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a clay mineral that contains aluminum silicate and is the main ingredient of fuller's earth; activated attapulgite is a heat-treated form that is administered orally in the treatment of diarrhea.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


(at-a-pull-gite) ,

Children's Kaopectate

(trade name),

Fowler’s Anti-Diarrhea Tablets

(trade name),

Fowler's attapulgite oral suspension

(trade name),


(trade name),

Kaopectate Extra Strength

(trade name)


Therapeutic: antidiarrheals
Pharmacologic: adsorbents
Pregnancy Category: B


Adjunct in the symptomatic management of mild to moderate acute diarrhea.


Appears to act by adsorbing bacteria and toxins and decreasing loss of water.

Therapeutic effects

Decreased number and water content of stools.


Absorption: Action is local. Attapulgite is not absorbed.
Distribution: Unknown.
Metabolism and Excretion: Unknown.
Half-life: Unknown.

Time/action profile (antidiarrheal effect)



Contraindicated in: Hypersensitivity; Severe dehydration; Diarrhea that may be caused by parasites; Dysentery.
Use Cautiously in: Pediatric / Geriatric: Children <3 yr or geriatric patients have increased risk of dehydration.

Adverse Reactions/Side Effects


  • constipation


Drug-Drug interaction

May decrease the gastrointestinal absorption of concurrently administered oral medications (administer 2–3 hr before or 2–4 hr after attapulgite).


Oral (Adults) 1.2–3 g after each loose stool (not to exceed 9 g/24 hr).
Oral (Children 6–12 yr) 600–1500 mg after each loose stool (not to exceed 4.5 g/24 hr).
Oral (Children 3–6 yr) 300–750 mg after each loose stool (not to exceed 2.25 g/24 hr).


Oral suspension: 600 mg/15 mLOTC, 750 mg/5 mLOTC, 900 mg/15 mLOTC
Tablets: 630 mgOTC

Nursing implications

Nursing assessment

  • Assess the frequency and consistency of stools and bowel sounds before and throughout course of therapy.
  • Assess fluid and electrolyte balance and skin turgor for dehydration.

Potential Nursing Diagnoses

Diarrhea (Indications)
Constipation (Side Effects)
Deficient knowledge, related to medication regimen (Patient/Family Teaching)


  • Administer after each loose bowel movement until diarrhea is controlled.
    • Do not administer other medications within 2–3 hr before or after attapulgite administration.
  • Oral: Shake suspension well before administration.

Patient/Family Teaching

  • Instruct patient to notify health care professional if diarrhea persists longer than 48 hr or if fever or abdominal pain develops.
  • Advise patient or parent not to use attapulgite and to notify health care professional if stool contains blood or mucus or is accompanied by fever.

Evaluation/Desired Outcomes

  • Decrease in frequency of loose stools.
    • Return to soft, formed stools.
Drug Guide, © 2015 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The EPNs were tested in baits containing cat food and attapulgite clay because such baits would be relatively inexpensive to produce and easy to use.
A fortnight later, the 80 most vigorous plantlets were transplanted singly to 1-L pots (14 x 10 cm), filled with pasteurized field soil [clay loam, pH ([H.sub.2]O) = 5.8; available P (Olson) = 52 mg P [kg.sup.-1]] silica sand (0.7-1.2 mm) and expanded, attapulgite clay (Oil Dry Chem-Sorb WR 24/18, Brenntag Mediterranee Export, Vitrolles Cedex, France), mixed in a volumetric ratio of 1:2:2.
Nanoporous zeolites, attapulgite clays (which can bind large numbers of bacteria and toxins), and nanoporous polymers (which can bind 100,000 times more organic contaminants than can activated carbon) can all be used for water purification.
* Trelleborg/Fillite * Uniqema * Wacker Polymer Systems * Zemex Attapulgite LLC
Zemex Corporation acquired attapulgite clay assets from Milwhite
Materials evaluated were SW-101, Hydrogel 90 (API material) Extra High Yield and Attapulgite, in varying concentrations mixed into sea water.
It has been demonstrated in recent studies that high-surfacearea clays such as smectic and attapulgite are effective in inducing these cytoprotective effects and alleviating the symptoms of diarrhoea (Gilardi et al 1999:917).
Update: Added a line of organoclays, dropped a line of attapulgite clays
Salt Gel: An attapulgite clay used where chlorides exceed the
Palygorskite, also known as, attapulgite, is a clay mineral mined from Miocene strata north of Tallahassee, Florida.
The product is manufactured from high oleic oil that was made electrically pure through an attapulgite adsorbent clay treatment.