Consumer medicine information

Carbosorb® XS Suspension

Carbosorb® XS Suspension

Active ingredients: activated charcoal and sorbitol

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI)

This leaflet provides important information about using Carbosorb XS. You should also speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you would like further information or if you have any concerns or questions about being given Carbosorb XS.

Where to find information in this leaflet:

1. Why is Carbosorb XS being used?
2. What should I know before Carbosorb XS is used?
3. What if I am taking other medicines?
4. How is Carbosorb XS used?
5. What should I know while Carbosorb XS is used?
6. Are there any side effects?
7. Product details

1. Why is Carbosorb XS being used?

Carbosorb XS contains the active ingredients activated charcoal and sorbitol. The activated charcoal in this medicine physically adsorbs certain drugs and toxic agents onto its surface. Not all drug and poisons will be adsorbed 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.

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

Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine is being given to you. Your doctor may have given it to you for another reason.

2. What should I know before Carbosorb XS is used?


You must not be given Carbosorb XS if:

  • you are allergic 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.

You must not be given Carbosorb XS if:

  • have already been given a dose of Carbosorb XS.
    Only a single dose of Carbosorb XS should be given during treatment.
  • have any problems with your digestive system that may have caused a hole or perforation e.g. a perforated ulcer or recent surgery.
  • due to medical condition or surgery you have trouble swallowing.
  • have significant fluid abnormalities such as oedema or body salt abnormalities.

You should not be given Carbosorb XS if you have been poisoned with any of the following:

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

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 whether you should be given this medicine talk to your doctor.

Check with your doctor if you:

  • have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives, or dyes.
  • have or have had 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 intestine, blockage of the intestine
    – diabetes
    – feeling drowsy
    – dehydration or salt imbalance.

During treatment, you may be at risk of developing certain side effects. It is important you understand these risks and how to monitor for them. See additional information under Section 6. Are there any side effects?

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Check with your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant.

Talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed.

If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you are given Carbosorb XS. Your doctor can discuss with you the risk and benefits involved.

Use in children

Carbosorb XS should not be given to a child under the age of 1 year. Carbosorb XS may cause excessive diarrohea in children under the age of 1 year.

3. What if I am taking other medicines?

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

Some medicines may interfere with Carbosorb XS and affect how it works. 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 adsorbs 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.

Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about what medicines, vitamins or supplements you are taking and if these affect Carbosorb XS.

4. How is Carbosorb XS used?

Carbosorb XS must only be given by a doctor or a nurse.

How it is used

  • The bottle should 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.

How much is used

  • Your doctor will decide what dose of Carbosorb XS you will receive and how long you will receive it for. 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 too much Carbosorb XS is used

Overdose is unlikely to occur as Carbosorb XS is always given to you under the supervision of a doctor or nurse.

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 overdose you should immediately:

  • phone the Poisons Information Centre
    by calling 13 11 26
  • contact your doctor, or
  • go to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital.

You should do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.

5. What should I know while Carbosorb XS is used?

Things you should do

Tell your doctor if or nurse as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given Carbosorb XS.

Looking after your medicine

  • Carbosorb XS must:
    – be stored in the surgery, pharmacy, or ward of a hospital at a temperature below 25°C.
    – not be refrigerated.
    – be opened only at the time of use. It is intended for single use only, and any Carbosorb XS remaining in the bottle will be discarded. It should never be stored once opened, nor used for more than one person.

Keep it where young children cannot reach it.

6. Are there any side effects?

All medicines can have side effects. If you do experience any side effects, most of them are minor and temporary. However, some side effects may need medical attention.

See the information below and, if you need to, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any further questions about 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.

Common/Less serious side effects

Common/Less serious side effects What to do
  • black coloured bowel motions
  • vomiting
Speak to your doctor if you have any of these less serious side effects and they worry you.

The above list includes the more common side effects.

Serious side effects

Serious side effects What to do
  • 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
Tell or call your doctor straight away, or go straight to the Emergency Department at your nearest hospital if you notice any of these serious side effects.

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

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you notice anything else that may be making you feel unwell.

Other side effects not listed here may occur in some people.

Reporting side effects

After you have received medical advice for any side effects you experience, you should then report these side effects to the Therapeutic Goods Administration online at By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

Always make sure you speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you decide to stop taking any of your medicines.

7. Product details

What Carbosorb XS contains

Active ingredient
(main ingredient)
activated charcoal 0.2 g/mL
sorbitol 0.283 g/mL
Other ingredients
(inactive ingredients)
propylene glycol
citric acid
purified water
sodium hydroxide and citric acid (for pH adjustment)

Do not take this medicine if you are allergic to any of these ingredients.

Carbosorb XS does not contain gluten, lactose, tartrazine alcohol, dyes or preservatives.

What Carbosorb X looks like

Carbosorb XS is contained in a plastic bottle with a tamper proof lid. (AUST R 307429).

Each bottle contains 250 mL of a black liquid.

Phebra product code: SOL054.

Who distributes Carbosorb XS

Carbosorb XS is supplied in Australia by:

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

This leaflet was prepared in Sep 2021.

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