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Side Effects
Serious

No serious side effects are associated with attapulgite. However, loss of body water due to diarrhea can cause dry mouth, increased thirst, dizziness, lightheadedness, decreased urination, and wrinkling of skin. Call your doctor immediately.
Common

Constipation.
Less Common

There are no less-common side effects associated with the use of attapulgite.
Attapulgite


Drug Class:
Antidiarrheal

Available OTC?: Yes

Available Generic?: Yes

Donnagel 600 mg
(Wyeth-Ayerst)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions

 


Available In
Oral suspension, tablets, chewable tablets

Why Prescribed
To treat diarrhea.

How It Works
Attapulgite is believed to bind to and remove large volumes of bacteria and toxins from the digestive tract. It may also reduce the fluidity of the stool associated with diarrhea. There is some debate regarding attapulgite's effectiveness.

Range and Frequency
Adults and teenagers-- Suspension and tablets: 1,200 to 1,500 mg taken after each loose bowel movement; take no more than 9,000 mg in 24 hours. Chewable tablets: 1,200 mg after each loose bowel movement; take no more than 8,400 mg in 24 hours. Children ages six to 12-- Suspension and chewable tablets: 600 mg after each loose bowel movement; take no more than 4,200 mg in 24 hours. Tablets: 750 mg after each loose bowel movement; take no more than 4,500 mg in 24 hours. Children ages three to six-- Suspension and chewable tablets: 300 mg after each loose bowel movement; take no more than 2,100 mg in 24 hours. Tablets: Should not be taken by children in this age group.

Onset of Effect
Unknown.

Duration of Action
Unknown.

Dietary Advice
A mild diet is recommended when recovering from diarrhea. Bananas, rice, applesauce, and plain toast are good choices. Be sure to get plenty of fluids.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is near the time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your regular dosage schedule. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
You may stop taking the drug if you feel better before the scheduled end of therapy.

Prolonged Use
If diarrhea has not improved or has gotten worse in two days, or if you develop a fever, call your doctor.

Over 60
Older persons are more likely to experience excessive loss of body fluid and therefore are advised to increase fluid intake accordingly.

Driving and Hazardous Work
The use of attapulgite should not impair your ability to perform such tasks safely.

Alcohol
Avoid alcohol.

Pregnancy
Attapulgite is not absorbed by the body and is not expected to cause problems during pregnancy.

Breast Feeding
Attapulgite is not absorbed by the body and is not expected to cause problems while nursing.

Infants and Children
Should not be given to children under the age of three without consulting your doctor. Be sure your child drinks a sufficient amount of fluids.

Special Concerns
In addition to taking attapulgite, it is important to replace the body fluids lost because of diarrhea. During the first day you should drink ample amounts of clear liquids, like decaffeinated colas, ginger ale, and decaffeinated tea, and eat gelatin. On the following day you should continue your fluid intake and eat bland foods, such as applesauce, cooked cereals, and bread. Do not take attapulgite if your diarrhea is accompanied by blood or mucus in the stools.

Overdose Symptoms
No cases of overdose have been reported.

What to Do
An overdose of attapulgite is unlikely to be life-threatening. However, if someone takes a much larger dose than prescribed, seek medical assistance immediately.

Drug Interactions
Other drugs may interact with attapulgite. If you are taking any other medication, do not take it within two or three hours before or after taking attapulgite.

Food Interactions
Eating fried or spicy foods, bran, fruits, vegetables, or drinking caffeinated or alcoholic beverages can make diarrhea worse.

Disease Interactions
Consult your doctor if you have dysentery or any other medical condition.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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