Kaolin and Pectin (patient information)

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Drug information courtesy of the

Please visit the NLM website for the most current information.


Kaolin and pectin is no longer available in the US. Kaopectate® and other products that used to contain kaolin and pectin are now make with another ingredient. Please see the Bismuth Subsalicylate monograph for more information about these medications. Read this new information carefully as the dosage is different and the new product should not be given to children under 12 years of age, unless your child's doctor tells you to do so.

Why this medication is prescribed

Kaolin and pectin are used to treat mild to moderate diarrhea.

This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

How this medication should be used

Kaolin and pectin come as a tablet, chewable tablet, and liquid to take by mouth. This medication usually is taken after each loose bowel movement. The label tells you how much to take at each dose. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take kaolin and pectin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medicine evenly.

Drink plenty of water or other beverages to replace fluids lost while having diarrhea. If your diarrhea does not get better within 48 hours or if you get a fever, call your doctor.

Special precautions

Before taking kaolin and pectin:

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to kaolin and pectin or any other drugs.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins. If you take digoxin (Lanoxin) or thyroid medicine (such as Synthroid), wait at least 2 hours after taking it before taking kaolin and pectin.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking kaolin and pectin, call your doctor.

What to do if you forget a dose

This medication usually is taken as needed. If your doctor has told you to take kaolin and pectin regularly, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Side effects

Kaolin and pectin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if the following symptom is severe or does not go away:

  • constipation

Storage conditions needed for this medication

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.

Other information

Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.

Brand names