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Review: antibiotics reduce the duration and severity of travellers' diarrhoea

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 QUESTION: In patients with travellers' diarrhoea, are antibiotics more effective and safer than placebo or another antibiotic in resolving diarrhoea?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group trials register, Medline (from 1966), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (from 1988), abstracts of conferences and meetings, and bibliographies of relevant studies and by contacting experts in the field.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials in any language, they involved adults or children ≥5 years of age who were travelling outside their usual country of residence for <6 months and had non-bloody diarrhoea lasting ≤14 days, and any antibiotic was compared with placebo or another antibiotic.

Data extraction

Data were extracted independently by 2 reviewers on study quality (allocation concealment, generation of allocation sequence, and inclusion of all randomly allocated patients) and outcome measures (duration of diarrhoea [time to last unformed stool], severity [number …

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  • Source of funding: Department for International Development UK.

  • For correspondence: Dr G de Bruyn, Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Fondren-Brown Building, 6565 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Fax +1 713 793 1522.