Items in AFP with MESH term: Antidiarrheals
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Article
ABSTRACT: Irritable bowel syndrome affects 10 to 15 percent of the U.S. population to some degree. This condition is defined as abdominal pain and discomfort with altered bowel habits in the absence of any other mechanical, inflammatory, or biochemical explanation for these symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome is more likely to affect women than men and is most common in patients 30 to 50 years of age. Symptoms are improved equally by diets supplemented with fiber or hydrolyzed guar gum, but more patients prefer hydrolyzed guar gum. Antispasmodic agents may be used as needed, but anticholinergic and other side effects limit their use in some patients. Loperamide is an option for treatment of moderately severe diarrhea. Antidepressants have been shown to relieve pain and may be effective in low doses. Trials using alosetron showed a clinically significant, although modest, gain over placebo, but it is indicated only for women with severe diarrhea-predominant symptoms or for those in whom conventional treatment has failed. Tegaserod has an advantage over placebo in constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome; it is indicated for up to 12 weeks of treatment in women. However, postmarketing reports of severe diarrhea and ischemic colitis further limit its use. Herbal therapies such as peppermint oil also may be effective in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. Therapies should focus on specific gastrointestinal dysfunctions (e.g., constipation, diarrhea, pain), and medications only should be used when nonprescription remedies do not work or when symptoms are severe.
Diarrhea in Adults (Acute) - Clinical Evidence Handbook
ABSTRACT: Common pathogens in traveler's diarrhea include enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, Yersinia and many other species. Viruses and protozoa are the cause in many cases. Fortunately, traveler's diarrhea can usually be avoided by carefully selecting foods and beverages. Although drug prophylaxis is now discouraged, treatment with loperamide (in the absence of dysentery) and a fluoroquinolone, such as ciprofloxacin (500 mg twice daily for one to three days), is usually safe and effective in adults with traveler's diarrhea. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and doxycycline are alternatives, but resistance increasingly limits their usefulness. Antibiotic treatment is best reserved for cases that fail to quickly respond to loperamide. Antibiotic resistance is now widespread. Nonabsorbable antibiotics, immunoprophylaxis with vaccines and biotherapeutic microbes that inhibit pathogen infection may eventually supplant antibiotic treatment. In the meantime, azithromycin and new fluoroquinolones show promise as possible replacements for the older agents. Ultimately, the best solution is improvements in sanitary engineering and the development of safe water supplies.
Acute Diarrhea in Adults - Article
ABSTRACT: Acute diarrhea in adults is a common problem encountered by family physicians. The most common etiology is viral gastroenteritis, a self-limited disease. Increases in travel, comorbidities, and foodborne illness lead to more bacteria-related cases of acute diarrhea. A history and physical examination evaluating for risk factors and signs of inflammatory diarrhea and/or severe dehydration can direct any needed testing and treatment. Most patients do not require laboratory workup, and routine stool cultures are not recommended. Treatment focuses on preventing and treating dehydration. Diagnostic investigation should be reserved for patients with severe dehydration or illness, persistent fever, bloody stool, or immunosuppression, and for cases of suspected nosocomial infection or outbreak. Oral rehydration therapy with early refeeding is the preferred treatment for dehydration. Antimotility agents should be avoided in patients with bloody diarrhea, but loperamide/simethicone may improve symptoms in patients with watery diarrhea. Probiotic use may shorten the duration of illness. When used appropriately, antibiotics are effective in the treatment of shigellosis, campylobacteriosis, Clostridium difficile, traveler’s diarrhea, and protozoal infections. Prevention of acute diarrhea is promoted through adequate hand washing, safe food preparation, access to clean water, and vaccinations.