To test the efficacy and safety of furazolidone given as a single dose for childhood cholera, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial was carried out among 118 culture-positive dehydrated children with diarrhea. Patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups to receive medication orally in liquid suspension: furazolidone at 7 mg/kg/day once, furazolidone at 7 mg/kg/day divided into four doses for 3 days, placebo once, or placebo for 3 days. After 12 patients with furazolidone-resistant infections were excluded from the analysis of efficacy, it was determined that both groups treated with furazolidone showed significantly higher rates of bacteriologic success (stool cultures negative for Vibrio cholerae on days 2 to 4 after start of therapy) and clinical success (cessation of diarrhea within 72 h after start of therapy) than corresponding placebo groups (P less than 0.001). There were no significant differences between responses to the 3-day and single-dose regimens of furazolidone, but there was a trend toward better clinical responses in patients who received furazolidone for 3 days. No patient treated with furazolidone dropped out because of side effects. These results indicate that furazolidone, given as either a single dose or divided doses for 3 days, is effective treatment for childhood cholera
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