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Managing Diarrhea

Current supportive medical treatments include the use of anti-motility agents that reduce fluid loss, and hence decrease diarrhea. Reducing motility slows transit time and increases intestinal absorption.

Examples of these agents include loperamide (Imodium), diphenoxylate with atropine (Lomotil), opium, and codeine.

Octreotide is another drug that may help increase absorption time and decrease diarrhea. It reduces bile and pancreatic secretions and gastric acid production, while inhibiting fluid and electrolyte secretion from the small bowel. In addition it slows stomach emptying allowing increased transit time.

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Adapted from IFFGD Publication #258 by Evelin Eichler, MS, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian, University Medical Center, Gastrointestinal Motility Nutrition Specialist, Texas Tech University, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX; Richard McCallum MD, FACP, FRACP (AUST), FACG, Professor of Medicine and Founding Chair and Chief of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, TX; Susan S. Schneck, MA, International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Milwaukee, WI; and William F. Norton, Communications Director, International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders, Milwaukee, WI.

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