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Loperamide therapy for acute diarrhea in children

27.03.2007
The drug loperamide is widely used as a treatment for diarrhoea in adults, but most authorities, including the World Health Organization recommend that it should not be given to young children.

The wisdom of this approach is supported by new evidence published in PLoS Medicine. Researchers reviewed the evidence from 13 trials, involving over 900 children.

They concluded that loperamide should not be given if a child is less than 3 years old, or if he or she is malnourished, seriously dehydrated or has bloody diarrhoea.

In any of these situations the risks outweighs the benefits, even at low doses. In other children the drug may play a useful part in the treatment of diarrhoea.

Citation: Li ST, Grossman DC, Cummings P (2007) Loperamide therapy for acute diarrhea in children: Systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med 4(3): e98.

Andrew Hyde | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plosmedicine.org
http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040098

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