What are your thoughts on the use of Banatrol, a prebiotic medical food, for patients with rectal cancer experiencing diarrhea postradiation? What about for the patient with Clostridium difficile? One clinician explained that Banatrol should not be used in patients with C difficile because we do not want to slow the body’s removal of the bacteria. —Carol Kolo, RD, LD, LMNT

Banatrol Plus is a medical food developed to provide nutrients for the dietary management of diarrhea without using conventional medication. It specifically acts to assist with shortening the length of time that a person suffers from diarrhea while also preserving and enhancing the good bacteria in the gut. Given that Banatrol is a medical food, it has not undergone extensive clinical trials or evaluation as required for other drugs or agents that seek approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Due to the critical nature and careful treatment of rectal cancer, whether to prescribe this product for patients with treatment-induced, or C difficile-related, diarrhea is at the clinical discretion of the health care provider. Currently, other FDA-approved medications are available to treat treatment-induced or C difficile-related diarrhea; however, Banatrol Plus may be considered if other available therapies have failed or the patient is intolerant to these agents. —Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, MS, BCPP, CGP, LCDC, PM/PRC, FASCP, FACA, FNAP, Rsci, ARSPharmS

Source: Banatrol Plus with Bimuno Prebiotic for Diarrhea. Medtrition Web site. http://www.medtrition.com/banatrol-diarrhea-relief/. Accessed July 11, 2014.

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