What is attapulgite, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Attapulgite is an oral, nonabsorbed medication that is used in the management of diarrhea. It works by adsorbing (binding) large numbers of bacteria and toxins and reducing the loss of water. Attapulgite reduces the number of bowel movements, improves the consistency of loose or watery stools, and relieves the gastrointestinal cramping that often is associated with diarrhea.

Is attapulgite available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for attapulgite?


What are the side effects of attapulgite?

Constipation is the main side effect of attapulgite. It can also cause:

What is the dosage for attapulgite?

Attapulgite is taken after each loose bowel movement.

  • Adults and adolescents over the age of 12 years may take 1.2 to 1.5 grams per dose, up to 8.4 grams per day.
  • Children 6 to 12 years of age may take 600 to 750 mg after each loose bowel movement and up to 4.5 grams per day.
  • Children 3 to 6 years of age may take 300 mg after each loose bowel movement up to a total of 2.1 grams (7 doses) per day.

Is attapulgite safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

Attapulgite is safe during pregnancy.

Attapulgite is safe to use in nursing mothers.

What else should I know about attapulgite?

What preparations of attapulgite are available?

Suspension: 600 mg/15ml or 750 mg/ml

How should I keep attapulgite stored?

Preparations should be stored at room temperature, 15 C – 30 C (59 F – 86 F).

Medically Reviewed on 3/20/2019


Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine


FDA Prescribing Information