Drug appears safe in children with C. difficile infections | Science News

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Drug appears safe in children with C. difficile infections

Early test suggests adult med may work in kids with diarrheal disease

9:29am, October 14, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — The antibiotic fidaxomicin, which is prescribed for adults for Clostridium difficile infections, seems safe for children to take, a study shows.

C. difficile, or C. diff, is a bacterium that releases a toxin that attacks the lining of the intestines, causing colitis and severe diarrhea that can be lethal. Doctors have limited drug options against C. diff. When fidaxomicin was cleared by regulators in 2011 for use in adults, it became the first new drug to tackle C. diff in more than two decades. It is marketed as Dificid by Cubist Pharmaceuticals in Lexington, Mass.

But it hadn’t been tested in children. Cubist researcher Pamela Sears teamed with scientists at hospitals to treat 38 children ranging in age from 11 months to 17 years who had C. diff. Nine of the children also had cancer. The patients

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