What are treatment options for dehydration?

Updated: Dec 07, 2018
  • Author: Lennox H Huang, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Timothy E Corden, MD  more...
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Hydration and nutrition are the interventions with the greatest impact on the course of acute diarrhea. [13, 14] The use of clinical dehydration scales/scores for the evaluation of the severity of dehydration and early initiation of rehydration may positively impact outcomes. [14, 15]

Medications such as loperamide, opiates, anticholinergics, bismuth subsalicylate, and adsorbents are not recommended in dehydration because of questionable efficacy and potential adverse effects.

Severe dehydration warrants hospital admission for rehydration with isotonic saline, as do hypernatremic or hyponatremic states. [13]

Inability to tolerate oral rehydration therapy (ORT) may necessitate hospital admission for nasogastric or intravenous fluid therapy.

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