Carbosorb XS Oral suspension

Carbosorb® XS
Contains activated charcoal 0.2 g/mL and sorbitol 0.283 g/mL

Activated Charcoal and Sorbitol

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about Carbosorb XS. It does not contain all the available information. It does not take the place of talking to your doctor.

All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risks of you being given Carbosorb XS against the benefits this medicine is expected to have for you.

If you have any concerns about being given this medicine, ask your doctor.

Keep this leaflet in a safe place. You may need to read it again.

What Carbosorb XS is used for

Carbosorb XS is used for the treatment of poisoning and drug overdose where the substance has been taken by mouth.

The activated charcoal in this medicine physically absorbs certain drugs and toxic agents onto its surface. Not all drugs and poisons will be absorbed by activated charcoal.

The sorbitol in Carbosorb XS will cause the activated charcoal to pass through the intestines more rapidly.

This medicine works best when it is given within 1 hour of the poison or drug being swallowed.

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Carbosorb XS has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.

Before you are given Carbosorb XS

You must not be given Carbosorb XS if you have an allergy to:

  • any medicine containing activated charcoal or sorbitol
  • any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.

Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body
  • rash, itching or hives on the skin.

Carbosorb XS should not be used to treat poisoning with:

  • strong acids and alkalis
  • ferrous sulphate and other iron salts
  • cyanides
  • medicines used in the treatment of diabetes known as sulphonylureas such as tolbutamide
  • alcohols or hydrocarbons
  • malathion, a type of pesticide
  • lithium
  • dicophane, a type of insecticide.

You must not be given this medicine if you have already been given a dose of Carbosorb XS. Only a single dose of Carbosorb XS should be given during treatment.

You must not be given this medicine if you have any problems with your digestive system that may have caused a hole or perforation e.g. a perforated ulcer or recent surgery.

You must not be given this medicine if due to a medical condition or surgery you have trouble swallowing.

You should not be given this medicine if you have significant fluid abnormalities such as oedema or body salt abnormalities.

This medicine should not be given to a child under the age of 1 year. This medicine may cause excessive diarrhoea in children under the age of 1 year.

The doctor or nurse will check to ensure the medicine is not past its expiry date and has not been tampered with.

If you are not sure you should be given this medicine talk to your doctor.

Before you are given it

Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.

Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:

  • any problems with your gag reflex, the normal retching action when an object touches the back of your throat
  • blockage of the bowel or any other problems with digestion
  • recent surgery on the stomach and intestines, blockage of the intestines
  • feeling drowsy
  • dehydration or salt imbalance.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breast-feeding. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and benefits involved.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you are given Carbosorb XS.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines that you buy without a prescription from your pharmacy, supermarket, health food shop, naturopath or herbalist.

Some medicines and Carbosorb XS may interfere with each other. These include:

  • atropine, a medicine used to treat a number of conditions
  • medicines used to relieve pain such as morphine or codeine
  • verapamil, a medicine used to treat heart disease.

These drugs may increase the risk of a blockage of the bowel.

Tell your doctor if you have taken or been given any medicines that induce vomiting. Vomiting of activated charcoal may increase the risk of breathing the charcoal into your lungs.

Activated charcoal absorbs many drugs in the stomach so drugs that need to be given while being treated with Carbosorb XS will need to be given by injection. Your doctor has more information on what drugs may be affected by this medicine.

How Carbosorb XS is given

Carbosorb XS must only be given by a doctor or nurse. The bottle will be shaken well for a minimum of 30 seconds. Carbosorb XS may be given by mouth or through a tube through the nose or mouth into the stomach.

Carbosorb XS may be diluted before it is used.

Your doctor will decide what dose of Carbosorb XS you will receive. This depends on your medical condition and other factors, such as your age and weight.

Only one dose of Carbosorb XS will be given.

If you are given too much (overdose)

Carbosorb XS must only be given by a doctor or nurse so an overdose is not likely to occur.

Symptoms of an overdose may include:

  • feeling dizzy and light headed
  • dry or sticky mouth
  • producing less urine
  • stomach cramps, bloating
  • vomiting, loss of appetite
  • blood in the stools
  • fever.

If you notice any symptoms of an overdose immediately contact your doctor or go to the Emergency Department at the nearest hospital.

Contact the Poisons information centre on 13 11 26 for further advice on overdose management.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given Carbosorb XS. This medicine may have unwanted side effects in a few people. All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.

If you are over 65 years of age, you may have an increased risk of getting side effects. Children aged between 1 and 11 may also have an increased risk of getting side effects.

Do not be alarmed by the following list of side effects. You may not experience any of them.

Ask your doctor to answer any questions you may have.

Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice any of the following and they worry you:

  • black coloured bowel motions
  • vomiting.

The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine.

If any of the following happen tell your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Department at your local hospital:

  • difficulty breathing (pneumonia)
  • constipation
  • stomach pain and/or bloating
  • chest pain
  • symptoms of dehydration including:
    – diarrhoea
    – feeling light headed
    – dry mouth
    – producing less urine than usual.

The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.

Tell your doctor or nurse if you notice anything that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some people.

After being given Carbosorb XS


Carbosorb XS will be stored in the surgery, pharmacy or ward of a hospital at a temperature below 25°C. Carbosorb XS will not be refrigerated.

Carbosorb XS will be opened for use on you. It will be used only once and then it will be discarded. It will never be stored after it is opened nor used for more than one person.

Product description

What it looks like

Carbosorb XS is contained in a plastic bottle with a tamper proof lid. Each bottle contains 250mL of a black liquid.


Carbosorb XS contains activated charcoal 0.2 g/mL and sorbitol 0.283 g/mL as the active ingredients.

It also contains:

  • propylene glycol
  • glycerol
  • anhydrous citric acid
  • purified water.

The following may also be added for pH adjustment:

  • sodium hydroxide
  • anhydrous citric acid.

This medicine does not contain gluten, lactose, tartrazine, alcohol, dyes or preservatives.


Carbosorb XS is supplied in Australia by:

Phebra Pty Ltd
19 Orion Road, Lane Cove West,
NSW 2066,Australia
Telephone: 1800 720 020

Carbosorb XS is distributed in New Zealand by:

AFT Pharmaceuticals Ltd
PO Box 33-203, Auckland.
Telephone: +64 9 4880232

Carbosorb® XS activated charcoal
0.2 g/mL and sorbitol
0.283 g/mL suspension.
250 mL bottle

AUST R 307429

Phebra product code- SOL054

Date of most recent amendment: 09 July 2018

Carbosorb, Phebra and the Phi symbol are trademarks of Phebra Pty Ltd, 19 Orion Road, Lane Cove West, NSW 2066, Australia.

Published by MIMS September 2019


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