Antibiotic diarrhoea

Toxigenic clostridium difficile causes a majority of all cases of diarrhoea following antibiotic treatment in adults. In children it is less common. Treatment with penicillin antibiotics may cause haemorrhagic colitis. Haemorrhagic colitis often affects the ascending colon. In severe pseudomembranotic Clostridium colitis rectoscopy or sigmoidoscopy reveal typical yellowish grey membranes. In mild diarrhea without fever, stopping the antibiotic is often all that is needed. If the diarrhoea is prolonged perform the C. difficile toxin test or culture. Metronidazole is the drug of choice. In severe disease necessitating hospitalization vancomycin can be used.


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