MANAGEMENT of the patient with protracted diarrhea presents a complex of therapeutic problems. The physician is confronted with the need for suppression of the diarrhea, correction of water and electrolyte disturbances, maintenance of nutrition, control of secondary infection, and, occasionally, for restoration of blood loss. Causes of diarrhea are numerous, and in many instances no specific therapy is found. Whether the etiology is specific or nonspecific, prompt control of the frequent bowel movements is essential in order to prevent undue dehydration, loss of essential electrolytes, and malnutrition.
Control of diarrhea in the more severe cases often taxes the ingenuity of the physician. The common antidiarrheal agents such as bismuth, kaolin, charcoal, or pectin are effective only in very mild cases. Anticholinergic drugs and hydrophilous substances have limitations. In the more resistant cases it is usually necessary, despite the potential danger of inducing addiction, to resort to narcotics. Need for an
Barowsky H, Schwartz SA. Method for Evaluating Diphenoxylate Hydrochloride: Comparison of Its Antidiarrheal Effect with That of Camphorated Tincture of Opium. JAMA. 1962;180(12):1058–1061. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050250064019a
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