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Current treatment options for diarrhoea in the paediatric population

Publication at Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové, Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Králové |


Acute diarrhoea is defined as a change in stool consistency from soft to liquid and/or an increase in the number of defecations to more than three per day. Other symptoms of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) include fever, nausea and vomiting.

Viruses are the most common cause of AGE, with rotavirus being the most frequent causative agent, affecting mostly infants and toddlers aged 6-24 months during the autumn/winter period. The most important part of the diagnostic and therapeutic approach is the assessment of the degree of dehydration, which decides on the severity of AGE and serves as one of the factors determining hospitalization.

The standard first-line treatment approach involves oral rehydration with hypoosmolar fluids. Other effective treatments include the administration of probiotics (Lactobacillus GG, Saccharomyces boulardii), racecadotril, diosmectin and perhaps ondansetron to reduce the intensity of nausea and vomiting.

Antibiotic therapy should only be considered in specific clinical scenarios. Chronic diarrhoea may be caused by a range of disorders, from intolerance to a particular food (or food containing e.g. lactose) to a symptom of a multisystem disease.

This overview aims to outline the current treatment options for diarrhoea in the paediatric population.