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  Click on any of the links below to view answers to these commonly asked questions.
 
1. How does Kaopectate work?
2. How is the new formula an improvement over the old?
3. What flavors/sizes does Kaopectate come in?
4. When should I take Extra Strength Kaopectate over the regular strength?
5. Can I give Kaopectate to my children?
6. The new formula sometimes darkens the tongue/stool. Why does this happen and how long does it last?
7. What is salicylate? Is it a form of aspirin?
8. How are salicylates associated with allergies and Reye’s syndrome?
9. If I'm allergic to aspirin, can I take this product?
10. Can I still buy the old Kaopectate formula?
11. I can’t find the caplets in the new formula. Are they available?
12. Can I refrigerate Kaopectate?
13. When can I take Kaopectate? Do I need to take it with food?
14. Can pregnant or nursing women take Kaopectate?
 
 
1. How does Kaopectate work?

A - Bismuth subsalicylate, the new active ingredient in Kaopectate, controls diarrhea within 24 hours. Although the exact mechanism is unknown, it is believed to work by several mechanisms in the gut:

  • It reduces symptoms of diarrhea by slowing intestinal secretions, which decreases fluid loss in diarrhea patients.
  • It may inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins which are responsible for intestinal contractions and inflammation.
  • It may have an antimicrobial effect against numerous diarrheal pathogens. It binds with the toxins produced by the bacteria.  
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2. How is the new formula an improvement over the old?
A - The new formula contains the active ingredient bismuth subsalicylate, which has been proven in clinical studies to be more effective than the active ingredient in the old formula.  
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3. What flavors/sizes does Kaopectate come in?
A - The new Kaopectate formula is currently available in liquid form and will be available caplet form later in 2003. The 2 adult liquids come in regular (vanilla) and peppermint flavors and are available in 8- and 12oz bottles. Kaopectate is also available in a 6oz Children’s liquid formula in a great tasting cherry flavor, and an 8oz Extra Strength liquid formula in peppermint. Kaopectate caplets are available in the old formula and will be available in the new formula later in 2003. Caplets come in 12- and 20- count boxes.  
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4. When should I take Extra Strength Kaopectate over the regular strength?
A - The Extra Strength formula contains twice the active ingredient per tablespoonful than the regular strength formula allowing you to relieve your diarrhea with fewer doses. You should take Extra Strength if your diarrhea is more severe and/or you want to limit the number of doses you need to take before you get relief.  
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5. Can I give Kaopectate to my children?
A - Kaopectate liquid and caplets are approved for use by children down to age 3, however we recommend children between the ages of 3 and 8 use Children’s Kaopectate liquid. For children under the age of 3, consult with your doctor.  
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6. The new formula sometimes darkens the tongue/stool. Why does this happen and how long does it last?
A - Kaopectate may cause a harmless darkening of the tongue or stool that is caused when the active ingredient (bismuth subsalicylate) combines with the healthy bacteria in your saliva and gastrointestinal (GI) tract and forms a black-colored substance called bismuth sulfide. It is not an alarming sign and should go away within several days after you stop using the medication. You do not need to stop using the product as a result of this harmless and temporary side effect. If the discoloration of the stool does not subside after discontinuing use, however, consult your physician, as this may be a sign of a more serious condition.  
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7. What is salicylate? Is it a form of aspirin?
A - Salicylate is a substance that is present in aspirin. It possesses analgesic (pain killing) and anti-inflammatory properties. Bismuth subsalicylate, the active ingredient in Kaopectate liquids, is related to aspirin.  
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8. How are salicylates associated with allergies and Reye’s syndrome?
A - Allergic reactions to salicylates have been noted in patients with known hypersensitivity to aspirin and related compounds.|

While the exact cause of Reye’s syndrome is not completely understood, the risk of Reye’s syndrome can increase when you take aspirin or other salicylates while suffering or recovering from the chicken pox, flu or flu symptoms.

Reye’s syndrome has been associated with salicylate administration during viral illness. Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox, flu symptoms or flu should not use this product. If nausea, vomiting or fever occur, consult a doctor because this could be an early sign of Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious illness.
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9. If I'm allergic to aspirin, can I take this product?
A - No. You should not use this product if you are allergic to aspirin or other salicylates.  
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10. Can I still buy the old Kaopectate formula?
A - Yes. The old formula is still available in caplet form and will be until later in 2003. At that time, the caplets will also be reformulated and the old formula will no longer be available.  
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11. I can’t find the caplets in the new formula. Are they available?
A - Kaopectate caplets are also being reformulated, but the new formula won’t be available until later in 2003. The old formula is still available in the stores where you shop.  
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12. Can I refrigerate Kaopectate?
A - Although storage under typical refrigeration conditions (36 – 40 F) is not likely to have an impact on the performance of the product, we recommend you store the product at 66 – 77 F.  
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13. When can I take Kaopectate? Do I need to take it with food?
A - Follow the directions on the label. You do not need to take it with food.  
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14. Can pregnant or nursing women take Kaopectate?
A - If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use.  
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