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In addition to using ORS and drinking more water, diarrhea can also be treated with kaolin. This drug is generally used to relieve mild to severe diarrhea or diarrhea of unknown cause
Diarrhea is characterized by more frequent bowel movements with looser stools than usual. This condition is generally caused by the consumption of food or drink that has been contaminated with viruses, bacteria, or parasites.
Diarrhea can be overcome by drinking more and eating soft foods. However, you can also use diarrhea medicine that contains kaolin to treat it.
Kaolin as a Drug to Treat Diarrhea
To treat diarrhea, kaolin works by absorbing toxins and other substances from the intestines. This drug can also form or solidify loose stools in just 1–2 days.
However, kaolin cannot reduce the amount of fluid lost during diarrhea. Therefore, the consumption of this drug must also be accompanied by the consumption of lots of fluids.
Kaolin does not have the ability to fight bacteria, so it is not recommended to be used as the sole treatment for bacterial diarrhea.
However, medical research states that the effectiveness of kaolin in treating diarrhea is still not fully proven. Therefore, further research is needed to determine its effectiveness.
However, BPOM RI still allows diarrhea drugs containing kaolin to be sold in the market and can generally be consumed as over-the-counter drugs.
Things to Pay Attention to Before Consuming Kaolin
Before you want to use kaolin as a diarrhea medicine, there are several things you need to pay attention to, including:
Dose of kaolin medicine
Pay attention to the instructions for use and the dosage of the drug listed on the package before using it. If necessary, consult a doctor to ensure the correct dosage and safety.
Kaolin medicine is generally taken after every bowel movement. The following is the recommended dose for the use of kaolin medicine:
- Children aged 3–6 years: 1–2 tablespoons
- Children aged 6–12 years: 2–4 tablespoons
- Children 12 years and over: 3–4 tablespoons
- Adult: 4–8 tablespoons
Meanwhile, for children under 3 years old, the administration of kaolin and its dosage must first be consulted with a doctor.
Kaolin side effects
Kaolin is relatively safe for consumption, but side effects can still occur. Constipation is one of the most common effects, especially if kaolin is consumed by children or the elderly.
Therefore, you need to be more careful when giving kaolin to children or parents. Kaolin is also not recommended to be given to children under 3 years old.
In addition, kaolin can also cause allergic reactions characterized by symptoms of itching, rash, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the tongue, lips, mouth, or face.
Diarrhea medicine containing kaolin is also safe for consumption by pregnant women, because the substances contained in it are not absorbed by the placenta. However, animal studies have shown an association between kaolin and anemia and hypokalemia in pregnancy.
To avoid things that are not desirable, it is better for pregnant women to avoid or consult a doctor first if you want to consume kaolin.
Interaction of kaolin drugs with other types of drugs
The use of kaolin also needs to be careful if you are taking certain drugs, such as digoxin, quinidine, clindamycin, or trimethoprim.
This is because the kaolin content can affect the performance of these drugs. You also need to be careful if you are taking herbal medicines, dietary supplements, or if you are allergic to certain foods or drugs.
When consuming kaolin, it is recommended to consume lots of water. Drink kaolin according to the dosage stated on the package or as directed by the doctor.
If after taking kaolin for 2 days, you feel no change or your diarrhea gets worse, stop using it immediately and consult your doctor for proper treatment.