Health & Fitness

FDA approves a new drug for travelers’ diarrhea

dneal@MiamiHerald.com

Vacationers hit with an E. coli infection known as “travelers’ diarrhea” have another remedy option after the FDA approved Aemcolo, a new antibacterial drug for adults by Cosmo Technologies.

The drug isn’t for the treatment of the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, which brings fever, bloody diarrhea and can lead to the potentially fatal kidney failure known as HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome). When the FDA and CDC delivered Tuesday’s warnings about another romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak, they referred to the Shiga-toxin E. coli.

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This E. coli is considered “non-invasive,” although those hit with it certainly would quibble with that word usage. Travelers with at least three bowel movements in 24 hours producing amorphous poop are considered to have “travelers’ diarrhea.”

Travelers’ diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness,” according to the Centers for Disease Control. “It can occur anywhere, but the highest-risk destinations are in most of Asia (except for Japan) as well as the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America.”

According to the FDA, in a placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 264 adults with travelers’ diarrhea in Guatemala and Mexico, Aemcolo “significantly reduced symptoms of travelers’ diarrhea compared to the placebo.”

In two other clinical trials, the most common side effects among 619 adult travelers’ diarrhea sufferers were headache and constipation.

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