Clostridium Difficile

Disease Summary:

Clostridium difficile (CDI) is due to a toxin producing bacteria that causes diarrhea.  The major risk factor for CDI is taking antibiotics prior to the onset of diarrhea.  Diarrhea is a frequent side effect of antibiotics that usually gets better when antibiotics are stopped.  If diarrhea persists after stopping antibiotics or develops after stopping antibiotics, CDI should be considered.  The diarrhea can be mild with three or more watery stools per day or more severe with watery stools as often as fifteen times per day.  Other risk factors for CDI are older age, being in the hospital or long-term care facility, and having a weakened immune system.  Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease) are also at increased risk.

 

Diarrhea is the most common symptom and it is rarely bloody.  Individuals may also have crampy abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting.  Fever, abdominal distention, and tenderness may indicate more severe disease.  Severe infections can even be fatal.  A stool sample documenting the presence of toxins confirms the infection.

 

If possible, treatment includes stopping the antibiotic that caused the infection.  If symptoms are mild, metronidazole is recommended.  If one does not tolerate metronidazole or the disease is more severe, vancomycin is recommended.  With either medication, it is very important to complete the entire course of therapy as prescribed. Antidiarrheal medications should not be used.  Those with more severe disease that is not responding to oral medications may require hospitalization.  In the most severe cases, surgery to remove the colon may be required to save the patient's life.  Another effective treatment is fecal microbiota transplant (stool transplant) shown in studies to be effective in most patients.  After successful treatment with antibiotics, up to 20% of individuals will develop recurrent symptoms and require additional treatment and potential longer treatment with either metronidazole or vancomycin.

For More Information Go To These Websites:

gastro.org

gi.org

niddk.nih.gov

OFFICE
3401 Springhill Drive suite 400
North Little Rock, AR 72117
501-945-3343

 

Monday – Friday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

SPRINGHILL SURGERY CENTER
3401 Springhill Drive suite 155
North Little Rock, AR 72117
501-945-5800
springhillsurgerycenter.com


NORTH RIVER SURGERY CENTER
2209 Wildwood Avenue
Sherwood, AR 72120
501-834-5777

JACKSONVILLE MEDICAL CENTER
1300 Braden Street

Jacksonville, AR 72076

501-945-3343

Monday – 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

CABOT MEDICAL CENTER
2039 West Main Street, Suite C

Cabot, AR 72023

501-945-3343

Thursday – 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM

  • White Facebook Icon

3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 400 • North Little Rock, Arkansas 72117 • Tel: 501-945-3343

Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved, Arkansas Gastroenterology P.A. • Website Designed by Creative Stream Graphics