Worldwide, there are about two billion cases of diarrhoeal disease every year and it is the second leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age, killing 1.5 million children annually.1 The most severe threat posed by diarrhoea is dehydration. In the UK, the incidence of diarrhoea is about one episode per person per year,2 and approximately 10% of children younger than 5 years old present to healthcare services with gastroenteritis each year.3 ▼Racecadotril (Hidrasec) is the first in a new class of antidiarrhoeal drug (‘enkephalinase inhibitor’) that has an antisecretory mechanism and is licensed in adults, children and infants (over 3 months of age) for symptomatic treatment of acute diarrhoea or as complementary treatment when causal treatment is possible.4–6 Here we review the evidence for racecadotril and its place in the management of acute diarrhoea.
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