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Bismuth Absorption and Myoclonic Encephalopathy during Bismuth Subsalicylate Therapy

Paul C. Mendelowitz, MD; Robert S. Hoffman, MD; and Scott Weber, MD
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Requests for Reprints: Paul Mendelowitz, MD, The Allen Pavilion of Presbyterian Hospital, 5141 Broadway, New York, NY 10034.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Mendelowitz and Weber: The Allen Pavilion of Presbyterian Hospital, 5141 Broadway, New York, NY 10034.

Dr. Hoffman: New York City Poison Control Center, 455 First Avenue, Room 123, New York, NY 10016.

Ann Intern Med. 1990;112(2):140-141. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-112-2-140
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

A 45-year-old man with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was hospitalized for dehydration and syncope after 7 days of watery diarrhea. Three weeks earlier he had been hospitalized with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and treated with a 14-day course of trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole with excellent response. Shortly after completing his therapy he developed watery diarrhea consisting of 10 to 15 stools per day. Stool specimens were negative for enteric pathogens, ova and parasites, Isospora belli, Cryptosporidium, Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare, and Clostridia difficile toxin.

Therapy consisted of fluid and electrolyte replacement, intravenous alimentation, and zidovudine (200 mg orally every 4 hours). A rectal


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