Nifuroxazide (INN) is an oral nitrofuran antibiotic, patented since 1966 and used to treat colitis and diarrhea in humans and non-humans. It is sold under the brand names Ambatrol, Antinal, Bacifurane, Diafuryl (France), Diax (Egypt), Nifrozid, Ercefuryl, Erfuzide (Thailand), Endiex (Slovakia), Ercefuryl (Czech Republic), Nifuroksazyd (Poland), Pérabacticel (France), Pentofuryl (Germany), Topron (Latin America), Antinal (Egypt), Apazid (Morocco) and Septidiaryl. It is sold in capsule form and also as a suspension. The pharmaceutical group SmithKline Beecham claims that nifuroxazide is highly effective and the consumers' group Healthy Skepticism says that SmithKline Beecham's claims have no scientific support.
Maurice Claude Ernest Carron patented the drug in the United States in 1966. Subsequent patents issued to Germano Cagliero of Marxer S.p.A describe the use of nifuroxazide as an antibiotic used to treat livestock.
Effectiveness in humans
In 1997, in an Ivory Coast promotional leaflet, SmithKline Beecham claimed that nifuroxazide (under the brand name "Ambatrol") is an anti-dehydration treatment, "neutralise[s] microbacterials" in diarrhoea, and has "a spectrum which covers most enteropathogenic microbacterials, Shigella, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococci, Klebsiella, Yersinia". The international non-profit organisation Healthy Skepticism, at the time using their former name, Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing (MaLAM), disagreed, stating "We have not found any scientific evidence to support these claims."