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Why Do Antibiotics Give You Diarrhea

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What You Can Do In The Meantime

Antibiotic-associated diarrhea

Continue taking your antibiotics as directed by your doctor.

To cope with diarrhea until your appointment, you can:

  • Drink more water and other liquids to replace fluids lost because of diarrhea
  • Eat bland foods and avoid spicy or greasy foods that can aggravate diarrhea

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Why Does Amoxicillin Give Me Diarrhea

Amoxicillin is used to treat different types of infections. The most common are ear infections, infections of the respiratory system and pneumonia. Amoxicillin is a penicillin derivative. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria and preventing their movement. Amoxicillin has been used successfully to treat millions of people around the world. Side effects include diarrhea, which is not very common but can occur. This is caused by the fact that amoxicillin is unable to effectively penetrate the digestive system. This makes the bacteria in the digestive tract resistant to amoxicillin. So, if you use amoxicillin, you may experience diarrhea.

Search Strategy And Study Selection

The flow of the meta-analysis, from search to study selection, is depicted in Fig. . The literature search identified 128 relevant studies. An overview of these studies, including the reasons for their exclusion, is presented in Additional file . A total of 32 trials satisfied our inclusion criteria and were included in the meta-analysis: 26 were obtained from previous reviews and six from direct database searches . The specific characteristics of all included studies are summarized in Additional file .

Fig. 1

Prescriptions of antibiotics in The Netherlands including those for high risk of AAD. The data have been extracted from the Genees- en hulpmiddelen Informatie Project from the Zorginstituut Nederland, that collects trends on use of medication in the Netherlands as reported by health insurance companies. Grey bars indicate the antibiotics that are associated with a higher risk of AAD

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Take With Or Without Food

Check the label on your antibiotics. Does it recommend taking them with food or on an empty stomach?

In either case, follow the directions. Some antibiotics are better absorbed on an empty stomach, so you dont want to limit their effectiveness. But if the label says, Take with food, taking your pills with a meal might help ease stomach issues.

Beyond the specifics above, good old-fashioned advice for treating diarrhea still applies. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and use rehydrating beverages high in electrolytes if needed. Avoid alcohol and caffeine if theyre making your diarrhea worse. Keep in mind alcohol may actually cause severe reactions while you are taking certain antibiotics, so check the label for that information, as well. Eat a more bland diet than you might normally eat.

Its better to use caution than get hit with unpleasant side effects.

Common sense would say you are going to disturb the natural balance with antibiotics, Dr. Rabovsky says, so anything else that causes you GI symptoms could make side effects even worse.

Study Sheds Light On Antibiotics

Easy Way to Know Which Antibiotics to Use

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A joint study by the Singapore General Hospital and Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology , MITs research enterprise in Singapore, may have found the reason some patients experience diarrhea after taking the antibiotic amoxicillin-clavulanate, commonly known as Augmentin. It is a widely prescribed antibiotic used to treat many infections, including pneumonia and urinary tract infections.

The team of researchers found that the level of gut Ruminococcaceae, a family of bacteria that plays an important role in maintaining an individuals gut health, strongly impacts diarrheal outcomes following antibiotic treatment.

The problem is very real for patients who are unable to take amoxicillin-clavulanate because it gives them diarrhea, even though it is an effective and affordable antibiotic for their infection. Knowing why may help us identify those at risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and devise treatment strategies in the future to minimize or avoid such adverse effects, says Shirin Kalimuddin, consultant, SGH Department of Infectious Diseases, the principal investigator of the study.

A total of 30 healthy volunteers were recruited for the study. They each received a three-day oral course of amoxicillin-clavulanate. Their stool samples were collected on stipulated days over a period of four weeks and analyzed using gene sequencing to look for changes in the gut microbiome during the study period.

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Why Do I Get Diarrhea With Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is an antibiotic that treats a variety of different bacterial infections. These infections include a number of different conditions including strep throat, ear infections, and more. The most common side effect of this antibiotic is diarrhea. The cause of this is often a common infection by the bacterium Escherichia coli. Other side effects of this antibiotic include stomach cramps and nausea. Taking this antibiotic with other medications that can cause diarrhea can cause a lot of trouble. If you are prescribed this antibiotic, check with your doctor to find out if you are able to take this drug. If you dont take it properly, it may cause some serious problems. Some other medications can cause diarrhea, so its important to make sure you take all of your medications correctly.

Can Antibiotics Cause Diarrhea

Yes, antibiotics can cause diarrhea and heres why.

Antibiotics target bacteria by taking advantage of structures and processes that bacterial cells have that are different from our own cells. So, while antibiotics dont harm our own cells, they can kill both good and bad bacteria living in your intestines.

Not all bacteria is bad. There are many types of good bacteria that live in your intestines. These good bacteria help with the digestive process and they also play a role in keeping you healthy. Antibiotics can disrupt the balance of these bacteria. One of the side effects of killing off the good bacteria, in addition to the bad bacteria, is the possibility of looser stools.

Another job thats done by good bacteria is to keep the growth of opportunistic bacteria in check. These bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile, can cause infections if theyre allowed to thrive, which can happen if good bacteria are killed off by antibiotics.

