Loperamide therapy for acute diarrhea in children
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.
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PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-03-su-ting-li.pdf
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- Caption: Meta-Analysis of Prevalence of Diarrhea at 24 Hours Among Those on Loperamide Compared with Controls The x-axis is on the log scale. Random effects prevalence ratio: 0.66 (95% CI: 0.57-0.77) Test for heterogeneity, p=0.914
University of California Davis
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United States of America
Contact: Andrew Hyde
Public Library of Science