Home » Substance Abuse » Ipecac Abuse

Ipecac Abuse

Ipecac’s sole purpose is to facilitate vomiting… complications can result in death.

What is Ipecac Syrup?

Ipecac syrup, an extract formed from the Brazilian ipecacuanha scrub bush, is a substance that induces vomiting when ingested by stimulating the central nervous system. Ipecac syrup is used clinically to facilitate vomiting when an individual has ingested a poison or has overdosed on medication. Though ipecac syrup is intended for single use applications in emergencies, it is sometimes used by individuals with eating disorders as a means of purging.

Ipecac Abuse

Ipecac abuse is one of the most dangerous purging methods used by individuals with eating disorders like bulimia nervosa or anorexia. Ipecac abuse can result in severe medical complications and even death. In fact, Karen Carpenter, a musician who struggled with a severe eating disorder, died as a result of Ipecac misuse. Her heart was so severely damaged by the alkaloid emetine from the Ipecac syrup that she went into cardiac arrest and died.

Complications from Ipecac Abuse

Complications of the misuse of Ipecac include, but are not limited to:

  • Death
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Dehydration
  • Respiratory complications
  • High blood pressure
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Blackouts
  • Seizures
  • Shock
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Irreversible damage to the heart muscles

Getting Help for Ipecac Abuse

It can be difficult to identify the best course of action when you or a loved one is struggling with ipecac abuse. Since complications from ipecac abuse can be so severe, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of an anorexia or bulimia treatment program specialist as soon as you possibly can.

At Rader Programs we understand, and have successfully treated individuals who have struggled with ipecac misuse due to eating disorders. Our multidisciplinary team has the experience and expertise to address the psychological and medical components of ipecac abuse.

Let Rader Programs help you achieve a lifetime of recovery.

For more information on Rader Program's ipecac abuse treatment and other treatment programs, call 1-800-841-1515 or request a free assessment today.