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Gastroenterology. 1992 Oct;103(4):1267-72.

Norfloxacin prevents bacterial infection in cirrhotics with gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain.


To assess the efficacy of selective intestinal decontamination with norfloxacin in the prevention of bacterial infections in cirrhotic patients with gastrointestinal hemorrhage, 119 patients were included in a prospective randomized study. Group 1 (n = 60) received norfloxacin orally or through a nasogastric tube, 400 mg twice daily for 7 days beginning immediately after emergency gastroscopy; group 2 (n = 59) was the control group. We found a significantly lower incidence of infections (10% vs. 37.2%; P = 0.001), bacteremia and/or spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (3.3% vs. 16.9%; P less than 0.05), and urinary infections (0% vs. 18.6%; P = 0.001) in patients receiving norfloxacin, as a consequence of decrease in the incidence of infections caused by aerobic gram-negative bacilli. The decrease in mortality observed in the treated group (6.6% vs. 11.8%) did not reach statistical significance. The cost for antibiotic treatment showed a 62% reduction in the treated group compared with the control group. The results show that selective intestinal decontamination with norfloxacin is useful in preventing bacterial infections in cirrhotics with gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

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