Acute gastroenteritis is a common reason for emergency department visits amongst young children. Although advocated vigorously by some, probiotics have not been properly assessed as regards their propensity to improve outcomes in childhood gastroenteritis. A recent randomized, double-blind involved the administration of a 5-day course of a combination probiotic product (Lactobacillus rhamnosus R0011 and L. helveticus R0052 4.0×109 colony-forming units) twice daily or placebo. The outcomes showed no different in the incidence of moderate-to-severe gastroenteritis. Probiotics did not influence the median duration of diarrhea (52.5 hours vs 55.5 hours for placebo), or vomiting (17.7 hours [vs 18.7 hours , the proportion of children with subsequent unscheduled visits to a health care providers (30.2% and 26.6%); or the proportion with adverse events (34.8% and 38.7%) – p > 0.05 in all cases. The study, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that this probiotic preparation, typical of many advocated under the circumstances, produced no significant benefit for these children.
Probiotics fail to deliver for children with gastroenteritis
Nov 27, 2018