Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Data show investigational antibiotic safe, effective in preventing travelers diarrhea

17.05.2004


New data suggest the investigational drug rifaximin, a non-absorbed (less than .5%) antibiotic with few side effects and low potential for resistance, is effective in preventing travelers’ diarrhea, an illness that affects up to 60 percent of international travelers. Until now, antimicrobial prophylaxis, while effective, has been discouraged because of side effects and the encouragement of resistance. The study results, presented Sunday, May 16 at the 2004 Digestive Disease Week (DDW) annual meeting by lead investigator, Herbert L. DuPont, M.D., Chief of the Internal Medicine Service at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston, showed that, over two weeks, 85 percent of the rifaximin-treated subjects remained free of diarrhea, compared with 49 percent of the placebo-treated subjects.



Dr. DuPont is also Director, Center for Infectious Diseases, University of Texas, Houston School of Public Health and Vice-Chairman, Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

Travelers’ diarrhea threatens up to 50 million persons going to Mexico and Latin America, Africa and southern Asia each year. The illness can render travelers bed ridden for a full day or more, and considerably decrease their energy for up to a week or longer. In addition, a bout of travelers’ diarrhea can also cause chronic diarrhea and long-lasting irritable bowel syndrome in some people. The antibiotic, rifaximin, with the projected brand name of Xifaxan, is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It has previously been shown by researchers to be a safe and effective form of therapy for treatment of travelers’ diarrhea in clinical studies conducted in Mexico, Peru, India and Kenya and has been prescribed internationally since 1987 and is currently approved in 17 countries worldwide.


"This is potentially one of the most important advances over the past 50 years toward reducing the occurrence of illness of travelers to the high-risk areas," said Dr. DuPont. "The characteristics of rifaximin — it is non systemic since it stays in the intestine after taking it by mouth and has been shown to be "gut-selective" in clinical trials — make it an ideal drug for prevention of diarrhea in international travelers. It particularly practical in that it was effective in preventing illness with as little as one dose a day."

About the Study

The randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study evaluated the tolerability and efficacy of rifaximin as prophylaxis for travelers’ diarrhea. Two hundred and twenty U.S. college students were enrolled in the trial within 72 hours of their arrival in Guadalajara, Mexico. Study participants received 200 milligrams of rifaximin once daily, twice daily, three times daily or placebo for two weeks. Eleven students dropped out of the study, leaving 209 participants to be evaluated daily for three weeks for the occurrence of diarrhea, mild diarrhea or severe diarrhea, and for five weeks for drug related side effects.

Rifaximin protected the young adults from the U.S. against all forms of diarrhea and intestinal symptoms in all drug doses tested (one dose, two doses, or three doses per day). Over the two-weeks in Mexico, 85 percent of the rifaximin-treated subjects compared with 49 percent of the placebo-treated subjects remained free of diarrhea. In the groups not developing diarrhea, rifaximin also prevented the occurrence of milder forms of diarrhea and prevented the occurrence of moderate and severe abdominal pain and cramps and excessive gas-related symptoms. The drug was safe, having in incidence of adverse events comparable to placebo (inactive sugar pill used to blind the drug).

For a copy of the DDW abstract or for more information during the conference, please contact Dr. DuPont through his pager: 877-326-1401. After the conference, his office number in Houston is 832-355-4122.

The study was supported by a grant from Salix Pharmaceutical Company.

Digestive Disease Week (DDW) is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery. Jointly sponsored by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (SSAT), DDW takes place May 15-20, 2004 in New Orleans, Lousiana. The meeting showcases approximately 5,000 abstracts and hundreds of lectures on the latest advances in GI research, medicine and technology.


St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System is a comprehensive health system that serves the primary and tertiary healthcare needs of the community. Established by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, the System includes the flagship St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Charities, St. Luke’s Community Health Services, KS Management Services, LLP, and St. Luke’s Community Medical Center (CMC)—The Woodlands. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is home to the world-renowned Texas Heart Institute, founded in 1962.

Corrie Murphy | EurekAlert!

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>