Journal Article

Antimotility Agents for the Treatment of <i>Clostridium difficile</i> Diarrhea and Colitis

Hoonmo L. Koo, Diana C. Koo, Daniel M. Musher and Herbert L. DuPont

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 48, issue 5, pages 598-605
Published in print March 2009 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Antimotility Agents for the Treatment of Clostridium difficile Diarrhea and Colitis

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Antimotility agent use for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is discouraged. We reviewed the literature and unpublished postmarketing surveillance reports regarding antimotility treatment of CDI. Twenty reports met inclusion criteria, describing 55 patients with CDI who were exposed to antimotility agents. All studies were case reports or series, with the exception of 1 retrospective review. Nineteen patients (35%) improved, with clinical resolution. Nine patients (16%) died, and 27 patients (49%) had unknown outcomes. Seventeen patients (31%) with CDI developed colonic dilation; 5 of these patients with severe CDI died. However, all patients who experienced complications or died were given antimotility agents alone initially, without an appropriate antibiotic. Twenty-three patients who received metronidazole or vancomycin coadministered with the antimotility agent experienced no complications. Evidence supporting the hypothesis that worsened outcomes are associated with antimotility therapy of CDI is lacking. Further study of the role of antimotility agents in providing symptomatic relief and reducing environmental contamination with infectious stool may be warranted.

Journal Article.  3970 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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