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emetic(əmĕt`ĭk), substance that produces vomiting. Direct, or gastric, emetics, which act directly on the stomach, include syrup of ipecacipecac
, drug obtained from the dried roots of a creeping shrub, Cephaelis (or Psychotria) ipecacuanha, native to Brazil but cultivated in other tropical climates.
..... Click the link for more information. , sulfate of zinc or copper, alumalum
, any one of a series of isomorphous double salts that are hydrated sulfates of a univalent cation (e.g., potassium, sodium, ammonium, cesium, or thallium) and a trivalent cation (e.g., aluminum, chromium, iron, manganese, cobalt, or titanium).
..... Click the link for more information. , ammonium carbonate, mustard in water, or copious quantities of warm saltwater. Indirect, or systemic, emetics, such as apomorphine, induce vomiting by acting indirectly through the blood on the brain center that controls vomiting. Emetics are not used to treat poisoning by strong acids or alkalis, petroleum distillates such as kerosene, or substances causing convulsions.
an agent that induces vomiting. Emetics are distinguished according to whether they act on the vomiting center in the brain (for example, apomorphine) or whether they irritate the mucous membrane of the stomach and reflexly excite the stomach’s vomiting center (ipecac or thermopsis). Emetics are used to counteract the effects of poisoning and to treat chronic alcoholism. For example, an injection of apomorphine combined with ingestion of alcohol leads to a conditioned reflex causing the taste and odor of alcohol to induce vomiting. When taken in small doses, emetics act as expectorants.