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5 remedies for childhood diarrhea


Diarrhea in babies and children is generally caused by an infection that heals spontaneously, without the need for treatment, but the best option is to always take the child to the pediatrician, so that he can carry out a detailed assessment and provide guidance to avoid complications, such as a dehydration, for example.

If the child has a fever, diarrhea lasts for several days, stools are very liquid or bowel movements are frequent, for example, the doctor may prescribe medicines that speed up recovery, such as probiotics, prevent dehydration, such as hydration solutions orally, or combat fever, such as antipyretics.

Some of the medications that may be recommended by your doctor to treat diarrhea are:

1. Oral rehydration solutions

Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) consists of the administration of appropriate solutions, with the aim of correcting and preventing dehydration caused by diarrhea. Some examples of solutions that may be indicated for oral rehydration are Floralyte, Hidrafix, Rehidrat or Pedialyte. Learn more about oral rehydration salts and solutions.

How to use: Oral rehydration solutions should be given to the child little by little throughout the day, especially after each diarrheal bowel movement or vomiting.

2. Probiotics

Probiotics contribute to the normalization of the composition of the intestinal microflora, inactivate bacterial toxins, inhibit the binding of toxins with intestinal receptors, stimulate the immune system and inhibit the inflammatory response induced by toxins, creating unfavorable conditions for the multiplication of pathogenic agents, leading to shorter duration of diarrhea.

The most commonly used probiotics for the treatment of diarrhea are Saccharomyces boulardii (Floratil, Repoflor) and Lactobacillus (Colikids, Provance, ZincoPro). See how to use Colikids.

How to use: The dosage depends on the probiotic prescribed and should be carried out as indicated by the doctor.

3. Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that is related to the maintenance of the intestinal epithelial barrier, tissue repair and immune function. During episodes of acute diarrhea, there may be zinc deficiency and, therefore, in some cases, the doctor may recommend supplementation with this mineral.

Examples of medicines for pediatric use are Biozinc kids, with zinc in its composition, and Zincopro sachets which, in addition to zinc, also have probiotics in their composition.

How to use: The dosage depends on the zinc supplement recommended by your doctor.

Possible side effects: Zinc supplements are generally well tolerated and there are no known adverse effects with their use.

4. Racecadotril

Racecadotril is a medicine that exerts its antidiarrheal effect by inhibiting intestinal enkephalinase, reducing the secretion of water and electrolytes in the intestine, being effective in reducing diarrhea.

An example of a medicine with racecadotril in its composition, for pediatric use is Tiorfan in sachets.

How to use: The recommended dosage is 1.5 mg/kg of body weight, three times a day.

Possible side effects: Although very rare, adverse reactions such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, dizziness and headache may occur.

5. Antipyretics

In some cases, especially if the diarrhea is the result of an infection, the child may also have a fever, which can be relieved with an antipyretic, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Dipyrone (Novalgina), taken orally. During episodes of diarrhea, the use of these medications in suppositories should be avoided as much as possible.

How to use: The dose to be administered depends on the child’s weight.

Possible side effects: Although rare, allergic skin reactions can occur.

Antibiotic therapy is not generally indicated in diarrhea in children, with the exception of infant diarrhea with the presence of blood, suspected cholera with severe dehydration, severe non-intestinal infections, in children under 3 months of age, in primary or secondary immunodeficiency, immunosuppressive therapy or if there is sepsis as a complication.

See also how to prepare home remedies for diarrhea.