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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 23, No. 4, 2005, pp. 311-319
Bioline Code: hn05042
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 23, No. 4, 2005, pp. 311-319

 en Initiation of Zinc Treatment for Acute Childhood Diarrhoea and Risk for Vomiting or Regurgitation: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial
Larson, Charles Palmer; Hoque, A.B.M. Mominul; Larson, Charles Philip; Khan, Ali Miraj & Saha, Unnati Rani


The childhood diarrhoea-management guidelines of the World Health Organization/United Nations Children's Fund (WHO/UNICEF) now include zinc treatment, 20 mg per day for 10 days. To determine if a dispersible zinc sulphate tablet formulation is associated with increased risk of vomiting or regurgitation following the initial, first treatment dose, a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial was carried out in the Dhaka hospital of ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research (n=800) and in an adjacent NGO outpatient clinic (n=800). Children were randomized to one of three groups: no treatment, placebo, or zinc sulphate tablet (20 mg). They were then observed for 60 minutes, and all vomiting or regurgitation episodes were recorded. When compared with placebo, zinc treatment resulted in an attributable risk increase of 14% for vomiting and 5.2% for regurgitation. The median time to vomiting among those receiving zinc was 9.6 minutes and was limited to one episode in 91.2% of the cases. Overall, the proportion of 60-minute post-treatment vomiting attributable to zinc, placebo, and the illness episode was estimated to be 40%, 26%, and 34% respectively. The dispersible zinc sulphate tablet formulation at a dose of 20 mg is associated with increased risks of vomiting and regurgitation. Both are transient side-effects.

Zinc; Zinc therapy; Diarrhoea; Vomiting; Regurgitation; Randomized clinical trials; Placebo; Double-blind method; Bangladesh

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