Last update Sept. 8, 2022

Ipecacuanha, Syrup of ipecac

Likely Compatibility

Fairly safe. Mild or unlikely adverse effects. Compatible under certain circumstances. Follow-up recommended. Read Commentary.

Ipecac syrup is obtained from the root and rhizome of the the ipecac plant, native to Central America and northern South America. Contains emetine and cephalin, two isoquinoline alkaloids. It is a very effective emetic used in acute poisoning. It also has expectorant properties. There are no indications from Commission E of the German Ministry of Health (Blumenthal 1998). Oral administration. (Martindale, Drugbank, WHO 2007)

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

Its rapid elimination allows safe breastfeeding two to three hours after administration, provided that the mother is well.

The marketing of the ipecac plant has been prohibited or restricted due to its toxicity in several countries. (MSC 2004)

Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs: compatible with Breastfeeding. (WHO 2002)


We do not have alternatives for Ipecacuanha, Syrup of ipecac.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Ipecacuanha, Syrup of ipecac is also known as

Ipecacuanha, Syrup of ipecac in other languages or writings:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Ipecacuanha, Syrup of ipecac in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 67 %
VD amplio / large l/Kg
pKa 6.67 -
Tmax 0.33 hours
0.5 - 1 hours


  1. DRUGBANK ONLINE. 2006 - Consulted on Jan. 9, 2024 Full text (link to original source)
  2. Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference Medicines Complete. available online from: 2022 Abstract
  3. WHO. World Health Organization. Geneva. WHO monographs on selected medicinal plants. Volume 3. WHO monographs. 2007 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. MSC - Ministerio de Sanidad y Consumo de España. ORDEN SCO/190/2004, de 28 de enero, por la que se establece la lista de plantas cuya venta al público queda prohibida o restringida por razón de su toxicidad. BOE 2004; 32:5061-6065 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Blumenthal M, Busse WR, Goldberg A, Gruenwald J, Hall T, Riggins CW, Rister RS, editors. The American Botanical Council. The Complete German Commission E Monographs. Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. 1st ed. Integrative Medicine Com; Boston, MA, USA: 1998

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