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All about: Kao-Spen

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Kao-Spen
  • Kapectolin
  • K-P

In Canada—

  • Donnagel-MB

Generic name product may be available in the U.S.

Category

  • Antidiarrheal (adsorbent)

Description

Kaolin and pectin (KAY-oh-lin and PEK-tin) combination medicine is used to treat diarrhea.

Kaolin is a clay-like powder believed to work by attracting and holding onto 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 kaolin and pectin combination medicine for your medical condition. Kaolin and pectin combination is available in the following dosage form:

  • Oral
  • Oral suspension (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 kaolin and pectin combination, 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. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of kaolin and pectin. 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 kaolin and pectin combination 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, following the directions in the product package, after each loose bowel movement until the diarrhea is controlled, 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 signs or symptoms of too much fluid loss occur:
    • Decreased urination
    • Dizziness and lightheadedness
    • Dryness of mouth
    • Increased thirst
    • Wrinkled skin

Dosing—The dose of kaolin and pectin combination 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 and pectin.

The number of tablespoonfuls of suspension that you take depends on the strength of the medicine.

  • For diarrhea:
    • For oral dosage form (suspension):
      • Adults—The usual dose is 4 to 8 tablespoonfuls (60 to 120 milliliters [mL]) taken after each loose bowel movement.
      • Children 12 years of age and over—The usual dose is 3 to 4 tablespoonfuls (45 to 60 mL) taken after each loose bowel movement.
      • Children 6 to 12 years of age—The usual dose is 2 to 4 tablespoonfuls (30 to 60 mL) taken after each loose bowel movement.
      • Children 3 to 6 years of age—The usual dose is 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls (15 to 30 mL) taken after each loose bowel movement.
      • 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 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 .

If you are taking any other medicine, do not take it within 2 to 3 hours of taking kaolin and pectin . Taking the medicines together may prevent the other medicine from being absorbed by your body. If you have any questions about this, check with your health care professional.

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, this medicine may cause constipation 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: 08/04/1994

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