Consumer medicine information


activated charcoal injection 120 mg in 3 mL

activated charcoal

Consumer Medicine Information

What is in this leaflet

This leaflet answers some common questions about Charcotrace. 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 Charcotrace against the benefits they expect it will 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 Charcotrace is used for

Charcotrace is used to assist the surgeon in locating small lesions of the breast after the position has been determined by the radiologist.

Following the determination of the position of a breast lesion by ultrasound or other methods, Charcotrace is used to mark a pathway from the lesion to the external skin for later removal.

Charcotrace is a sterile injection of a suspension of fine charcoal particles in water.

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

Before you are given Charcotrace

When you must not be given it

You should not be given Charcotrace if you have an allergy to:

  • any medicine containing charcoal
  • 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 should not be given this medicine if the solution is discoloured. The solution is normally a black suspension of fine particles.

You should not be given this medicine after the expiry date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering. If you are given this medicine after the expiry date has passed, it may not work as well.

If you are not sure whether 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 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 Charcotrace.

Taking other medicines

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

How Charcotrace is given

Charcotrace must only be given by a doctor. The vial will be shaken before use in order to suspend the fine particles.

Following the determination of the position of a breast lesion by ultrasound or other methods, an injection of Charcotrace is used to mark a fixed black track from the lesion to the skin.

The pathway may not be visible to you because it is within the breast tissue except for the spot where the path ends at the surface of the skin.

The pathway remains in the tissue until the time of surgery, which may be up to six months later.

At the time of the operation, the surgeon follows this direct path from the external skin to the lesion and removes the lesion along with the carbon track.

If you are given too much (overdose)

Charcotrace must only be given by a doctor so an overdose is not likely to occur.

If a larger than necessary amount of Charcotrace is used there may be leakage of charcoal suspension from the injection site.

Side effects

Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are being given Charcotrace. This medicine helps most people but it 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.

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

Ask your doctor to answer any questions you may have.

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

  • local pain or stinging at the injection site.

The above list includes the more common side effects of your medicine. They are usually mild and short-lived.

If it has been 6 months or more since Charcotrace was injected into your breast tissue, tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice the following:

  • swelling, heat, pain and/or redness at the injection site.

The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention.

Tell your doctor 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 Charcotrace


Charcotrace will be stored in the surgery, pharmacy or ward of a hospital. The injection is kept in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 25°C.

Charcotrace 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

Charcotrace is a black suspension of fine black charcoal particles in a clear glass vial with a plastic top.

Charcotrace is available as a 3 mL suspension in a 7 mL vial.


Charcotrace contains 40 mg/mL activated charcoal as the active ingredient.

It also contains:

  • sodium chloride
  • water for injections.

Hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide are used for pH adjustment when and if required.

This medicine does not contain lactose, sucrose, gluten, tartrazine, or other azo dyes or preservatives.


Charcotrace is made and supplied in Australia by:

Phebra Pty Ltd
19 Orion Road
Lane Cove West, NSW 2066

Charcotrace activated charcoal injection120 mg in 3 mL
3 mL in a 7 mL vial.

AUST R 100313

Phebra product code- INJ107

Date of most recent amendment: May 2020.

Charcotrace, Phebra and the Phi symbol are trademarks of Phebra Pty Ltd.

Published by MIMS June 2020