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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2000 December;46(4):225-30

language: English, Italian

Diosmectite (DIOSMECTAL®) in preventive anti-diarrheic therapy in patients subjected to pelvic radiation

Santantonio M., Colella M., Fiorica F., Pratissoli S., Stefanelli A., Falchi A. M., Venturi A., Balli M.


Background. The radiation therapy of abdominal-pelvic tumors, determining diarrhea and cramps, could reduce the compliance of the patient and compromise his quality of life. This study attempts to assess the effects of adjuvant therapy with diosmectite (Diosmectal®) on the above mentioned side effects from radiotherapy.
Methods. From August 1998 to September 1999, 40 patients (mean age 68) at the Oncological Radiotherapy Division of the Azienda Policlinico of Modena took part in the study: 21 forming the group of patients treated with diosmectite and 19 forming the control group. The radiotherapy was administered with total doses varying from 45 to 70 Gy in both groups with daily doses of 1.8-2 Gy. From the beginning of the therapy the patients in the group treated with Diosmectal®, received 6 g daily doses of the drug split into two administrations. The diarrhea was assessed by referring to the Lent Soma score.
Results. In the group of patients not in therapy, an incidence of diarrhea was observed in 77% of subjects while in the group in therapy the incidence of diarrhea dropped to 25% of the cases (p<0.005), with an increase in the latency of the appearance of any diarrhoeic symptoms.
Conclusions. Our data suggests that the administration of diosmectite in a prophylactic manner is capable of reducing the incidence of gastroenteric symptomatology (diarrhea and cramps).

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