Management of Lithuanian children's acute diarrhoea with Gastrolit solution and dioctahedral smectite

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Apr;14(4):419-24. doi: 10.1097/00042737-200204000-00015.


Objective: Acute gastroenteritis represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide among children, and rehydration treatment has been one of the cornerstones in the management strategy. The natural clay dioctahedral smectite (Smecta) increases intestinal barrier function and is effective against infectious diarrhoea in children. The purpose of this work was to compare the efficacy and tolerance of Lithuanian children's diarrhoea treatment with dioctahedral smectite combined with hypotonic oral rehydration solution (ORS)--Gastrolit--versus Gastrolit alone to establish the influence of Smecta on serum electrolyte balance in young children with diarrhoea and mild or moderate dehydration.

Methods: Smecta combined with ORS (study group) and ORS alone (control group) were evaluated in a multicentre, open, randomized trial in 54 children aged 6-48 months hospitalized for acute diarrhoea (mostly rotavirus aetiology) and signs of mild and moderate dehydration. The main outcomes examined were duration of diarrhoea, fever, number of vomiting episodes, and serum electrolyte balance before and after treatment.

Results: The mean duration of diarrhoea was significantly shorter in the study group (42.3 +/- 24.7 h) than in the control group (61.8 +/- 33.9 h). No side effects of Smecta were observed. The changes of sodium, potassium, chloride and calcium concentrations after treatment were minimal and in the normal range.

Conclusions: Smecta significantly reduced the duration of diarrhoea, was safe and well tolerated, and had no impact on the adsorption of electrolytes. Smecta could be used together with ORS in children suffering from acute gastroenteritis (without uncontrollable vomiting) with mild and moderate dehydration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antidiarrheals / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diarrhea / blood
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy*
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / blood
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Electrolytes / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lithuania
  • Male
  • Rehydration Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Silicates / therapeutic use*


  • Antidiarrheals
  • Electrolytes
  • Rehydration Solutions
  • Silicates
  • smecta