For adults, the doctor may give medications to stop vomiting (these are called antiemetics) such as promethazine (Phenergan, Anergan), prochlorperazine (Compazine), or ondansetron (Zofran). Sometimes these medications are given as a suppository. Doctors usually do not recommend antiemetics for children. A single dose of Compazine may be prescribed, however, for children older than 2 years.
Doctors generally avoid antidiarrheal medications for all age groups if they suspect the infection is caused by a toxin. The most common antidiarrheal agent for people older than 3 years are over-the-counter medications such as diphenoxylate atropine (Lomotil, Lofene, Lonox) or loperamide hydrochloride (Imodium).
Learn more about medications like promethazine (Phenergan, Anergan), and prochlorperazine (Compazine), and ondansetron (Zofran) on RxList.com.
Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of infant sickness. Worldwide, diarrhea accounts for 3-5 million deaths for all age groups. In general, most adults and children recover after they are appropriately rehydrated.
After an infection or irritation of the digestive tract, you may not be able to eat a regular diet. Some people may be unable to tolerate dairy products for several weeks after the disease has gone.
- You should continue to advance slowly from bland nondairy soups and grain products to a solid diet.
- If your symptoms continue or worsen, call your doctor.
With most infectious germs, the key is to block the spread of the organism.
- Always wash your hands.
- Eat properly prepared and stored food.
- Bleach soiled laundry.
- Vaccinations for Salmonella typhi, Vibrio cholerae, and rotavirus have been developed. But doctors base their use on your medical and foreign travel history.
- For lactose intolerance, supplementary enzymes are available over-the-counter for adolescents and adults to aid digestion of milk sugars. Soy formulas and other lactose-free products are available from most grocery stores for formula-feeding infants.
For More Information Web Links
National Center for Infectious Diseases, Respiratory and Enteric Viruses Branch, Viral Gastroenteritis
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Safe Food and Water