Dysentery medical therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Kalsang Dolma, M.B.B.S.[2]

Medical Therapy

Dysentery is initially managed by maintaining fluid intake using oral rehydration therapy. If this treatment cannot be adequately maintained due to vomiting or the profuseness of diarrhea, hospital admission may be required for intravenous fluid replacement. In ideal situations, no antimicrobial therapy should be administered until microbiological microscopy and culture studies have established the specific infection involved. When laboratory services are not available, it may be necessary to administer a combination of drugs, including an amoebicidal drug to kill the parasite and an antibiotic to treat any associated bacterial infection.

If shigella is suspected and it is not too severe, the doctor may recommend letting it run its course — usually less than a week. The patient will be advised to replace fluids lost from diarrhea. If the shigella is severe, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin or TMP-SMX (Bactrim). However, many strains of shigella are becoming resistant to common antibiotics, and effective medications are often in short supply in developing countries. If necessary, a doctor may have to reserve antibiotics for those at highest risk for death, including young children, people over 50, and anyone suffering from dehydration or malnutrition.

Amoebic dysentery usually calls for a two-pronged attack. Treatment should start with a 10-day course of the antimicrobial drug metronidazole (Flagyl). To finish off the parasite, the doctor can prescribe a course of diloxanide furoate (available only through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), paromomycin (Humatin), or iodoquinol (Yodoxin).

Contraindicated medications

Acute Dysentery is considered an absolute contraindication to the use of the following medications:

Shown below is a table summarizing the preferred and alternative empiric treatment for Dysentery.[1]
Possible Pathogens Characteristics of the Patient Preferred Treatment Duration of Treatment
Shigella species
  • Immunocompetent patient
TMP-SMZ, 160 and 800 mg, respectively (pediatric dose, 5 and 25 mg/kg, respectively) b.i.d. (if susceptible)

OR

Fuoroquinolone

(e.g., 300 mg ofloxacin, 400 mg norfloxacin, or 500 mg ciprofloxacin b.i.d.); nalidixic acid, 55 mg/kg/d (pediatric) or 1 g/d (adults)

OR

Ceftriaxone

OR

Azithromycin

TMP-SMZ for 3 days

OR

Flouroquinolones

[( ofloxacin,norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin for 3 days ) and (nalidixic acid for 5 days )]

Shigella species
  • Immunocompromised patient
Same as above Same as above except that duration of antibiotics is for 7- 10 days
Non-typhi species of Salmonella Immunocompetent patient

Not recommended routinely, but if

  • Severe or patient is <6 mo or >50 y old
  • Prostheses
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Severe atherosclerosis
  • Malignancy
  • Uremia,
TMP-SMZ (if susceptible) or fluoroquinoloneas above, b.i.d;

OR

Ceftriaxone, 100 mg/kg/d in 1 or 2 divided doses

TMP-SMZ (if susceptible) or fluoroquinolone for 5 - 7 days
Non-typhi species of Salmonella
  • Immunocompromised patient
Same as above Same as above except that duration of antibiotics is for 14 days (or longer if relapsing)
Campylobacter species
  • Immunocompetent patient
Erythromycin 500 mg b.i.d. Erythromycin for 5 days
Campylobacter species
  • Immunocompromised patient
Same as above Same as above but may require prolonged treatment
Enterohemorrhagic E Coli
  • Immunocompetent patient
  • Immunocompromised patient
Avoid antimotility drugs ; role of antibiotics unclear,and administration should be avoided Avoid antimotility drugs ; role of antibiotics unclear,and administration should be avoided
Yersina species
  • Immunocompromised patient
  • Bacteremia
  • Pseudoappendicitis syndrome
TMP-SMZ, 160 and 800 mg, respectively (pediatric dose, 5 and 25 mg/kg, respectively) b.i.d. (if susceptible)

OR

ciprofloxacin 500 mg b.i.d.

OR

Doxycycline 100 mg PO b.i.d.

TMP-SMZ for 3 - 5 days

OR

Ciprofloxacin for 3 days

OR

Doxycycline for 3 days

Entamoeba histolytica
  • Immunocompetent patient
  • Immunocompromised patient
Metronidazole, 750 mg t.i.d.

+

Diiodohydroxyquin, 650 mg t.i.d.

OR

Paromomycin, 500 mg t.i.d.

Metronidazole for 5 - 10 days

+

Diiodohydroxyquin for 20 days

OR

Paromomycin for 7 days

References



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