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Low-dose zinc effective against acute childhood diarrhea

New England Journal of Medicine
Reuters Health - 23/09/2020 - Doctors who use zinc to treat children for acute diarrhea can throttle back on the recommended dose and may, in the process, prevent the vomiting that can accompany the therapy, a new study of 4,500 youngsters in India and Tanzania has concluded. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a dose of 20 mg/day for 10 to 14 days. The new results, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, show that 5 mg was nearly as effective. Diarrhea lasted more than 5 days in 6.5% of the children who received 20 mg daily, 7.7% given 10 mg daily and 7.2% of the youngsters who received 5 mg daily. The rates of vomiting within 30 of taking the zinc were 19.3%, 15.6% and 13.7% respectively. "Lower doses of zinc are equally effective as higher doses but have an improved safety profile. That should induce policy makers to change the policy and implement the newer therapy," coauthor Dr. Christopher Duggan, director of the Center for N...

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