Saturday, April 16, 2016

Delhi Belly +

Last week, I had the most unusual of Delhi Bellies.

As far as I can remember, this is the first time I spent more than 24 hours with symptoms that went way beyond the usual stomach upset. Even after I thought my body had expelled the last traces of a mutton biryani, I continued to double up with a stabbing pain on my sides, moving restlessly from the bed to the floor, to violent bouts of vomiting, as though the body was trying to yank out a knife that had got stuck deep inside my empty intestines.

Finally when we go around to seeing a doctor, this seemed to be so mundane, so ordinary a case that I was out in a few minutes with this Rx in hand:
  •  Esoga RD (Abott) - Enteric coated Rabeprazole Sodium & Domperidone SR Capsules (BB 1-0-0 before breakfast) - ₹103 for strip of 10
  • Taxim-O 200 (Alkem House) - Cefixime tablets IP (1-0-1 after meals) - ₹130/strip
  • Drotin (Martin & Harris) - Drotaverine Hydrochloride (SOS) -
  • Floristore (Zyventus) - Probiotic culture concentrate not less than 2.5B CFU capsules (1-0-1 about 30 minutes after meals)

The relief was almost immediate. That little knife in my intestines seemed to melt away, the vomiting ceased and I was up and about with a few hours.

How did this little miracle come about? What did the pills actually do inside my body?

Domperidone, seems to have acted on the dopamine receptors and stopped me from vomiting while the Rabeprazole Sodium - a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) - reduce the levels of acid in my stomach so that the real hero, an antibiotic named cephalosporin (Taxim / Cefixime) busted the bacteria (most likely Helicobacter pylori) which was the root-cause of the stomach infection.

On the sidelines, Drotaverine Hydrocholoride (Drotin) acting as an anti-spasmodic, helping with the vomit-control mechanisms. It is interesting to know that the same drug is used to 'enhance cervical dilation during childbirth'!

Th last set of capsules (Floristore) contained probiotic cultures to restore the ecosystem of friendly bacteria in my stomach that would have got destroyed by the antibiotics.

Medical science seems to have got the entire game figured out. The experience leaves me wondering how people coped with food poisoning before the advent of antibiotics...and with rising levels of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), who will we cope with bacteria that have learnt how to deal with broad-spectrum antibiotics like cephalosporins?


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