Non-Toxic Ingestion: Care Instructions

Skip to the navigation

Your Care Instructions

You swallowed something that is not a poison, or toxin. In most cases this will not cause problems.

Your body will pass what you ate or drank. Drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods with fibre will help.

Liquid charcoal may be given to a person who has swallowed a non-toxic substance. If you were treated with liquid charcoal, expect your stools to be black for a couple of days. The doctor may give you instructions for how to treat other side effects of charcoal, such as nausea and constipation.

The doctor has checked you carefully. But problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Follow your doctor's instructions about closely watching your health and behaviour.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fibre.
  • If your doctor tells you to, take a fibre supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • If liquid charcoal causes constipation, talk to your doctor about how to treat it.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. These may include:
    • Sudden raised, red areas (hives) all over your body.
    • Swelling of the throat, mouth, lips, or tongue.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Passing out (losing consciousness). Or you may feel very light-headed or suddenly feel weak, confused, or restless.
  • You have a seizure.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new belly pain.
  • You have new or worse nausea or vomiting.
  • You have a fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter U607 in the search box to learn more about "Non-Toxic Ingestion: Care Instructions".