Tropical Sprue Medication

Updated: Dec 24, 2020
  • Author: Rohan C Clarke, MD; Chief Editor: Burt Cagir, MD, FACS  more...
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Medication

Medication Summary

Nutrient replacement to correct deficiencies in patients with tropical sprue often includes folic acid, vitamin B-12, and iron. Prolonged antibiotic therapy is also helpful because early eradication of bacterial pathogens can relieve continuing injury to the gut.

No direct evidence indicates that antibiotic prophylaxis can prevent tropical sprue.

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Vitamins

Class Summary

Nutritionally essential organic substances used in metabolism. Used in nucleic acid synthesis, required for normal erythropoiesis, and help in regeneration of intestinal mucosa. Patients with tropical sprue commonly have deficiencies of folate and, sometimes, vitamin B-12.

Folic acid (Folvite)

Folic acid is a water-soluble vitamin used in nucleic acid synthesis. It is required for normal erythropoiesis. The regimen is typically 5 mg PO daily. This corrects megaloblastic anemia resulting from folate deficiency and helps regeneration of intestinal mucosa.

Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B-12, Crystamine, Cyomin)

Cyanocobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin essential for normal erythropoiesis. It is required for healthy neuronal functions and normal functions of rapidly growing cells. Typically, a regimen of 1000 mcg IM weekly is used.

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Antibiotics

Class Summary

Empiric antimicrobial therapy must be comprehensive and should cover all likely pathogens in the context of the clinical setting.

Tetracycline (Sumycin)

Tetracycline and oxytetracycline are bacteriostatic antibiotics that inhibit protein synthesis of bacteria. The regimen is usually 250 mg PO four times daily for up to 4 months.

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Minerals

Class Summary

Patients with anemia may need iron replacement along with folic acid and vitamin B-12.

Iron sulfate (Ferrous sulfate, Feosol)

Iron sulfate is a nutritionally essential inorganic substance.

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