Cryptosporidium enteritis : Treatment

Treatment

There is no one treatment for cryptosporidium enteritis.

Drugs such as nitazoxanide have been used in children and adults. Other drugs that are sometimes used include:

  • Paromomycin
  • Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
  • Metronidazole
  • Atovaquone
  • Azithromycin are sometimes used

However, these drugs usually only help for a little while.

Right now, the best approach is to improve the immune status in people who have a weakened immune system. This can be done, for example, by using highly active antiviral therapy in people with AIDS.

AIDS specialists and patient activists may provide additional information on the latest treatments, and on medications and alternative treatments that may provide some relief.

Prognosis (Expectations)

In healthy people, the infection will clear up but can last up to a month. In people who are immunosuppressed, prolonged diarrhea may cause loss of body weight and malnutrition.

Complications

  • Cholangitis (inflammation of a bile duct), cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder)
  • Hepatitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Severe malabsorption (not enough nutrients being absorbed from the intestinal tract)
  • Wasting syndrome (loss of body mass where the person becomes very thin and weak)

Calling Your Health Care Provider

Notify your health care provider if you develop watery diarrhea that does not go away within a few days, especially if you are immunosuppressed.


Review Date : 9/1/2008
Reviewed By : Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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