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Kaolin and Pectin (Kapectolin®, K-P®)

By: Dr. Dawn Ruben

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Overview

  • Kaolin and pectin is used to treat diarrhea and minor stomach problems, such as stomach inflammation (gastritis).

    The following information applies to products with the active ingredients of kaolin and pectin. Please note that the older formulation of Kaopectate® contained kaolin and pectin but this is no longer the case. If your bottle of Kaopectate® indicates that you have the formulation with bismuth subsalicylate, please click here. This is important because this change makes the new formulation of Kaopectate® no longer safe to routinely administer to cats.

  • Kaolin and pectin may provide a coating action that protects the stomach lining. There may also be additional adsorbent effects by which the coating action may prevent absorption of bacteria and toxins. Some products use an adsorbent called attapulgite in place of kaolin. The pectin component may act to decrease the pH in the intestine (increasing acidity).
  • Kaolin and pectin is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.

    Brand Names and Other Names

  • Human formulations: Kao-Spen®, Kapectolin® and K-P®. Also multiple generic preparations. Please note it used to be the active ingredient in the old formulation of "Kaopectate®" (please check bottle to determine active ingredient).
  • Veterinary formulations: There are numerous drug companies with a variety of trade names and various generic preparations. Though some are labeled for animals, it is uncertain if they are FDA approved for that purpose.

    Uses of Kaolin and Pectin

  • Kaolin and pectin is used mostly as an oral anti-diarrheal agent.

    Precautions and Side Effects

  • While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, kaolin and pectin can cause side effects in some animals.
  • Kaolin and pectin should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
  • There are no serious complications caused by administration of kaolin and pectin to pets, although there is not complete agreement that this treatment is helpful either.
  • Pet owners should be aware that the kaolin and pectin could cause mild constipation (usually transient), especially in high doses.
  • Kaolin and pectin may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with kaolin and pectin. Such drugs include lincomycin or digoxin.

    How Kaolin and Pectin Is Supplied

  • A variety of oral suspensions are available over the counter.

    Dosing Information

  • Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
  • Shake well before administering.
  • The typical dose administered to small animals is 0.5 ml to 1.0 ml per pound (1 to 2 ml/kg) every four to six hours given orally.
  • This amounts to approximately 1 to 2 teaspoons (10 ml total) per 10 pounds every four to six hours.
  • The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.




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