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PSA: The use of ipecac and other emetics

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#1 Guest_Gïngër_*

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 12:09 AM



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." 

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#2 Neymar Jr

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 03:04 PM

Ipecac isn’t even used in medical situations any more. We use activated charcoal.

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#3 LividLuna


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Posted 02 April 2018 - 05:21 PM

When I was 12, I got sick (one of those migraines that make you ungodly nauseous) and couldn't vomit. Sadly (maybe for the best) I have NEVER had a good gag reflex and so nothing was helping no matter how much I tried. My mom, feeling bad that I was in such a bad spot, told me about the old mustard trick. Of course, as my eating disorder got worse, I remembered this trick one day and looked back at my mom in a different light. My mother was anorexic and bulimic for many years and I never really saw her disorder shine though like that ever again.

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Posted 11 April 2018 - 07:05 PM

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#5 Guest_Gïngër_*

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:36 AM

Ipecac isn’t even used in medical situations any more. We use activated charcoal.


I’ve got no idea I saw someone on this sub suggest using it and asked a mod if we could get the emetics PSA from the bulimia forum pinned here too because of that, it’s completely copy-pasted from there because the mods couldn’t duplicate the original.
So feel free to correct anything :)

#6 I'm a black rainbow

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:27 PM

I've use cough syrup recreationally and threw up when I used Tussin on account of the guaifenesin. Then a few weeks/months later I binged and downed almost a whole bottle to throw up (maybe a little more than 7 mg/kg) and then didn't throw up. Maybe it was because it was a binge, and maybe it was because I had taken the cough syrup after I had eaten rather than before, but I tripped really hard. If I had taken it before eating and eaten something smaller then I may have thrown up.

So... I guess that's an emetic. Since I like the effects of the drug anyway I'm probably going to keep using it and will most likely learn more about the emetic properties.

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#7 Iridium



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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:17 AM

Thank you for spreading the message, OP!

Also thanks to everyone who contributed to the post, it is very thoughtful of you and MPA probably needed this.



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#8 UniqueMe


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Posted 20 July 2018 - 03:02 PM

I used epicack (however you spell it) in maybe, 2006 ish. It was so stupid. It made me terribly nauseous but I didn't even throw up. My mouth just watered and I felt that awful feeling like I was going to. Not to promote Bulimia, but learning to purge is really the only way to do it. There is no nausea involved. With epicack you are so nauseous it's nothing you'd want to continually use as a solution.

#9 anorexicduty


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Posted 16 September 2018 - 03:32 AM

When  I first began my ED I'd use ipecac to purge.  I had used it for 2 months when I went to an ED treatment center for an interview.  Before I met with their staff I was certified by this hospital for using ipecac. It's considered so toxic that using it once is considered to be self-poisoning.


I will say this for ipecac:  it did the job when my gag reflex didn't even work.

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#10 TravellingDouche



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Posted 10 October 2018 - 06:31 AM


#11 DietCoke&CollarBones



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Posted 07 November 2018 - 12:58 AM

This is also how Karen Carpenter died. The emetine poisoning affected her heart (the coroners report is actually online).

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#12 OneMoreTimeWithFeeling



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Posted 14 December 2018 - 06:13 PM

ipecac is no longer available anymore. neither are the broncaid inhalers (you could turn them upside down and the inactive ingredients in the inhaler would make any food taste like shit for 6 hours at a time). Anyhow, the only way to get ipecac is to order the root and make it yourself, but good luck getting it shipped thru customs.

#13 BlessedRelaxedControlled


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Posted 12 January 2019 - 01:41 AM

What about mustard water?

#14 etrox318



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Posted 18 January 2019 - 05:17 PM

What about mustard water?

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#15 Thinner092



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Posted 05 February 2019 - 03:11 PM

Ipecac isn’t even used in medical situations any more. We use activated charcoal.


Exactly. You’d need to find an old bottle in an obscure way.

#16 skinnyjeanme



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Posted 05 April 2019 - 09:09 PM

thankyou for pinning this post, could we edit it to include the dangers of flushing?
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#17 doughnuteatit



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Posted 14 April 2019 - 03:26 AM

thankyou for pinning this post, could we edit it to include the dangers of flushing?

I've seen it mentioned before, but what exactly is flushing?

#18 Aggretsuko


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Posted 11 June 2019 - 07:21 AM

I've seen it mentioned before, but what exactly is flushing?

It's a dangerous method of cleaning yourself out after a purge. I've never done it but it causes dramatic electrolyte problems

#19 itsgonnabackfire


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Posted 05 October 2019 - 08:31 PM

It's a dangerous method of cleaning yourself out after a purge. I've never done it but it causes dramatic electrolyte problems

You mean drinking a lot of water or?
I sometimes drink coconut water cause I heard it helps to balance your electrolytes but idk if this is true?
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#20 KBI963


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Posted 08 October 2019 - 11:40 AM

This is also how Karen Carpenter died. The emetine poisoning affected her heart (the coroners report is actually online).

Oh wow I didn't know that. I just knew she was force fed with a tube at a hospital and she gained a lot at once and was released and then died. I had no idea. Good to know. My cousin took ipecac when I was a kid and I knew something was wrong. She was very sick. I have never done it myself, thankfully.

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