Toxins produced by C. diff can cause inflammation in the intestines, leading to diarrhea. Studies estimate that

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Tips For Antibiotic Use

Always discuss your regular medications with your doctor before starting antibiotics, given that certain antibiotics can negatively interact with some drugs.

Also, read the instructions, such as whether the antibiotics should be taken with or without food, as this may impact their absorption and hence the effect.

If you are taking probiotics, do not take it at the same time as antibiotics. Antibiotics tend to neutralize the effect of probiotics if they are taken together.

Search Strategy And Inclusion Criteria

Clostridium Difficile (Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea) Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Included in this review are studies that assessed the efficacy of probiotics in reducing the incidence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea in patients treated with antibiotics, regardless of their age, of the intervention setting and of the indication for which they were prescribed. In order to identify these studies we first screened the references listed by previously published systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and then we directly searched clinical trials in public databases. Database searches were conducted on the 16th of January 2017.

We searched reviews and meta-analyses on the following databases for the period 19602016: the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects , the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and PubMed. For the DARE and the CDSR databases we searched combinations of the following terms: probiotic, antibiotic, diarrhea and antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The search yielded 25 results from the DARE and 50 from the CDSR. In PubMed, we searched for meta-analyses using the following search texts: AND ), which yielded 28 results and AND AND ), which yielded 34 results. After screening of titles and abstracts and exclusion of duplicates and reviews not relevant to our purpose, we identified 28 relevant reviews and meta-analyses , containing a total of 102 relevant studies.

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Is Diarrhea From Antibiotics Serious

Short term diarrhea that lasts only a few days is typically not a major health concern. However, prolonged, or frequent diarrhea can lead to many side effects that can become very serious. Diarrhea causes your body to lose water and important minerals called electrolytes that keep many systems in your body working properly. This can lead to dehydration, which in turn may cause symptoms such as decreased brain function, headaches, irritability, increased heart rate, decreased muscle strength and endurance, and kidney damage over time. Severe dehydration can also potentially cause death.

Diarrhea can also prevent your body from properly digesting and absorbing nutrients from food. Lack of appetite is another common side effect of diarrhea, and can worsen over time if not properly treated. Extreme cases can result in malnutrition.Diarrhea from antibiotics is of most concern for young children, the elderly, and other people who have a weakened immune system or are at a greater risk for dehydration.

What Foods Should You Avoid

  • Some types of food can make your symptoms worse or interfere with your antibiotic treatment. These include:
    • Alcoholic drinks
    • Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, soft drinks, and tea.
    • Dairy products can cause digestive problems while taking antibiotics and can affect antibiotic absorption.
    • Fatty foods such as fatty meats, baked goods, chips, French fries, and other fried foods
    • Foods or drinks that are high in added sugar, such as sodas, fruit juices, cakes, and cookies
    • High-fiber foods like whole grains, legumes, and most fruits and vegetables
    • Spicy foods can further irritate your digestive tract.

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    Consequences Of Travelers’ Diarrhea

    Antibiotic-associated diarrhea may affect 25% of those treated with fluoroquinolones or macrolides.120 This clinical diagnosis should be considered in the differential among TD patients who are treated with antibiotics yet who have persistent or worsening symptoms. Other notable complications of TD include reactive arthritis and Campylobacter jejuni-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome.

    Chronic diarrhea has been estimated to affect 1% of all travelers.118 Steffen’s study among Swiss travelers in the 1980s showed that 11% of travelers who developed acute diarrhea went on to experience chronic diarrhea.7 A total of 20 of the 73 cases of chronic diarrhea were associated with protozoa, such as amoeba or Giardia the rest were undiagnosed. The highest rate of chronic diarrhea was noted after travel in West Africa and East Asia. One-third of the patients became symptomatic only after returning home some after more than a 1-month delay. Chronic diarrhea ranked second of all travel related illness in days of inability to work.

    Thea Brabb, … Martha Hanes, in, 2012

    Probiotics To The Rescue

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    Probiotics help to maintain balance in your gut microbiome despite the presence and activities of antibiotics. They also help to boost your immune system so it can more effectively fight the infection. By ensuring there is no disruption to the guy colonies, probiotics also prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea. You can get these benefits from a high quality, clinically proven probiotic or through probiotics that are found naturally in certain foods.

    Yogurt: One of the best food sources for probiotics is yogurt, as it contains fermented milk produced by lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria have been proven to improve digestive health and functions. Yogurt is also great for those with lactose intolerance because these bacteria turn some of the lactose into lactic acid, making it easier to digest.

    Kimchi and sauerkraut: These are fermented cabbage dishes that also contain the probiotic Lactobacillus, which is another beneficial lactic acid bacterium. This bacteria works to reduce inflammation in the gut, which is known to trigger episodes of diarrhea.

    Kombucha: This is a fermented green or black tea drink popular in Asian cultures. Regularly drinking kombucha has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut as well as ease digestive troubles, such as diarrhea.

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    What You Should Eat During And After Antibiotics

    Antibiotics are a powerful line of defense against bacterial infections.

    However, they can sometimes cause side effects, such as diarrhea and liver damage.

