Efficacy of gastric emptying: Gastric lavage versus emesis induced with ipecac

Paul S. Auerbach, John Osterloh, Odelia Braun, Hu Paul, Edward C. Geehr, Kenneth W Kizer, Howard McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


A prospective study was done to compare the efficacy of gastric emptying achieved by gastric lavage (GL) with that of ipecac-induced emesis (IE) in victims of drug overdose. Thiamine was used as a marker of recovery in gastric samples, as measured by ion exchange/ion pair high-performance liquid chromatography. There were 51 patients in the IE group and 37 in the GL group. GL produced a higher mean per cent recovery of thiamine than did IE (90% ± 34% compared with 50% ± 35%). There was a significant difference between the two groups (P < .001). Recovery of thiamine was more than 70% in 28% of the IE patients, and exceeded 70% in 75% of GL patients. When gastric emptying is desired for management of the adult overdose victim, the use of GL maximizes the chance of recovering unabsorbed liquid drugs from the stomach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-698
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1986


  • emptying
  • gastric
  • ipecac
  • lavage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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