Diosmectite is a medication that is used to treat of severe diarrhea in humans and animals. Though it is not approved for use around the world, and is unavailable in the United Kingdom and the United States, it is considered to be safe for use and is frequently administered to young children and infants as well as to adults. By absorbing excess water from the intestinal tract, diosmectite is able to quickly and effectively treat diarrhea. It has also been known to relieve inflammation in the digestive system and can also help to rid the body of certain viruses or bacteria.
A type of clay, diosmectite is made up of aluminum, magnesium, and silicon. It occurs naturally and is a common treatment for gastrointestinal illnesses in many parts of the world. Like other clays, diosmectite binds to water and helps solidify solid waste in the intestine.
When used properly, there are very few problems associated with the use of diosmectite. This compound is considered safe for infants to take and has a low instance of side effects. It is relatively mild in its effects on the digestive system and can treat diarrhea without interfering with the normal contractions of the stomach and intestinal tract, so there is little risk of developing constipation or cramping with the use of this medication. It is possible for it to interfere with other chemicals, so it is important for a patient to notify a doctor if there are any other medications being taken before beginning treatment.
Studies in the 2000s have shown that diosmectite is able to reduce the duration of severe diarrhea as well as decrease the amount of loose stool that passes through a person's digestive system. In most cases, patients show a marked improvement within a couple of days, though symptoms may lessen considerably just after treatment is started. Though diosmectite is usually an effective anti-diarrheal, patients who experience severe symptoms for longer than a week after beginning treatment should consult with a healthcare professional.
In addition to its ability to treat general cases of gastrointestinal illness, diosmectite is known to be particularly effective in the treatment of cases that are caused by rotavirus. This virus is a serious health threat to children around the world, especially those in developing nations, and is known to cause extremely severe diarrhea, which, left untreated, can lead to death. The ability of the diosmectite clay to absorb viruses and bacteria allows it to rid the digestive tract of these invaders while it lessens the symptoms of the illness.