Drug Profile

Oral rehydration therapy

Severe dehydration in children with acute diarrhea can lead to death.In fact, complications related to diarrhea accounts for the death of about 5 million children worldwide, mostly in resource poor settings in developing countries. To counteract dehydration, a simple yet effective therapy called Oral Rehydration therapy (ORT) can be used. ORT is inexpensive and can be made from common household products and administered by parents of deydrated children without much prior training. These factors make it convient for use in areas of the world with little health infrastructure, which are the same areas that experience the greatest mortality due to complications of diarrhea. For this reason, ORT results in an estimated 50% reduction in mortality related to diarrhea.

ORT works by facilitating the transport of water across the intestine. By combining sodium, carbohydrates and water in a proportion that mazimizes absorption of water into the body through the large intestine, ORT can effectively rehydrate. The discovery that lead to the development of ORT (that sodium and carbohydrates facilitate the transport of water accros the intestinal membrane) has been called "the mostimportant medical advance of this century" (The Lancet, Aug. 1978).


Homemade Oral Rehydration Theray Recipe

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 8 tsps. sugar
  • 5 litres clean drinking water

    Mix ingredients together well. Yeilds 5 cupfuls