Probiotics use in childhood acute diarrhea: A web-based survey

Zvi Weizman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Goals: To evaluate practices and barriers for the use of probiotics in acute diarrhea among pediatric gastroenterologists. Background: Probiotics have shown significant therapeutic potential in acute infectious diarrhea. However, literature data regarding practice patterns in childhood are limited. Study: A web-based 9-item survey among 1854 pediatric gastroenterologists worldwide. Results: Only 634 (34%) responded. Forty-one were excluded owing to incomplete data. Finally 593, USA (n=407) and non-USA (n=186) participants, showed: limited use in acute diarrhea (28% and 32% prospectively), prescription of a 1 strain product only by 31% and 24%, respectively, and limited utilization in ambulatory settings (43% and 51%, respectively) and in prevention of diarrhea (2.6% and 3.4%, respectively). Most participants felt there is lack of useful clinical guidelines (91% and 84%, respectively), and found this therapy effective or very effective (54% and 62%, respectively). Dosing and duration were extremely variable, the youngest age treated ranged from 2 months to 2 years of age, and adverse effects were extremely rare. These characteristics were shared by USA and by non-USA participants, with no significant differences between groups (P>0.05). Conclusions: Many pediatric gastroenterologists worldwide do not use probiotics for acute diarrhea owing to lack of appropriate guidelines and/or poorly designed products. Therefore, worldwide health authorities should provide pharmaceutical and clinical guidelines for the appropriate use of probiotics in acute diarrhea of childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-428
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Diarrhea
  • gastroenteritis
  • survey
  • therapies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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