Kaolin

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What other names is Kaolin known by?

Argile de Chine, Argilla, Bolus Alba, Caolín, China Clay, Heavy Kaolin, Hydrated Aluminum Silicate, Kaolin Léger, Kaolin Lourd, Light Kaolin, Porcelain Clay, Silicate d'aluminium hydraté, Terre à Porcelaine, White Bole.

What is Kaolin?

Kaolin is a type of clay found in nature. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it to make medicine.

Kaolin is used for mild-to-moderate diarrhea, severe diarrhea (dysentery), and cholera.

In combination products, kaolin is used to treat diarrhea and to relieve soreness and swelling inside the mouth caused by radiation treatments. Some of these combination products are used for treating ulcers and swelling (inflammation) in the large intestine (chronic ulcerative colitis).

Some people apply kaolin directly to the skin in a wet dressing (poultice) or as a dusting powder. It is used to dry or soften the skin.

Kaolin is also used in laboratory tests that help to diagnose disease.

In manufacturing, kaolin is used in tablet preparation and to filter materials and remove color.

Kaolin is also a food additive.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Soreness and swelling inside the mouth, caused by radiation treatments.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Diarrhea. Kaolin has been used for years in combination with pectin (Kaopectate) for diarrhea. However in April 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that there wasn't enough scientific support for kaolin's use in treating diarrhea. Since April 2004, drug manufacturers have not been allowed to put kaolin in diarrhea medicine. As a result, Kaopectate and similar products no longer contain kaolin.
  • Ulcers and inflammation in the colon (chronic ulcerative colitis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of kaolin for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Kaolin work?

Kaolin acts as a protective coating for the mouth to decrease pain associated with radiation-induced damage.

When it is applied to the skin, kaolin acts as a drying agent.

Are there safety concerns?

Kaolin seems to be safe for most people. It can cause some side effects including constipation, particularly in children and the elderly.

Do not inhale kaolin. It can cause lung problems.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Kaolin is considered POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts during pregnancy.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Clindamycin (Cleocin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Kaolin might decrease how quickly the body absorbs clindamycin (Cleocin), an antibiotic. But it probably doesn't decrease the amount of clindamycin (Cleocin) that is absorbed.



Digoxin (Lanoxin)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin), a heart medication. To avoid a potential interaction, separate digoxin (Lanoxin) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.



Quinidine
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of quinidine (Quinidex), a heart medication. To avoid a potential interaction, separate quinidine (Quinidex) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.



Trimethoprim (Proloprim)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of trimethoprim (Proloprim), an antibiotic. To avoid a potential interaction, separate trimethoprim (Proloprim) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.

Dosing considerations for Kaolin.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
  • For relief of sore mouth (oral mucositis) caused by radiation treatment: 15 mL sucralfate suspension with diphenhydramine syrup plus kaolin-pectin is used as a rinse four times a day.
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Reviewed on 3/29/2011 12:35:40 PM

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