My watch list  


Kaopectate, known medically as bismuth subsalicylate, is an orally taken medication from Chattem, Inc. for the treatment of mild diarrhoea. It is also sometimes used to treat indigestion, nausea and stomach ulcers.



The active ingredient in Kaopectate has changed since its original creation. Originally, kaolinite was used as the adsorbent and pectin as the emollient. Attapulgite clay replaced the kaolinite, and since the mid-2000s, pink bismuth subsalicylate has been used.

Side Effects


  • Constipation
  • Dizziness/Lightheadedness
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased sweating
  • Black stools
  • Black tongue


  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pains
  • Involuntary movemements of the hands and lower arms
  • Vision impairment

Use on animals

The FDA does not have a clear stance on the administration of kaopectate on animals such as dogs and cats that are suffering from diarrhea.[citation needed]

Additionally it should be noted that Kaolin-pectate, the original compound, is approved by the OTC (Organic Trade Association) for use in animals being produced for food.

In pop culture

Singer and songwriter Rupert Holmes once compared the taste of Pina Coladas to that of Kaopectate.

Kaopectate is mentioned in The Sugarhill Gang's hit song Rapper's Delight when one of the group members mentions running "to the store for quick relief from a bottle of Kaopectate" in response to eating some bad food.

Jan Murray is once reputed to have said, "I know this guy who's a gift to humanity, but so is Kaopectate." In the 1996 movie The Nutty Professor, Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) said, when his hand swelled up, "I gotta go to the store get me some Tylenol or some Kaopectate"

Dr Martin Dysart mentions it in the play Equus when, talking about his trips to Greece, he says "Suitcases crammed with Kao-Pectate! Such a fantastic surrender to the primitive!" (Act II Scene 25), although this reference, along with several other products familiar to a 1970s audience, has been updated in the 2007 West End revival of the play.

Maddox, writer of The Best Page in the Universe, said that Kaopectate is needed to eat a McDonalds meal. He parodied this by making a chart of the rising sales of anti-diarrheal medicine since the restaurant opened.

In one episode of Beavis and Butthead, Beavis claims that Kaopectate is a rip-off, because it tastes bad, is expensive, and doesn't really work. He claims it doesn't work because he read that it was for diarrhea, but even after taking it for a whole week, he never got diarrhea.

Frank Zappa's song Magdalena mentions Kaopectate: "I'd like to ... spread mayonaise and kaopectate all over your body".

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kaopectate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE