Medication Guide App

KAOLIN, PECTIN, AND BELLADONNA ALKALOIDS (Systemic)*

Some commonly used brand names are:

In Canada—

  • Donnagel

* Not commercially available in the U.S.

Category

  • Antidiarrheal (adsorbent)

Description

Kaolin, pectin, and belladonna alkaloids (KAY-oh-lin, PEK-tin, and bell-a-DON-a AL-ka-loyds) combination medicine is used to treat diarrhea. However, it has generally been replaced by safer medicines for the treatment of diarrhea.

Kaolin, pectin, and belladonna alkaloids combination medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage form:

  • Oral
  • Oral suspension (Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For kaolin, pectin, and belladonna alkaloids combination medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to any of the belladonna alkaloids (atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine) or to any related products. Also, tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.

Pregnancy—This medicine has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in humans.

Breast-feeding—Although the belladonna alkaloids in this medicine pass into breast milk, this medicine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Children are especially sensitive to the effects of belladonna alkaloids. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment. Also, the fluid loss caused by the diarrhea may result in a serious condition (dehydration), which may be hidden by the use of this medicine. For these reasons, do not give this medicine for diarrhea to young children (under 6 years of age) without first checking with their doctor. In older children with diarrhea, medicine for diarrhea may be used, but it is also very important that enough liquids be given to replace the fluid lost by the body. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

Older adults—Elderly people are especially sensitive to the effects of belladonna alkaloids. This may increase the chance of side effects during treatment. Also, the fluid loss caused by the diarrhea may result in a serious condition (dehydration), which may be hidden by the use of this medicine. For this reason, elderly persons should not take this medicine without first checking with their doctor. It is also very important that enough liquids be taken to replace the fluid lost by the body. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking belladonna alkaloids (contained in this combination medicine), it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:

  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants (medicine that causes drowsiness) or
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (medicines for depression)—Effects of CNS depressants or of belladonna alkaloids, such as drowsiness, may become greater
  • Ketoconazole [e.g., Nizoral]—Use of this medicine with ketoconazole may decrease the effectiveness of ketoconazole
  • Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor activity (isocarboxazid [e.g., Marplan], phenelzine [e.g., Nardil], procarbazine [e.g., Matulane], selegiline [e.g., Eldepryl], tranylcypromine [e.g., Parnate])—Taking belladonna alkaloids while you are taking or within 2 weeks of taking MAO inhibitors may cause an increase in the effects of belladonna alkaloids
  • Potassium chloride (e.g., Kay Ciel)—Use with belladonna alkaloids may worsen stomach and intestinal problems caused by potassium

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Brain damage (children) or
  • Down's syndrome or
  • Spastic paralysis (children)—The effects of belladonna alkaloids may be increased
  • Colitis or other intestinal disease—A more serious condition may develop with the use of this medicine
  • Difficult urination or
  • Dryness of the mouth (severe and continuing) or
  • Emphysema, asthma, bronchitis, or other chronic lung disease or
  • Enlarged prostate or
  • Glaucoma or
  • Heart disease or
  • Hiatal hernia—The belladonna alkaloids contained in this medicine may make these conditions worse
  • Dysentery—This condition may get worse; a different kind of treatment may be needed
  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Higher blood levels of the belladonna alkaloids may result, increasing the chance of side effects

Proper Use of This Medicine

If this medicine upsets your stomach, you may take it with food.

Take this medicine only as directed on the label or as ordered by your doctor . Do not take more of it and do not take it for a longer time than directed. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects. This is especially important for children and elderly patients, who may be more sensitive to the effects of this medicine.

Use a specially marked measuring spoon or other device to measure each dose accurately. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.

Importance of diet and fluids while treating diarrhea :

  • In addition to using medicine for diarrhea, it is very important that you replace the fluid lost by the body and follow a proper diet . For the first 24 hours you should eat gelatin and drink plenty of caffeine-free clear liquids, such as ginger ale, decaffeinated cola, decaffeinated tea, and broth. During the next 24 hours you may eat bland foods, such as cooked cereals, bread, crackers, and applesauce. Fruits, vegetables, fried or spicy foods, bran, candy, caffeine, and alcoholic beverages may make the condition worse.
  • If too much fluid has been lost by the body due to the diarrhea, a serious condition (dehydration) may develop. This condition may be hidden by the use of this medicine. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following signs of too much fluid loss occur:
    • Decreased urination
    • Dizziness and lightheadedness
    • Dryness of mouth
    • Increased thirst
    • Wrinkled skin

Dosing—The dose of kaolin, pectin, and belladonna alkaloids combination medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of kaolin, pectin, and belladonna alkaloids combination medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

  • For oral dosage form (suspension):
    • For diarrhea:
      • Adults and teenagers—Dose is usually 2 tablespoonfuls (30 milliliters [mL]) every three hours as needed. No more than four doses should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children over 6 years of age—Dose is usually 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls (5 or 10 mL) every three hours as needed. No more than four doses should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children up to 6 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children since overdose is especially dangerous in children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep this medicine from freezing.
  • Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed. Be sure that any discarded medicine is out of the reach of children.

Precautions While Using This Medicine

Check with your doctor if your diarrhea does not stop after 1 or 2 days or if you develop a fever .

Before you have any medical tests, tell the doctor in charge that you are taking this medicine. The results of some tests may be affected by this medicine.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your doctor before taking any of the above while you are taking this medicine .

This medicine may cause some people to become dizzy, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Even if taken at bedtime, it may cause some people to feel drowsy or less alert on arising. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert .

This medicine may cause your eyes to become more sensitive to light than they are normally. Wearing sunglasses and avoiding too much exposure to bright light may help lessen the discomfort.

This medicine may make you sweat less, causing your body temperature to increase. Use extra care not to become overheated during exercise or hot weather while you are taking this medicine , since overheating may result in heatstroke. Also, hot baths or saunas may make you feel dizzy or faint while you are taking this medicine.

This medicine may cause dryness of the mouth, nose, and throat. For temporary relief, use sugarless candy or gum, melt bits of ice in your mouth, or use a saliva substitute. However, if your mouth continues to feel dry for more than 2 weeks, check with your medical doctor or dentist. Continuing dryness of the mouth may increase the chance of dental disease, including tooth decay, gum disease, and fungus infections.

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects appear very often, when they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects are severe and occur suddenly since they may be signs of a more severe and dangerous problem with your bowels:

Rare

Bloating; constipation; loss of appetite; stomach pain (severe) with nausea and vomiting

Also, check with your doctor as soon as possible if the following effects occur:

Rare

Eye pain; hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there); shortness of breath; skin rash or itching; slow heartbeat; troubled breathing

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common with large doses

Confusion; constipation; decreased sweating; difficult urination; dizziness; drowsiness; dryness of mouth, nose, throat, or skin; faintness; fast heartbeat; flushing or redness of face; headache; increased sweating; lightheadedness; loss of memory (especially in the elderly with continued use)

Less common

Blurred vision; decreased sexual ability; increased sensitivity of eyes to sunlight; nervousness; reduced sense of taste

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 04/27/1995

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