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A probiotic drink prevented diarrhoea and Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhoea in older patients taking antibiotics

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M Hickson

Dr M Hickson, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK; mary.hickson@imperial.nhs.uk

QUESTION

Does a probiotic drink prevent diarrhoea and Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhoea in older adults receiving antibiotics in hospital?

METHODS

Design:

randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Allocation:

concealed.

Blinding:

blinded (patients, {clinicians, data collectors, outcome assessors, data analysts, monitoring committee}*).

Follow-up period:

4 weeks after discharge.

Setting:

3 hospitals in London, UK.

Patients:

135 patients >50 years of age (mean age 74 y, 54% women) who were receiving antibiotics (single or multiple, oral or intravenous) and were able to take food and drinks. Exclusion criteria included diarrhoea on admission or recurrent diarrhoea; bowel pathology that could cause diarrhoea; intake of high-risk antibiotics (ie, clindamycin, cephalosporins, or aminopenicillins) or >2 courses of other antibiotics in the past 4 weeks; severe life-threatening illness; immunosuppression; bowel surgery; artificial heart valve; history of rheumatic heart disease or infective endocarditis; probiotic treatment before admission; and intolerance to lactose …

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