    Some foods can reduce these side effects, while others may make them worse.

    This article explains what you should and shouldnt eat during and after antibiotics.

    Available Probiotic Products In The Netherlands

    A complete list of probiotic products available in The Netherlands was obtained in December 2016 by screening online websites of pharmacies, vitamin stores, health stores, and shops selling probiotics online. The Dutch association Natuur- en Gezondheidsproducten Nederland evaluated and completed our list. We also included dairy products routinely sold in food stores.

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    Should Antibiotics Be Taken With Or Without Food

    See the label on your antibiotics. Does it advise you to take them on an empty stomach or with food? Either way, you should follow the instructions given. Some antibiotics are better consumed on an empty stomach find out the optimal way to consume yours.

    Regular recommendations for treating diarrhea still apply:

    • Drink a lot of water to prevent dehydration and use rehydrating beverages high in electrolytes if necessary.
    • Avoid alcohol and caffeine if they are making diarrhea worse. Keep in mind that alcohol may cause severe reactions while you are taking certain antibiotics. See the label for that information.
    • Eat more of a bland diet than you might normally eat.

    Common sense should keep you from disrupting the natural balance of antibiotics. Keep in mind that anything that triggers GI symptoms could make your side effects even worse.

    Be cautious to avoid these undesirable side effects.

    More News

    Saccharomyces Boulardii Cncm I

    Probiotics Cut Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea

    Probiotics are living microorganisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit.6 The single-strain yeast probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii CNCM I-745 is proven to help reduce the occurrence of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.6 For example, it has been demonstrated that the occurrence of diarrhea is reduced by 53% in adults when Saccharomycesboulardii CNCM I-745 is taken at the same time as antibiotics.6 In addition the yeast reduces the impact of antibiotics on the microbiota during treatment.7

    Unlike bacterial probiotics, S. boulardii CNCM I-745 is naturally resistant to antibiotics which means that it can be taken at the same time as antibiotics to act on the immediate effect of the antibiotics on the microbiota and reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea.8

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    Who Is At Risk Of Developing Antibiotic

    Up to 35% of adults receiving antibiotics experience antibiotic-associated diarrhea .4 However, AAD occurs in a wide variety of populations including outpatients and residents of long-term care facilities4, with risk-associated factors such as a history of AAD, young or elderly age4 and co-morbidities.4

    Factors associated with an increased risk of developing antibiotic-associated diarrhea : 3,4

    • Continuous tube-feeding
    • Antibiotics: oral administration broad spectrum biliary elimination continuous antibiotic therapy multiple antibiotics use

    Restore Gut Health After Taking Antibiotics

  • Rebuilding gut bacteria is crucial to minimizing the negative effects of antibiotic use. You can speed up the healing process of the intestine with antibiotics in several ways:
    • Eating foods that contain potassium can help replace it.
    • Drink liquids, such as water, broths, or decaffeinated tea.
    • Eating fruit such as bananas, applesauce, or small amounts of canned fruit without syrup
    • Eating grains like white rice, white bread, and noodles
    • Consume peeled potatoes boiled or baked
    • Add protein sources such as poultry, lean meats, and fish to the diet
    • Eating yogurt that contains live cultures

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    Lifestyle And Home Remedies

    To cope with diarrhea:

    • Drink enough fluids. To counter a mild loss of fluids from diarrhea, drink more water or drinks that contain electrolytes. For a more severe loss, drink fluids that contain water, sugar and salt such as oral rehydration solution. Try broth or fruit juice that isn’t high in sugar. Avoid beverages that are high in sugar or contain alcohol or caffeine, such as coffee, tea and colas, which can worsen your symptoms.

      For infants and children with diarrhea, ask your doctor about using an oral rehydration solution, such as Pedialyte, to replenish fluids and electrolytes.

    • Avoid certain foods. It’s a good idea to avoid dairy as well as fatty and spicy foods while you have diarrhea. You can usually get back to a normal diet soon after your symptoms resolve.
    • Ask about anti-diarrheal medications. In some cases of mild antibiotic-associated diarrhea, your doctor may recommend anti-diarrheal medications, such as loperamide . But check with your doctor before taking anti-diarrheal medications because they can interfere with your body’s ability to eliminate toxins and lead to serious complications. These medications should not be used if you develop C. difficile infection.

    What Are The Consequences Of Taking Antibiotics

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    The major consequence of antibiotic-induced changes to gut microbiota diversity is antibiotic-associated diarrhea .1 Diarrhea is the signal that there is an imbalance in the diversity of the microbiota in the gut.1 AAD generally occurs during antibiotic treatment, however diarrhea can occur 2 to 8 weeks after treatment has finished.4

    How quickly AAD occurs can be influenced by the type of antibiotic and the type of harmful bacteria that increases in the gut following antibiotics can influence the severity/rate at which AAD develops.4 For example, 1/3 of AAD cases are caused by the bacteria Clostridium difficile4, and is often recurrent.4

    • Recurrent antibiotic-associated diarrhea
    • Increased risk of antibiotic resistance
    • Complications such as colitis or pseudomembranous colitis are the more serious complications associated with antibiotic therapy.

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