this way, we can help our patients to become better health advocates

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