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Treatment of Diabetic Diarrhea with Clonidine

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Richard N. Fedorak, M.D.; Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street; New York, NY 10032.

Chicago, Illinois

© 1985 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(2):197-199. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-102-2-197
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Stimulation of alpha2-adrenergic receptors on enterocytes promotes fluid and electrolyte absorption and inhibits anion secretion. Loss of adrenergic innervation may play a role in impaired intestinal fluid and electrolyte absorption in diabetic patients with autonomic neuropathy. Clonidine, an alpha2-adrenergic agonist, was used to treat three patients with "idiopathic" diabetic diarrhea after other treatments had failed: The volume of diarrhea declined significantly (p < 0. 01). Diarrhea recurred when the drug was withdrawn, but the patient's condition improved again when Clonidine treatment was reintroduced. Hypotension did not occur as a side effect presumably because of the autonomic neuropathy of these patients.





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