Tropical Sprue Medication

Updated: Dec 15, 2014
  • Author: Rohan C Clarke, MD; Chief Editor: Julian Katz, MD  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. Antibiotic therapy is also helpful because early eradication of bacterial pathogens can relieve continuing injury to the gut.

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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)

Water-soluble vitamin used in nucleic acid synthesis. Required for normal erythropoiesis. Typically 5 mg po daily. Corrects megaloblastic anemia resulting from folate deficiency and helps regeneration of intestinal mucosa.

Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B-12, Crystamine, Cyomin)

Water-soluble vitamin essential for normal erythropoiesis. Required for healthy neuronal functions and normal functions of rapidly growing cells. Typically 1000 mcg IM weekly.

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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)

This and oxytetracycline are bacteriostatic antibiotics that inhibit protein synthesis of bacteria. Usually 250 mg po four times daily for up to four 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)

Nutritionally essential inorganic substance.

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