New diarrhea treatment available for sale as dietary supplement

Another treatment option for those experiencing diarrhea is now available.

The treatment, called Shaman Botanicals-Normal Stool Formula (SB-NSF), was originally developed as Provir (March Positive Living). Provir was a compound derived from the sap of the Croton lechleri tree found in the Amazon, where local healers have been extolling its benefits for centuries.

Despite compelling Phase III clinical trial data that Provir reduced stool weight and frequency, the FDA required additional testing, which the manufacturer, Shaman Pharmaceuticals, claimed it could not afford to do.

Instead, Shaman has produced a standardized extract of the compound, including the active ingredient found in Provir. Currently, the extract is being sold as a dietary supplement via mail order only.

Unlike Immodium, Lomotil and other anti-diarrheal treatments, SB-NSF is not an anti-motility drug. SB-NSF does not slow down the movement in the bowel, which can lead to constipation and the potential proliferation of microbes. Although the exact mechanism of action is unknown, SB-NSF appears to be an anti-secretory treatment, which may slow down the flow of chloride ions that wash into the gut, thus allowing stools to become more solid.

Provir was studied in more than 1,000 people who either experienced HIV-related diarrhea or traveler's diarrhea. In these studies, Provir was found to be safe, well-tolerated, and to have no drug interaction concerns.

It is assumed that SB-NSF has a similar profile. This treatment, however, is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A small clinical study of SB-NSF, involving 20 individuals, is being conducted at San Francisco General Hospital.

A 60-count bottle of SB-NSF costs a minimum of $58.45, including shipping and handling. If taken every six hours as directed, this would be less than a one-month supply. According to Shaman, people with HIV-related diarrhea should expect results within four days.

For more information or to place an order, visit www.shaman or call (650) 266-7448.

Glenn Gaylord is a treatment advocate in AIDS Project Los Angeles' Treatment Education Program. He can be reached by calling (323) 993-1509 or by e-mail at

This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).