Activated Carbon
Activated Carbon

Activated Carbon: 7 Warnings, Functions, and Side Effects

Activated carbon or activated charcoal is a substance that can be used to treat poisoning or indigestion, such as flatulence or diarrhea.

Activated carbon works by preventing the absorption of toxins, while facilitating the process of disposal of impurities in the gastrointestinal tract. Activated carbon can also be used to relieve itching due to the treatment of dialysis or cholestasis during pregnancy.

Although it can be used to treat poisoning, activated carbon is ineffective in overcoming poisoning caused by cyanide, lithium, alco**hol, or iron.

Warning Before Consuming Activated Carbon

Although sold freely, activated carbon should not be consumed carelessly. Here’s what you need to pay attention to before consuming activated carbon:

  • Do not take this drug if you are allergic to activated carbon.
  • Do not give activated carbon to children less than 1 year old.
  • Consult first regarding the use of activated carbon if you are undergoing treatment with drugs containing sorbitol.
  • Tell your doctor if you are or have suffered from liver disease, kidney disease, blockages of the gastrointestinal tract, seizures, bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, or lactose intolerance.
  • Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy.
  • Tell your doctor if you are using other medications, including supplements or herbal products.
  • See a doctor immediately if you have an overdose or an allergic reaction to medication after taking activated carbon.

Activated Carbon Function


Activated carbon has uses for water purification and purification processes.

Activated carbon also has uses for the gas purification process. Among them can be seen from pure gases used for hospital needs, or gas commonly used for daily cooking.

Food industry filter

Activated carbon also has other functions for the food industry filter field. One of them is like a soda water company that does water treatment using carbon.

Pharmaceutical field

Activated carbon also serves in the pharmaceutical field. Usually activated carbon is used as a neutralizer of various waste medicines and toxins from hospitals and so on.

Chemical plants

Activated carbon is also widely used for the needs of chemical plants. Not much different from the pharmaceutical field, activated carbon here also serves as a neutralizer so that waste liquids are no longer harmful to the surrounding environment.

Yellow color remover

For the manufacture of granulated sugar, activated carbon is also needed as a yellow color remover in the granulated sugar on the market.

Turning salty seawater into fresh water

For pond business, activated carbon is also needed. Activated carbon here plays a role in turning salty seawater into fresh water.

Filter the remaining soap water

Activated carbon is also often used for laundry business. Here, activated carbon plays a role to filter the remaining soap water, so that at the time of rinsing, the clothes washed can be clean as a whole.

Absorb any existing mining products

Not to forget, activated carbon is also useful for those who work in mining. In the mining process, activated carbon serves to absorb every existing mining result, such as gold, tin, copper, and so on, even with a very small size or content.

Activated Carbon Side Effects

Every use of the drug always has certain side effects. Side effects do not necessarily occur in every use of the drug, but if there are excessive side effects, it must be treated immediately by medical personnel.

Activated carbon can cause side effects such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Black stools
  • Blockage of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Hypotension
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Unbalanced electrolyte levels (hypernatremia, hypokalemia, hypermagnesemia)
  • Blackish teeth and mouth

There are some other side effects that have not been listed. If you have any other side effects outside the list above, consult your doctor immediately.

Last Updated on January 29, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team