The drug controller of India is considering banning anti- diarrheal drugs for children because they are increasingly replacing oral rehydration solutions -- the first-line treatment for replenishing lost water and salts in the body. The ban will be part of a plan to ban "irrational" combinations, which is likely to affect at least 20 manufacturers. Officials confirm 44 formulations have been banned till now.
Four types of paediatric anti-diarrhoeal drugs are being considered for the ban. "They include pectin and kaolin, which thicken the faeces, and non-absorbant salphonamides, which are found to be of no particular use," says assistant drug controller K C Sharma. He adds, "The other two categories are neomycin and streptomycin, against which the germs have already developed resistance, and combinations of antibiotics and antiamoebics", and points out that "drugs have to be specific".
According to paediatricians, many "stool-forming" drugs just provide psychological satisfaction. This particular category is likely to be banned for adults as well.
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