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Review
, 48 (5), 598-605

Antimotility Agents for the Treatment of Clostridium Difficile Diarrhea and Colitis

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Review

Antimotility Agents for the Treatment of Clostridium Difficile Diarrhea and Colitis

Hoonmo L Koo et al. Clin Infect Dis.

Abstract

Antimotility agent use for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is discouraged. We reviewed the literature and unpublished postmarketing surveillance reports regarding antimotility treatment of CDI. Twenty reports met inclusion criteria, describing 55 patients with CDI who were exposed to antimotility agents. All studies were case reports or series, with the exception of 1 retrospective review. Nineteen patients (35%) improved, with clinical resolution. Nine patients (16%) died, and 27 patients (49%) had unknown outcomes. Seventeen patients (31%) with CDI developed colonic dilation; 5 of these patients with severe CDI died. However, all patients who experienced complications or died were given antimotility agents alone initially, without an appropriate antibiotic. Twenty-three patients who received metronidazole or vancomycin coadministered with the antimotility agent experienced no complications. Evidence supporting the hypothesis that worsened outcomes are associated with antimotility therapy of CDI is lacking. Further study of the role of antimotility agents in providing symptomatic relief and reducing environmental contamination with infectious stool may be warranted.

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