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Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling - Medications

Medicines aren't used routinely in food poisoning. Medicines that stop diarrhea (antidiarrheals) can help with your symptoms. These medicines (such as Imodium) shouldn't be used if you have a fever or bloody diarrhea, because they can actually make you sicker. Don't give antidiarrheals to children.

Types of food poisoning that may be treated with medicines include:

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Botulism

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  • Botulism, which usually requires the botulism antitoxin and close medical care.
  • Listeriosis, which in pregnant women is treated with antibiotics to prevent infection of the fetus or newborn. Babies with listeriosis may also receive antibiotics.
  • Toxoplasmosis food poisoning, which in pregnant women is treated with antibiotics. To learn more, see the topic Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy.
  • Shigellosis, which may be treated with antibiotics. But some types of Shigella bacteria aren't killed by antibiotics. This is called resistance. Because using antibiotics can make these bacteria even more resistant, mild cases of shigellosis aren't usually treated with antibiotics.

For information on medicines and treating E. coliE. coli, see the topic E. Coli Infection.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 18, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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