- A naturally occurring substance with multiple properties including the ability to cause vomiting (emesis). Ipecac is derived from dried roots of a bush called Uragoga ipecacuanha that is native to Brazil. In the past, a sizable proportion of poison exposures in the U.S. were treated with ipecac. This practice has dropped off and some experts recommend that it should be abandoned, except in rare instances.
* * *SYN: ipecacuanha.
* * *ip·e·cac 'ip-i-.kak also ipe·ca·cu·a·nha .ip-i-.kak-ü-'an-ə n1) the dried rhizome and roots of either of two tropical American plants (Cephaelis acuminata and C. ipecacuanha) of the madder family used esp. as a source of emetine and cephaeline also either of these plants
* * *ip·e·cac (ipґə-kak) [USP] the dried rhizome and roots of Cephaelis ipecacuanha (Brotero) Rich. (Rubiaceae) (Rio or Brazilian i.) or of C. acuminata Karsten (Cartagena, Nicaragua, or Panama i.). Originally introduced as a remedy for dysentery, it has been replaced by its alkaloid emetine for that purpose, and is now used in syrup as an emetic, particularly in cases of poisoning. It also has expectorant properties.
Medical dictionary. 2011.