Antidiarrheal agents in the treatment of acute diarrhea in children

JAMA. 1976 Aug 16;236(7):844-6.


To evaluate the efficacy of antidiarrheal agents in the treatment of diarrheal illnesses, a study was conducted with children in Guatemala who had an acute diarrheal illness. Eighty patients, aged 3 to 11 years, were hospitalized and treated for two days with one of five agents: kaolin-pectin suspension concentrate (Kao-Con), kaolin suspension, pectin suspension, diphenoxylate-atropine liquid (Lomotil), or placebo. Although the patients receiving kaolin-pectin produced stools that tended to be more formed than those of the placebo-treated group patients, the study did not demonstrate any effect by any of the agents tested in influencing the frequency of bowel movement, the water content of the stools, or the weight of stools. Kaolin-pectin suspension and diphenoxylate-atropine liquid do not appear to be useful in the relief of acute nonspecific diarrhea in children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antidiarrheals / administration & dosage
  • Antidiarrheals / therapeutic use*
  • Atropine / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Diarrhea, Infantile / drug therapy*
  • Diphenoxylate / therapeutic use
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Feces / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaolin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Pectins / therapeutic use
  • Placebos


  • Antidiarrheals
  • Placebos
  • Kaolin
  • Diphenoxylate
  • Atropine
  • Pectins