Activated charcoal is a specially prepared
charcoal used to treat poisonings by drugs
like aspirin, paracetamol, chloroquine,
or other medicines or chemicals, by
absorbing them in the stomach.
Important: Do not give activated
charcoal if the person has swallowed
fuel, kerosene, lighter fluid or other
Side effects: Black stool, vomiting,
Often comes in: liquid of 25 g per 120 ml;
powder 15 g
How to use:
For treating poisoning, give 30
to 100 g by mouth all at one time.
WARNING: After giving activated
charcoal, get medical help
immediately. People who take too
much of a drug or chemical can
get very sick and need much more
help than activated charcoal.
Acyclovir is a medicine that fights viruses
Important: Acyclovir can reduce the
symptoms of herpes infection — but it will
not cure it or prevent it from coming back.
Side effects: headache, dizziness, nausea,
Often comes in: tablets of 200 mg;
powder for mixing injections.
How to use:
For the first outbreak of herpes
(see p. 332), give 400 mg by mouth
3 times a day for 7 to 10 days.
For continuing herpes outbreaks,
give 400 mg acyclovir by mouth,
3 times a day for 5 days.
continued . . .
For a woman with more than 6 herpes
outbreaks a year, give 400 mg acyclovir
by mouth, 2 times every day for 1 year.
Then stop and see if the medicine is
For a pregnant woman who has had
herpes outbreaks in the past, give 400
mg acyclovir by mouth, 2 times every day
during the last month of pregnancy.
WARNING: This medicine may
have some harmful effects in
pregnancy. For pregnant women,
it is best only to give this medicine
for an initial herpes outbreak, or
during the last month to prevent
an outbreak during labor.
Adrenaline is used for allergic reactions
or shock, for example, allergic shock
caused by penicillin. It is also used for
severe asthma attacks.
Important: Take the person’s pulse
before injecting. Inject just under the
skin (subcutaneous injection) on the
back of the upper arm, not into the
buttocks. If the pulse increases by more
than 30 beats a minute after the first
injection, do not give another dose. Do
not give more than 3 doses.
Side effects: Fear, restlessness,
nervousness, tension, headaches,
dizziness, increased heart rate.
Often comes in: Ampules for injection
of 1 mg in 1 ml.
How to use:
For allergic reaction or shock
(see p. 466), inject 1:1000, 0.5 ml just
under the skin (subcutaneous injection).
If signs do not improve, repeat in
20 minutes. You will also need to give
A Book for Midwives (2010)