The FDA has approved nitazoxanide tablets and oral suspension (Alinia®, Ro-mark Laboratories) for treating diarrhea caused by Cryptosporidium parvum infection in adults and children 12 years of age and older. The product is already approved to treat this infection in younger children.
For adults and teenagers, this is the first treatment for infections caused by the water-borne protozoan. Infection is typically spread by person-to-person contact or through contaminated water or food.
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In a recent study, nitazoxanide significantly reduced the duration of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms when it was compared with a placebo. Ninety-six percent of patients treated with the tablets and 87% of patients treated with the suspension were well within seven days after beginning treatment; only 41% of patients who received a placebo recovered within this time frame. All patients receiving the study drug completed their treatment.
Alinia® is now indicated for the treatment of diarrhea caused by Giardia or Cryptosporidium in patients one year of age and older.