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Diarrhea (cont.)


When should antibiotics be used for diarrhea?

Most episodes of diarrhea are acute and of short duration and do not require antibiotics. Antibiotics are not even necessary for the most common bacterial infections that cause diarrhea. Antibiotics, however, often are used when (1) patients have more severe and persistent diarrhea, (2) patients have additional debilitating diseases such as heart failure, lung disease, and AIDS, (3) stool examination and testing discloses parasites, more serious bacterial infections(for example, Shigella), or C. difficile, and 4) traveler's diarrhea.

Additional resources from WebMD Boots UK on Diarrhoea

Medically reviewed by Donald Lee, DO; Board Certified Family Practice


UpToDate. Patient information: Chronic diarrhea in adults (Beyond the Basics).

UpToDate. Patient information: Acute diarrhea in children (Beyond the Basics).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/15/2014

Patient Comments

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Diarrhea - Effective Treatments Question: What kinds of treatments have been effective for your diarrhea?
Diarrhea - Causes Question: What was the suspected cause of diarrhea in you, a friend, or relative?
Diarrhea - Antibiotics Question: Were you prescribed antibiotics for diarrhea? If so, why and what antibiotic was prescribed.
Diarrhea - Share Your Experience Question: Please share your experience with chronic diarrhea.
Diarrhea - Food Poisoning Question: Did you ever get diarrhea from something you ate? What was the food? Please describe your experience.

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