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Drug relieves diarrhoea in children

A short course of nitazoxanide relieves severe diarrhoea in children infected with rotavirus.

Drug relieves diarrhoea in children

A short course of nitazoxanide relieves severe diarrhoea in children infected with rotavirus, which kills half a million youngsters in mainly poor countries each year. Nitazoxanide was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 for treating gastrointestinal infections in children. Rotavirus, the most common cause of serious diarrhoea in children, can be spread by water, food or contact with contaminated surfaces. It also causes gastroenteritis, inflammation of the stomach and small intestines. Researchers from the Romark Institute for Medical Research in Tampa, Florida, compared the effects of nitazoxanide given twice a day for three days with the effects of placebo in 50 children with severe diarrhoea. It was found that the drug (nitazoxanide) relieved symptoms in just over 30 hours in young children with severe diarrhoea, less than half the time of the placebo group, without producing any side effects. These results are encouraging, and might encourage doctors to think about new approaches to managing rotavirus disease in children. However, larger trials of the drug are being conducted to confirm these results.
The Lancet,
June 2006
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