ORIGINAL BY MSBATDUCK IN THE BULIMIA SUBFORUM (and full credit to her, because I straight-up copy and pasted this), BUT THE MODS (GODDESS ANNEA) SAY THEY CAN'T PIN IT HERE WITHOUT MOVING IT SO WAS TOLD TO MAKE A NEW ONE FOR THE EDNOS SUBFORUM.
Prompted by seeing threads on using them on this subforum recently.
Ok, so. Out of those of us who purge, the majority do it via puking (as opposed to lax abuse or exercise). And a lot of us (myself included) have probably considered, if not actually tried, using ipecac or some other form of emetic. However, because ipecac is bottled and is commonly used for medical purposes (i.e. if someone has been poisoned) there is a common stigma that it's safe, or at least safer than purging, right? Here are the facts about emetics.
An emetic is any substance that when ingested will induce vomiting. Saltwater and mustard water are very common. Ipecac is a form of emetic.
These are extremely dangerous. When using a substance like this, it will force vomiting. This means that the actual action is much more violent, and is much more likely to cause problems, such as a tear in the stomach lining, esophagus rupture, and problems with the heart and lungs. This on it's own, is reason enough to not use an emetic, right?
If that isn't enough for some of you to stay far away from emetics, here's where it gets even more dangerous. These substances induce vomiting by forcing your body to completely empty the contents of your stomach, involuntarily. You will vomit until the vomit is done. So, say you're purging with your hands, and you see blood. You can immediately stop triggering the gag reflex and call 911. However, if you are using an emetic to purge, and see blood in your vomit, YOU. CAN. NOT. STOP. You will continue to vomit, regardless of how you try to stop. When this happens with the use of an emetic, it is nearly always fatal. It's not a fun way to go either.
Now, let's say you use ipecac and survive purging. Well, your stomach is now empty. Completely empty. Acid included. This may cause the stomach walls to grind together, which can cause excruciating abdominal cramps.
So, for your own safety, please, please, if you are going to purge, just use your fingers (or purge hands-free if you are able)
Please do not even risk it. One purge is not worth risking your life.
EDIT: credit for the following goes to user sixdollardress
Ipecac (and I believe other emetics like CS as well) is actually even more dangerous than you've described here. While all of the vomiting-related dangers you have described are one thing, chronic use of emetics can also lead to muscle wasting due to build up of the toxin emetine - since your heart is basically one big muscle, this means that chronic use of emetics can lead to irreversible heart damage and congestive heart failure.
EDIT 2: In reference to non-ipecac emetics (i.e. salt water or mustard):
"Sometimes, these remedies did cause vomiting. But they often caused problems of their own. For example, too much salt caused sodium poisoning, seizures and even death. Gagging someone often caused throat bleeding and swelling. Also, these home remedies were never reliable enough to be used to treat poisoning. And complicated charts about what remedy went with what poisoning were confusing."