Drug therapy for diarrheal diseases: A look ahead

Mark Donowitz, Joan Wicks, Geoffrey W. Geoffrey, Mark Donowitz, Joan Wicks, Geoffrey W. Geoffrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The gastrointestinal tract is involved in both absorption and secretion of electrolytes and water, with absorption as the predominant process. In diarrheal diseases this balance is disturbed, and the result is net secretion. Most of the drugs used for the treatment of diarrhea at least partially act by (1) stimulating absorption only, (2) both stimulating absorption and inhibiting secretion, or (5) inhibiting secretion only. The therapeutic usefulness of an antidiarrheal agent depends on how efficiently it alters secretion and/or absorption and on how few systemic adverse reactions it causes. When more information on the regulation of absorption and secretion has been accumulated, it may be possible to develop new drugs that can be aimed directly at these processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalReviews of infectious diseases
StatePublished - May 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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