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Syrup of Ipecac

"Before you take another spoonful of ipecac, before the eating disorder takes over your life, please stop. Before you can't focus on anything but the need to become smaller and smaller, before your skin turns grey and prone to infection, your hair starts to fall out and there is no way to get rid of the acne, no matter how clean you try to be, stop. Before your teeth get sensitive and your breath turns bad. Before your vision blurs and your head swims. Stop." --Anne, in recovery from an eating disorder.

Syrup of Ipecac is commonly found in medicine cabinets and doctor’s offices as a way to induce vomiting when something toxic has been ingested. Syrup of Ipecac is a single-use medication, meaning it should only be taken once for a particular incident. It is not meant to be taken regularly, or on multiple occasions.

People suffering from Ipecac abuse will normally use it daily or many times a day to eliminate ingested food from the body through vomiting. Since the Ipecac is used to inducing purging, the condition is sometimes called "Ipecac bulimia.”

Below is a list of common medical problems that occur with ipecac abuse cases:

  • Weakness of Muscles
  • Shock
  • Dehydration
  • Respiratory Problems
  • Cardiac Arrest and Heart problems
  • Seizures
  • Blackouts
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Death