Role of zinc in treatment of acute diarrhea


A case control study of 108 patients less than 5year olds who were admitted to the pediatric department in Tikrit teaching hospital presented with acute diarrhea to evaluate the role of supplements of zinc in the treatment of acute diarrhea. The total number of cases included in study 108 patients, males were 72 cases (66.6%),while females were 36cases (33.3%). Patients were divided into two groups, group one were those with zinc supplements and group two were those with no zinc supplements. Those patients treated in group 1 had shorter duration in hospital stay than those in group 2. Regarding dehydration improvement, 34 cases (31.4%) treated in group 1 improved from dehydration within 3-5days , while 30(28.15%) treated in group 2 improved within 3-5 days , while for disappearance of fever ,35 cases (32.3%) those treated in group 1 the fever subsided within 1st day of starting zinc ,while 30 cases (27.3%) treated in group 2 fever disappear within 3days. Regarding the time of recovery from diarrhea in two groups, 30 cases(27.3%) treated in group 1 recovered from diarrhea within 3-5 days, while 20 cases (18.7%) treated in group 2 recovered within the same period. Regarding the feeding improvement,38 cases(35.19%) treated in group 1 had improvement in feeding within 1-2 days, while 30 cases(27.3%) treated in group 2 improved in feeding within 1-2 days also. Regarding the side effects of zinc therapy 15cases (27.9%) had vomiting, 9 cases (16.7%) had rash, and 12 cases (22.2%) had flushing. The study concludes that zinc therapy may enhance the recovery from acute diarrhea & shorten the period of hospitalizations