Argile de Chine, Argilla, Bolus Alba, Caolín, China Clay, Heavy Kaolin, Hydrated Aluminum Silicate, Kaolin Léger, Kaolin Lourd, Light Kaolin, Porcelain Clay, Silicate d’aluminium hydraté, Terre à Porcelaine, White Bole.


Overview Information

Kaolin is a type of clay found in nature. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it to make medicine.

Kaolin is used for mild-to-moderate diarrhea, severe diarrhea (dysentery), and cholera.

Kaolin is sometimes applied to wounds to help stop bleeding. It may also be applied to the skin to dry or soften the skin.

In combination products, kaolin is used to treat diarrhea and to relieve soreness and swelling inside the mouth caused by radiation treatments. Some of these combination products are used for treating ulcers and swelling (inflammation) in the large intestine (chronic ulcerative colitis).

Kaolin is also used in laboratory tests that help to diagnose diseases.

In manufacturing, kaolin is used in tablet preparation and to filter materials and remove color.

Kaolin is also a food additive.

How does it work?

Kaolin acts as a protective coating for the mouth to decrease pain associated with radiation-induced damage.

When it is applied to the skin, kaolin acts as a drying agent.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Possibly Effective for

  • Mouth sores (ulcers) due to radiation treatment (mucositis). . Taking kaolin seems to decrease mouth sores caused by radiation treatment.
  • Bleeding. Pressing on an artery using a kaolin pad seems to stop bleeding faster than pressing with regular pad.
  • Recovery after surgery. Applying pad filled with kaolin to a surgical wound seems to stop bleeding better than applying a regular pad.

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diarrhea.
  • Ulcers and inflammation in the colon (chronic ulcerative colitis).
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of kaolin for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Kaolin is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth. It can cause some side effects including constipation, particularly in children and the elderly. Do not inhale kaolin. It can cause lung problems.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Kaolin is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts during pregnancy.

Not enough is known about the safety of taking kaolin during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and don't use it.


Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Clindamycin (Cleocin) interacts with KAOLIN

    Kaolin might decrease how quickly the body absorbs of clindamycin (Cleocin), an antibiotic. But it probably doesn't decrease the amount of clindamycin (Cleocin) that is absorbed.

  • Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with KAOLIN

    Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin), a heart medication. To avoid a potential interaction, separate digoxin (Lanoxin) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.

  • Quinidine interacts with KAOLIN

    Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of quinidine (Quinidex), a heart medication. To avoid a potential interaction, separate quinidine (Quinidex) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.

  • Trimethoprim (Proloprim) interacts with KAOLIN

    Kaolin might decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of trimethoprim (Proloprim), an antibiotic. To avoid a potential interaction, separate trimethoprim (Proloprim) and kaolin doses by at least two hours.



The following doses have been studied in scientific research:



  • For relief of mouth sores (ulcers) caused by radiation treatment (mucositis): A mouth rinse containing 15 mL sucralfate suspension with diphenhydramine syrup plus kaolin-pectin has been used four times a day.
  • Bleeding: A pad filled with kaolin has been applied with pressure to a wound.
  • For recovery after surgery: A pad filled with kaolin has been applied to a wound after surgery to stop bleeding.

  • For recovery after surgery: A pad filled with kaolin has been applied to a wound after surgery to stop bleeding.

View References


  • Albert KS, Ayres JW, DiSanto AR, et al. Influence of kaolin-pectin suspension on digoxin bioavailability. J Pharm Sc 1978;67:1582-6. View abstract.
  • Albert KS, et al. Pharmacokinetic evaluation of a drug interaction between kaolin-pectin and clindamycin. J Pharm Sci 1978 67:1579-82. View abstract.
  • Allen MD, Greenblatt DJ, Harmatz JS, Smith TW. Effect of magnesium-aluminum hydroxide and kaolin-pectin on absorption of digoxin from tablets and capsules. J Clin Pharmacol 1981;21:26-30. View abstract.
  • Altekruse EB, Chaudhary BA, Pearson MG, Morgan WK. Kaolin dust concentrations and pneumoconiosis at a kaolin mine. Thorax 1984;39:436-41. View abstract.
  • Babhair SA, Tariq M. Effect of magnesium trisilicate and kaolin-pectin on the bioavailability of trimethoprim. Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol 1983;40:165-8. View abstract.
  • Barker G, Loftus L, Cuddy P, Barker B. The effects of sucralfate suspension and diphenhydramine syrup plus kaolin-pectin on radiotherapy-induced mucositis. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol 1991;71:288-93. View abstract.
  • Black RA, Hill DA. Over-the-counter medications in pregnancy. Am Fam Physician 2003;67:2517-24. View abstract.
  • Bucci AJ, Myre SA, Tan HS, Shenouda LS. In vitro interaction of quinidine with kaolin and pectin. J Pharm Sci 1981;70:999-1002. View abstract.
  • Carnel SB, Blakeslee DB, Oswald SG, Barnes M. Treatment of radiation- and chemotherapy-induced stomatitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1990;102:326-30. View abstract.
  • Chaudhary BA, Kanes GJ, Pool WH. Pleural thickening in mild kaolinosis. South Med J 1997;90:1106-9. View abstract.
  • Chávez-Delgado ME, Kishi-Sutto CV, Albores de la-Riva XN, Rosales-Cortes M, Gamboa-Sánchez P. Topic usage of kaolin-impregnated gauze as a hemostatic in tonsillectomy. J Surg Res. 2014;192(2):678-85. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 335 - Antidiarrheal drug products for over-the-counter human use. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=335.50
  • FDA Safety Page. Kaopectate reformulation and upcoming labeling changes. Drug Topics. April 9, 2004. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/MedicationErrors/ucm080666.pdf.
  • Federal Register April 17,2003. Anti-Diarrheal Products for over-the-counter human use; final monograph. Available at: https://www.fda.gov/OHRMS/DOCKETS/98fr/03-9380.pdf (Accessed 27 December 2004).
  • Levin JL, Frank AL, Williams MG, et al. Kaolinosis in a cotton mill worker. Am J Ind Med 1996;29:215-21. View abstract.
  • Rodin SM, Johnson BF. Pharmacokinetic interactions with digoxin. Clin Pharmacokinet 1988;15:227-44. View abstract.
  • Trabattoni D, Montorsi P, Fabbiocchi F, Lualdi A, Gatto P, Bartorelli AL. A new kaolin-based haemostatic bandage compared with manual compression for bleeding control after percutaneous coronary procedures. Eur Radiol. 2011;21(8):1687-91. View abstract.

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