Revenge on Montezuma's Revenge

New drug treats travelers' diarrhea

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THURSDAY, May 27, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a drug to treat a common menace that ruins up to 40 percent of overseas vacations -- travelers' diarrhea.

Salix Pharmaceuticals' Xifaxan (rifaximin) was developed by Dr. Herbert DuPont, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of Texas School of Public Health. He has no financial connection to the company, according to the Associated Press.

DuPont said the drug is unique in that it remains in the gastrointestinal tract, compared with powerful antibiotics like Cipro that disperse throughout the body. This means the drug is less likely to breed resistant bacteria, the drug's creator added.

He said his antibiotic proved 85 percent effective in protecting U.S. students who participated in a two-week study trip to Mexico, versus just 49 percent who didn't become sick on non-medicinal placebos, according to the AP.

To learn more about travelers' diarrhea, visit the National Library of Medicine.

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