Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of Lactobacillus casei sps. rhamnosus (Lactobacillus GG) (LGG) in reducing the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea when coadministered with an oral antibiotic in children with acute infectious disorders.
Study design: Two hundred two children between 6 months and 10 years of age were enrolled; 188 completed all phases of the protocol. LGG, 1 x 10(10) - 2 x 10(10) colony forming units per day, or comparable placebo was administered in a double-blind randomized trial to children receiving oral antibiotic therapy in an outpatient setting. The primary caregiver was questioned every 3 days regarding the incidence of gastrointestinal symptoms, predominantly stool frequency and consistency, through telephone contact by blinded investigators.
Results: Twenty-five placebo-treated but only 7 LGG-treated patients had diarrhea as defined by liquid stools numbering 2 or greater per day. Lactobacillus GG overall significantly reduced stool frequency and increased stool consistency during antibiotic therapy by the tenth day compared with the placebo group.
Conclusion: Lactobacillus GG reduces the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in children treated with oral antibiotics for common childhood infections.