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Fluid and electrolyte repletion is the primary treatment for acute diarrhoea and gastroenteritis.
For details of oral rehydration see 9.2.1 Oral preparations for fluid and electrolyte imbalance.
A diagnosis of the cause of diarrhoea should be made before starting symptomatic treatment. Acute prescriptions should be restricted to 30 loperamide capsules or 20 codeine tablets.
NICE CG49 (2007) addresses the management of faecal incontinence. Prescribers are advised to review patient's medication and consider alternatives to drugs that might be contributing to faecal incontinence.
For advice about the use of antibiotics in gastroenteritis, refer to Gastro-intestinal tract infections in chapter 5 of the formulary.
Many of these products are cheap to buy and are readily available, along with advice, from pharmacies. Some self-care medicines are available in shops and supermarkets. Please click here for further information and a patient leaflet.