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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1999 Dec;13 Suppl 6:27-32.

Comparison of racecadotril and loperamide in children with acute diarrhoea.

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Hôpital Jeanne de Flandre, Lille, Paris, France.



A multicentre, parallel-group, double-blind, double-placebo study was carried out to compare the efficacy, tolerability, and safety of racecadotril and loperamide in children aged 2 to 10 years who were suffering from acute diarrhoea. Patients received racecadotril (1.5 mg/kg) or loperamide (0.03 mg/kg) three times daily plus matching placebo until recovery. Fifty-two children received racecadotril and 50 loperamide.


Patients on racecadotril passed a mean (+/- S.E.M.) of 2.7 +/- 0.4 stools before recovery compared with 2.1 +/- 0.4 stools for loperamide. The duration of diarrhoea was similar with both treatments. The incidence of adverse events was lower with racecadotril than with loperamide (11.5% vs. 22%), and significantly more patients on loperamide suffered from constipation (58% vs. 36.5%; P = 0.03). Moreover, significantly more children receiving loperamide required concomitant medication during the study (38% v 19.2%; P = 0.047). Measurement of abdominal circumference at the final consultation, 6 days after entry to the study, revealed no significant differences between treatments.


Racecadotril and loperamide were equally effective in treating acute diarrhoea in these children, and racecadotril had a superior tolerability and safety profile.

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