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- What is attapulgite, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the side effects of attapulgite?
- What is the dosage for attapulgite?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with attapulgite?
- Is attapulgite safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about attapulgite?
What is attapulgite, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Attapulgite is an oral, nonabsorbed medication that is used in the management of diarrhea. It works by adsorbing (binding) large numbers of bacteria and toxins and reducing the loss of water. Attapulgite reduces the number of bowel movements, improves the consistency of loose or watery stools, and relieves the gastrointestinal cramping that often is associated with diarrhea.
Is attapulgite available as a generic drug?
Do I need a prescription for attapulgite?
What are the side effects of attapulgite?
Constipation is the main side effect of attapulgite. It can also cause:
What is the dosage for attapulgite?
Attapulgite is taken after each loose bowel movement.
- Adults and adolescents over the age of 12 years may take 1.2 to 1.5 grams per dose, up to 8.4 grams per day.
- Children 6 to 12 years of age may take 600 to 750 mg after each loose bowel movement and up to 4.5 grams per day.
- Children 3 to 6 years of age may take 300 mg after each loose bowel movement up to a total of 2.1 grams (7 doses) per day.
Which drugs or supplements interact with attapulgite?
Attapulgite can decrease the absorption of benztropine (Cogentin), trihexyphenidyl (Artane), loxapine (Loxitane) and dicyclomine (Bentyl) if taken at the same time. These medications should be taken at least 2 hours earlier or later than attapulgite. Attapulgite and other antidiarrheals can worsen constipation caused by opiate pain relievers such as oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), propoxyphene (Darvon), morphine, and codeine.
Is attapulgite safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Attapulgite is safe during pregnancy.
Attapulgite is safe to use in nursing mothers.
What else should I know about attapulgite?
What preparations of attapulgite are available?
Suspension: 600 mg/15ml or 750 mg/ml
How should I keep attapulgite stored?
Preparations should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F).
Related Disease Conditions
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a GI (gastrointestinal) disorder with signs and symptoms that include abdominal pain, bloating, increased gas (flatulence), abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and food intolerance.Two new tests are now available that may help diagnose irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea and constipation (IBS-M) irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea (IBS-D), and irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C). Treatment for IBS includes diet changes, medications, and other lifestyle changes to manage symptoms.
Diarrhea is a change is the frequency and looseness of bowel movements. Symptoms associated with diarrhea are cramping, abdominal pain, and the sensation of rectal urgency. Causes of diarrhea include viral, bacterial, or parasite infection, gastroenteritis, food poisoning, and drugs. Absorbents and anti-motility medications are used to treat diarrhea.
Intestinal Gas and Gas Pain
Gas (intestinal gas) means different things to different people. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by belching, burping, or farting (flatulence). Bloating or abdominal distension is a subjective feeling that the stomach is larger or fuller than normal. Belching or burping occurs when gas is expelled from the stomach out through the mouth. Flatulence or farting occurs when intestinal gas is passed from the anus. Causes of belching or burping include drinking too rapidly, anxiety, carbonated drinks, habit, and swallowing air. Learn about causes of intestinal gas, foods that cause gas and bloating, treatments that reduce excessive gas and soothe gas pain, and much more.
IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea)
IBS-D or irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea refers to IBS with diarrhea. Symptoms of IBS-D include intestinal gas (flatulence), loose stools, frequent stools, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. New non-FDA approved IBS tests may help diagnose IBS and IBS-D. Treatment of IBS-D is geared to toward managing symptoms with diet, medication, and lifestyle changes.
Travelers' diarrhea is generally contracted by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Food is the primary source of travelers' diarrhea. Enterotoxigenic E. coli is the cause of up to 70% of all cases of travelers' diarrhea. There are five unique classes of E. coli that causes gastroenteritis. Other bacteria responsible for travelers' diarrhea include Campylobacter, jejuni, shigella, and salmonella. Viruses such as rotavirus and Norwalk virus (norovirus) and giardia lamblia a parasite may cause travelers' diarrhea. Prevention is careful eating and drinking of water.
Travelers should prepare for their trip by visiting their physician to get the proper vaccinations and obtain the necessary medication if they have a medical condition or chronic disease. Diseases that travelers may pick up from contaminated water or food, insect or animal bites, or from other people include: malaria, meningococcal meningitis, yellow fever, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, polio, and cholera.
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