Gelatin tannate (GT) is a nonabsorbable antidiarrheal agent investigated in few clinical studies. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of GT on children with acute gastroenteritis. This randomized, placebo-controlled, single-blinded, prospective study involved children aged from six months to 10 years with acute diarrhea. The study group received GT and the control group placebo for five days. Stool frequency and numbers of patients with diarrhea in each group were compared at 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours. Duration of diarrhea and weight changes after 120 hours was recorded. Mean stool frequency was lower in the study group at 0-12 hours (3±1.8 vs. 3.6±1.9, p=0.04). The study group exhibited more weight gain after 120 hours of treatment and shorter total duration of diarrhea, although the difference was not statistically significant. Fewer patients in the study group had diarrhea at the end of 12, 24, 96, and 120 hours. Patients treated with GT with Bristol scores of 7 at admission exhibited more weight gain than patients with Bristol scores of 6 (296±38 vs. 137±39, p=0.04). GT resulted in a decreased stool frequency at 12 hours in children with acute diarrhea. It shortened total duration of diarrhea and resulted in more weight gain compared to placebo. It also had a greater effect on weight gain in the presence of watery, rather than mushy stool.
Keywords: acute diarrhea; children; gelatin tannate; rotavirus.