• The abuse of ipecac syrup for three years resulted in painless, nonfatigable, chiefly proximal weakness in a 27-year-old woman. Electromyography (EMG) and a muscle biopsy revealed features of a myopathy similar to those previously reported in experimental emetine myopathy. Clinical weakness and EMG abnormalities improved after discontinuation of ipecac administration. A direct toxic action of ipecac (acting through its active alkaloid, emetine hydrochloride) on muscle fibers seemed to be responsible for the weakness in this patient.
Mateer JE, Farrell BJ, Chou SSM, Gutmann L. Reversible Ipecac Myopathy. Arch Neurol. 1985;42(2):188–190. doi:10.1001/archneur.1985.04060020106024
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: