FDA Approves New Med for Travelers' Diarrhea

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved rifamycin (Aemcolo) to treat travelers’ diarrhea, the most common travel-related illness and a condition that affects up to 40 percent of travelers worldwide each year. Rifamycin, an antibacterial drug, is approved to treat adults with travelers’ diarrhea caused by noninvasive strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli), not complicated by fever or blood in the stool.

Travelers' diarrhea is defined as three or more unformed stools within a 24-hour period in a person who is traveling. The condition is caused by various pathogens — most commonly bacteria in food and water. The highest risk occurs in areas of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America.

In clinical studies, rifamycin was found to be safe, and significantly more effective than a placebo, when taken orally for three or four days. The most common side effects are headache and constipation, according to the FDA.

Sourced from: FDA