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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.


(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.


/at·ta·pul·gite/ (at″ah-pul´jīt) a hydrated silicate of aluminum and magnesium, a clay mineral that is the main ingredient of fuller's earth; activated a. is a heat-treated form that is used in the treatment of diarrhea.


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Wang, A Comparative Study About Adsorption of Natural Palygorskite for Methylene Blue, Chem.
The surface of palygorskite crystals, like the surface of any other clay minerals, is hydrophilic, which hampers its moisture treatment by hydrophobic organic substances.
Aspects of cationic dye molecule adsorption to palygorskite.
Structural and textural modifications of palygorskite and sepiolite under acid treatment.
The dominant theory proposes that there is a single type of Maya Blue that was also prepared in a unique way and that a specific type of bond binds the two components: one organic component, indigo -the dye used for denim that is obtained from the Indigofera suffruticosa plant in Mesoamerica- and another inorganic component, palygorskite, a type of clay characterised by its crystal structure full of internal channels.
Smectite is followed by kaolinite, palygorskite and K-bearing illite.
Steve Perry's specimens are clusters, on and off matrix, of sharp, lustrous, partially gemmy, typically axe-blade-shaped crystals, with individuals reaching 2 cm; some matrix specimens show associations of tiny albite and quartz crystals, and sparse fibers of palygorskite.
The effects of palygorskite on chemical and physicochemical properties of soils: A review.
Kalibantonga, 2006, Heavy metals removal from solution by palygorskite clay Minerals Engineering, 19, pp.
Indigo and palygorskite, a mineral clay, were probably heated over a fire of copal, a gummy incense derived from tree resin, says Dean Arnold of Wheaton College in Illinois, who led the study, to appear in the March issue of Antiquity.