Calotabs Laxative

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The indications or uses for this product as provided on its packaging: For a gentle laxative and for relieving constipation
Currently not on view
Date made
ca 1950
Calotabs Company, Inc.
Place Made
United States: South Carolina, Greenville
Physical Description
cardboard box (overall packaging material)
dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate (drug active ingredients)
casamthranol (drug active ingredients)
overall: 8.8 cm x 5.5 cm x 1.4 cm; 3 7/16 in x 2 3/16 in x 9/16 in
overall: 2 1/8 in x 3 1/2 in x 1/2 in; 5.3975 cm x 8.89 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Mary E. and Joseph F. Melfi, Jr., Tupper's Drug Store, Summerville, South Carolina
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Balm of America
Data Source
National Museum of American History


These were small, round pills, white, hard coated. They were dynamite in the bowel, and as bitter as gall when cut in half, exposing a black interior. My Mother used them as the laxative of last resort, and they were greatly feared.
My uncle Dr. Dillard Jacobs was connected with Calotabs Co. in the 1930s. I remember well he thought it was cure for everything. My mom took his advice. A good cleaning out kept you healthy!

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