The therapeutic efficacy of bismuth subsalicylate was examined in a randomized double-blind fashion in 59 volunteers who were inoculated with Norwalk agent. Sixty-eight percent of the volunteers demonstrated seroconversion; 57% became ill. The severity and duration of the illness in 32 volunteers in the treatment and placebo groups were compared. Significant reduction in the severity and duration of abdominal cramps (P < 0.01) and in the median duration of GI symptoms (P < 0.05) was noted in the treatment group. There was no difference in the number, weight, or water content of stools, or in the rate of viral excretion between the two groups. The median duration of illness was 20 hr in the treatment group and 27 hr in the placebo group (0.1 > P > 0.05).
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