About 20% of people who take antibiotics develop diarrhea. Diarrhea
may develop while taking the antibiotic or shortly after finishing the
medicine. This diarrhea will usually go away completely several days after the
antibiotic is finished.
More than half of those who get diarrhea from taking an antibiotic
have a mild case that may clear up without treatment.
By Janis Graham
Stuffing? Check. Stiff drinks? Check. Stress? Check. 'Tis the season -- for
stomachaches. "The holidays create a perfect storm for stomach problems because
of all the eating, traveling, and partying," says Roger D. Mitty, M.D., chief
of gastroenterology at Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Boston. And
women are especially vulnerable, since some gastrointestinal ills occur up to
six times more often in women than in men. What's more, a recent survey found
People who take antibiotics, including those who have been recently
hospitalized and received intravenous (IV) antibiotics, may develop diarrhea
caused by Clostridium difficile bacteria.
C. difficile can cause severe diarrhea, and the
infection and diarrhea may return after antibiotic treatment. Diarrhea caused
by this bacterium usually requires medical treatment.
If diarrhea develops while taking an antibiotic, contact the health
professional to determine whether the medicine should be continued or another
medicine substituted. Do not stop the antibiotic abruptly.
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
April 26, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
April 26, 2010
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