Kaolin pectin is a combination commonly used to relieve diarrhea. This combo is believed to be able to capture and carry away diarrhea-causing bacteria from the digestive tract. This material will also absorb water in the intestines so that the consistency of the stool can harden again.

Having been used to treat mild, moderate, and severe diarrhea, kaolin pectin can also treat cholera. For traditional medicine, kaolin is also applied to the wound surface to help reduce bleeding. In addition to that, it also has other benefits for the skin, making too dry skin softer.

The combination is commonly used as a food additive and tablet; however, there is no good scientific proof to support all the above claims yet. Back in 2003, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US concluded that kaolin pectin can increase stool density.  Nonetheless, there is no adequate evidence that it can reduce fluid loss and effectively stop diarrhea, at least in the gastroenteritis case.

What is Kaolin Pectin?

Kaolin is a kind of silica-coated mineral that is widely used as an additive in manufacturing cosmetics, ceramics, medicine, paper coatings, food additives, toothpaste additives, and as a diffusion material in white light bulbs. The kaolin formula is Al2H4O9Si2, with a molecular weight of 258.156 g/mol.

Meanwhile, pectin is a kind of heteropolysaccharide derived from cell wall derivatives of higher plants. Pectin is widely used as an emulsifying and stabilizing additive in the food industry. Pectin has long been used as a therapeutic agent in diarrhea, but it requires further studies to claim that this substance is effective as an antidiarrheal. The formula for pectin is C6H10O7, with a molecular weight of 194.14 g/mol.

How Does Kaolin Pectin Work?

Kaolin is relatively safe for most people when taken by mouth. When held in the mouth, a mouthwash containing kaolin produces a protective coating for mouth sores. So, it is also quite safe when combined with pectin in medicine and mouthwash solution. Nevertheless, it is possibly unsafe when used in huge amounts daily as it may cause some side effects such as constipation and intestine blockage.

Related: Kaolin Clay: The Good and The Bad of Eating Kaolin

Recommended Dosage of Kaolin Pectin

Kaolin Pectin Syrup

The dosage for consuming the combo varies for every person. To treat diarrhea, the following is the right dose if you are taking the drug in liquid form.

  • Adults: 4-8 tablespoons (60-120 ml) after each bowel movement while the stool is still liquid
  • Children (12 years and over): 3-4 tablespoons (45-60 ml) after each bowel movement
  • Children aged 6-12 years: 2-4 tablespoons (30-60 ml) after each bowel movement
  • Children aged 3-6 years: 1-2 tablespoons (15-30 ml) after each bowel movement
  • Children aged 3 years and under: not recommended, unless a doctor prescribes it

Keep in mind that the dosage above may vary depending on your health condition.  Therefore, before taking this drug, it is better to consult with your doctor first and read the instructions for use on the packaging carefully.

Possible Side Effects of Kaolin Pectin

Kaolin pectin is generally safe to use. So far, there have been no reports that the consumption of this drug triggers serious side effects. However, if taken too much, this drug can trigger constipation. The risk of these side effects is more likely to appear in children and the elderly who take it. So, make sure they drink a lot of water while the diarrhea is still going on. If you have more questions about the medicine or other diarrhea medications, talk to your doctor right away.

Kaolin Pectin Use Warning

Although the medicine is still considered a mild drug, it does not mean you can take it carelessly. Pay attention to the things below before you consume them to reduce the risk of side effects.

  • Make sure you don’t have an allergy to kaolin or pectin.
  • This medicine is not recommended for use by children under 3 years of age.
  • For the elderly, make sure its use is accompanied by adequate fluid consumption.
  • Kaolin pectin can react with other medications and interfere with how they work, so pay attention to the type of medication you are currently taking.
  • Consumption of the drug with alcohol is also at risk of triggering interactions.
  • Ensure that what you are experiencing is normal diarrhea and not a severe condition such as dysentery. Taking this drug for dysentery will worsen the condition.
  • This drug is included as category B for pregnant women. It means that it is safe enough for consumption during pregnancy.

Be Cautious with these Drugs

Consumption of kaolin and other drugs can cause drug interaction due to the ingredients in one drug, changing the work of other drugs. As a result, there will be an increase in the risk of drug side effects and a decrease in the drug’s effectiveness.

The other drugs that may trigger interactions with kaolin include:

1. Clindamycin

If you take kaolin and the antibiotic clindamycin simultaneously, the absorption of the clindamycin in the body will slow down.  However, this does not reduce the number of antibiotics that will be absorbed into the body.

2. Quinidine

Quinidine will also decrease in effectiveness when taken together with kaolin. This drug is taken to heal certain heart problems and should be taken at least 2 hours apart from kaolin.

3. Digoxin

Digoxin is a drug for heart diseases that, when taken with kaolin, reduces its effectiveness.  To avoid the risk of interaction, keep the consumption of both at least 2 hours apart.

4. Trimethoprim

These antibiotics can also interfere with their workings when taken together with kaolin because they can decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of trimethoprim.  Just like the drugs above, to minimize the risk of interactions, you should give a distance of at least 2 hours between consumption.


Clinical supervision of kaolin pectin use in diarrhea patients means monitoring their dehydration and the side effects due to the drug administration. It is also necessary to educate patients and their families that some diarrheal conditions, especially in children, do not require therapy with these combined substances.