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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1983 Jul;32(4):886-90.

Treatment of acute nonspecific gastroenteritis of infants and young children with erythromycin.


A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of erythromycin ethylsuccinate was conducted in 65 infants and young children hospitalized with acute nonspecific gastroenteritis. Etiologic agents included rotaviruses (29%), Campylobacter jejuni (17%), "classical" enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (12%), enterotoxigenic E. coli (11%), Salmonella (9%), Shigella (2%), and Giardia lamblia (2%). No pathogens were obtained from 25 (38%) children. Treatment with erythromycin had no effect on the course of the illness in terms of the time required for hydration, stool frequency and temperature to return to normal, or for vomiting to be abolished. Children treated with erythromycin, however, experienced a marginally, but significantly (P less than 0.05), shorter period of abnormal stool consistency compared with control subjects. This effect was most pronounced in children from whom no enteropathogens were isolated.

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