ATTAPULGITE (Oral)

Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Diar-Aid
  • Diarrest
  • Diasorb
  • Diatrol
  • Donnagel
  • Kaopek
  • K-Pek
  • Parepectolin
  • Rheaban
  • Note:

    Kaopectate did contain attapulgite and was reformulated in 2003. It now contains bismuth subsalicylate.

In Canada—

  • Fowler's
  • Kaopectate

Category

  • Antidiarrheal, adsorbent

Description

Attapulgite (at-a-PULL-gite) is taken by mouth to treat diarrhea. Attapulgite is a clay-like powder believed to work by adsorbing the bacteria or germ that may be causing the diarrhea.

This medicine is available without a prescription; however, the product's directions and warnings should be carefully followed. In addition, your doctor may have special instructions on the proper dose or use of attapulgite medicine for your medical condition.

Attapulgite is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Oral
  • Attapulgite
    • Oral suspension (U.S. and Canada)
    • Tablets (U.S. and Canada)
    • Chewable tablets (U.S. and Canada)

Before Using This Medicine

If you are taking this medicine without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For attapulgite, the following should be considered:

Pregnancy—This medicine is not absorbed into the body and is not likely to cause problems.

Breast-feeding—This medicine is not absorbed into the body and is not likely to cause problems.

Children—The fluid loss caused by diarrhea may result in a severe condition. For this reason, antidiarrheals must not be given to young children (under 3 years of age) without first checking with their doctor. In older children with diarrhea, antidiarrheals may be used, but it is also very important that a sufficient amount of 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—The fluid loss caused by diarrhea may result in a severe condition. For this reason, elderly persons with diarrhea, in addition to using an antidiarrheal, must receive a sufficient amount of liquids 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. If you are taking any other medicine, do not take it within 2 to 3 hours of attapulgite . Taking the medicines at the same time may prevent the other medicine from being absorbed by your body. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

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

  • Dysentery—This condition may get worse; a different kind of treatment may be needed

Proper Use of This Medicine

Do not use attapulgite to treat your diarrhea if you have a fever or if there is blood or mucus in your stools . Contact your doctor.

Take this medicine after each loose bowel movement following the directions in the product package, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Importance of diet and fluid intake 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 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, and 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 may develop. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following occurs:
    • Decreased urination
    • Dizziness and lightheadedness
    • Dryness of mouth
    • Increased thirst
    • Wrinkled skin

Dosing—The dose of attapulgite 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 attapulgite.

The number of tablets or teaspoonfuls of suspension that you take depends on the strength of the medicine.

  • For diarrhea:
    • For oral dosage form (suspension):
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—The usual dose is 1200 to 1500 milligrams (mg) taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 9000 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—The usual dose is 600 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 4200 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 3 to 6 years of age—The usual dose is 300 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 2100 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children up to 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
    • For oral dosage form (tablets):
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—The usual dose is 1200 to 1500 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 9000 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—The usual dose is 750 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 4500 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 3 to 6 years of age—The oral suspension dosage form should be used in this age group.
    • For oral dosage form (chewable tablets):
      • Adults and children 12 years of age and older—The usual dose is 1200 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 8400 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—The usual dose is 600 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 4200 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children 3 to 6 years of age—The usual dose is 300 mg taken after each loose bowel movement. No more than 2100 mg should be taken in twenty-four hours.
      • Children up to 3 years of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Storage—To store this medicine:

  • Keep out of the reach of children.
  • Store away from heat and direct light.
  • Keep the liquid form of 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 .

Side Effects of This Medicine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. No serious side effects have been reported for this medicine. However, constipation may occur in some patients, especially if they take a lot of it. Check with your doctor as soon as possible if constipation continues or is bothersome.

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

Revised: 02/23/2005

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