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January 18, 1980

Prevention of Traveler's Diarrhea (Emporiatric Enteritis)Prophylactic Administration of Subsalicylate Bismuth

Author Affiliations

From The University of Texas Medical School at Houston (Drs DuPont, Evans, Pickering, Evans, Vollet, Ericsson, and Tjoa and Ms Sullivan), and Norwich-Eaton Pharmaceutical, Division of Morton-Norwich Products Inc, Norwich, NY (Mr Ackerman).

JAMA. 1980;243(3):237-241. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300290019013

The efficacy of a daily dosage regimen of subsalicylate bismuth in preventing or reducing the severity of diarrhea among young healthy adults was evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Diarrhea developed in 14 (23%) of 62 students receiving subsalicylate bismuth compared with 40 (61%) of 66 students taking a placebo. The protective effect of subsalicylate bismuth was apparent within a day or two of the study onset and became more obvious as the number of days at risk increased. The students treated with subsalicylate bismuth experienced fewer intestinal complaints and were less likely to pass soft or watery stools of any number. Once diarrhea occurred, enteropathogens were less commonly identified in stools of students receiving subsalicylate bismuth (33%) compared with placebo (71%). Subsalicylate bismuth was well tolerated by students during the 21-day trial.

(JAMA 243:237-241, 1980)