The efficacy of bismuth subsalicylate in the treatment of acute diarrhoea and the prevention of persistent diarrhoea

H. R. Chowdhury, M. Yunus, K. Zaman, A. Rahman, S. M. Faruque, A. G. Lescano, R. B. Sack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A controlled, randomized, double-blind study in Bangladeshi children (ages 4-36 mo) with acute diarrhoea was undertaken to determine whether bismuth subsalicylate (BSS) would prevent the development of persistent diarrhoea (PD) in young children. The children were randomized to two groups: 226 were given liquid oral BSS, (as Pepto-Bismol), 100 mg/kg/d for 5 d; 225 were given placebo of identical appearance. On admission to the study, the two groups were comparable both clinically and microbiologically. Rotavirus was found in 56% of all the children, and enterotoxigenic E. coli in 31% of a subsample studied. Children treated with BSS had less severe and less prolonged illness than those treated with placebo (p = 0.057). There was, however, no difference in the development of PD between the two groups (8% and 11%). Unexpectedly, patients treated with BSS gained significantly more weight (2.3%) than those treated with placebo (0.5%; p < 0.001) during the course of the study. No toxicity of BSS was detected. Conclusion: Treatment with BSS had a modest therapeutic effect on acute diarrhoea, as has been previously demonstrated, but with no suggestion of a therapeutic effect on the prevention of persistent diarrhoea in this group of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-610
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

Keywords

  • Acute diarrhoea
  • Bismuth subsalicylate
  • Nutrition
  • Persistent diarrhoea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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