- Racecadotril offers little benefit for acute diarrhea in children under age 5 years, say the authors of this Cochrane review.
- It might reduce risk for rehydration failure, but any effect on number of bowel movements or duration of diarrhea is uncertain.
Why this matters
- For children under age 5 years, acute diarrhea is a leading cause of death, largely because of fluid and electrolyte loss.
- These authors say that current evidence does not support use of racecadotril in children under age 5 years as an adjunct to oral rehydration therapy.
- The 7 included randomized controlled trials were conducted in France, Spain, India, Kenya, Peru, and Ecuador.
- Vs placebo or no treatment, racecadotril was tied to reduced risk for rehydration failure (risk ratio, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.13-1.23), but evidence from the 2 relevant trials (n=192) was low certainty.
- Not enough data were available for conclusions regarding duration of diarrhea or number of stools.
- Racecadotril was not associated with reduced hospital stay.
- It was not tied to increased adverse event rates.
- Cochrane review of 7 randomized controlled trials assessing racecadotril vs no treatment or placebo in children under age 5 years.
- Funding: Sichuan University, China; Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK; others.
- The limitations are those of the included trials.