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What Antibiotics Treat C Diff

If Your Doctor Has Recommended Infusion Therapy For C Diff Infection Let Infusion Associates Help You

How to Manage a C.difficile Infection Without Antibiotics (PRACTITIONER TRAINING)

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Factors That Increase The Risk Of C Diff Infection

  • Consumption of antibiotics: Antibiotics can increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection, especially if a person has been taking antibiotics that work against multiple types of bacteria , several different antibiotics at the same time, or antibiotics for a long period. People are more likely to contract this disease if they have weak immunity.
  • Being in the hospital or nursing home: Many cases begin in the community, particularly nursing homes. In general, the longer a person stays in the hospital and the older they are, the more likely they are to contract C diff infection.
  • Older adults: C diff infection is more common in the elderly. More than 8 out of 10 cases occur in people older than 65 years. This is partly because older people are more likely to be hospitalized. Furthermore, older people appear to be more susceptible to this infection, possibly due to weakened immune systems or other medical issues that put them at greater risk. Children are less likely to become infected.
  • Previous C diff infection: If a person has had C diff infection in the past, they are more likely to get it again in the future. Their bowel may become more sensitive to antibiotics if they have had a C diff infection.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease : People who have colitis as a result of inflammatory bowel disease are more likely to contract C diff infection. In this case, C diff infection could occur in the absence of previous antibiotic treatment.
  • Probiotics To Beat The Bacterium

    Probiotic supplements are the best way to restore the balance of the natural bacterial colony in your gut. Poor diet and the use of antibiotics can cause these beneficial floras to become depleted, and probiotics can help restore numbers.

    When the balance is in favor of beneficial strains again, bacteria like C. diff dont stand a chance.

    | Related: How to Stick With a Long-Term Probiotics Routine |

    Specifically, there are three probiotic bacterial strains that have been shown to combat C. diff effectively. Incorporating these strains into your regular diet or taking in supplement form can prevent the harmful bacteria from taking over or if taken after infection, symptoms can be reduced and recovery will be much faster.

    S. Boulardii: This is probiotic yeast, which has been shown to counteract the activities of C. diff within your gut. This beneficial yeast can inhibit the activities of inflammatory markers as well as reduce intestinal wall permeability. These actions reduce inflammation and prevent C. diff toxins from binding. A protease secreted by the S. Boulardii inhibits the production of the toxins produced by C. diff, which prevents it from damaging your intestinal walls.

    Lactobacillus: This is a species of probiotics that have been used in numerous studies to combat the effects of C. diff. These bacteria have the ability to colonize in your gut and can protect you from pathogenic invaders.

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    How Does It Spread

    The C. diff bacterium comes from feces. You can develop an infection if you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth.

    In addition, the spores of C. diff are resistant to many chemicals used for cleaning. As a result, they can stick around for a long time.

    While anyone can develop a C. diff infection, some people have an increased risk.

    Things that can increase your risk include:

    • taking antibiotics, especially a long course of broad spectrum antibiotics

    What Is Clostridium Difficile Infection

    LSBU C Diff 2016

    Clostridium difficile is a germ . It lives harmlessly in the gut of many people. About 3 in 100 healthy adults and as many as 7 in 10 healthy babies have a number of C. difficile bacteria living in their gut. The number of C. difficile bacteria that live in the gut of healthy people is kept in check by all the other harmless bacteria that also live in the gut. So, in other words, some of us normally have small numbers of C. difficile bacteria living in our guts, which do no harm.

    C. difficile produces spores which are very hardy and resistant to high temperatures. Spores are passed out with the stools of people who have C. difficile in their gut. Spores can persist in the environment for several months or years. The spores can also be spread through the air . They may get on to food and into the mouth and gut of some people. Spores that get into a human gut develop into mature bacteria. So, this is how some people end up with C. difficile living harmlessly in their gut.

    However, if the number of C. difficile bacteria increases greatly in the gut then it can cause problems. The most common reason why this occurs is due to taking antibiotics.

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    How Is Clostridium Difficile Infection Diagnosed

    As a general guide, the diagnosis of C. difficile infection should be suspected in:

    • Anyone who develops diarrhoea who has had antibiotics within the previous two months and/or
    • When diarrhoea develops during a hospital stay or within a few weeks of coming out of hospital.

    However, you should remember that diarrhoea is often due to other causes. For example, food poisoning or viral infections. Also, diarrhoea after a course of antibiotics may not necessarily be due to C. difficile infection. For example, some antibiotics such as erythromycin can cause diarrhoea as a side-effect because the antibiotic medicine speeds up stomach emptying. Also, because antibiotics can upset the balance of the harmless germs in the gut that normally help to control our bowel movements, diarrhoea after a course of antibiotics can also occur for this reason. Only around 1 in 5 people who develop diarrhoea after a course of antibiotics actually have C. difficile infection.

    But C. difficile should be considered as a possibility in the situations described above. A stool sample can be tested in the laboratory to confirm the diagnosis. The test looks for the poison that is produced by C. difficile in the stool sample. Blood tests, an X-ray of your tummy or a CT scan may be suggested if you have more severe infection.

    What Is Clostridium Difficile

    Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can aggravate the colon and cause a wide array of issues. Sometimes C. diff only causes diarrhea and goes away on its own, whereas other people can develop life-threatening colitis, dehydration, organ failure, bowel perforation, bowel rupture and/or death. C. diff is no little stomach bug!

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    What Causes C Diff Infections

    C. diff bacteria are commonly found in the environment, but people usually only get C. diff infections when they are taking antibiotics. That’s because antibiotics not only wipe out bad germs, but they also kill the good germs that protect your body against infections. The effect of antibiotics can last as long as several months. If you come in contact with C. diff germs during this time, you can get sick. You are more likely to get a C. diff infection if you take antibiotics for more than a week.

    C. diff spreads when people touch food, surfaces, or objects that are contaminated with feces from a person who has C. diff.

    What Is The Treatment For Clostridium Difficile Infection

    Heres How Antibiotics Used to Treat C. diff Also Damage the Microbiome

    The decision to treat C. difficile infection and on the type of treatment depends on the severity of the illness. No treatment is needed if you have no symptoms but are known to carry the germs in your gut. However, if symptoms develop, some of the treatments below may be needed. If you are not already in hospital, people who have mild infection can often be treated at home. However, if the infection is more severe, you will usually be admitted to hospital so that you can be treated and closely monitored.

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    Tip #: Limit Close Contact With Others

    Like we mentioned in Tip #7, contact precautions are used in the hospital when a C. diff infection is severe. While you may not have a severe diarrhea infection, protect yourself and others by staying home. Take a sick day at work or keep your child home from school so that the infection does not spread. Besides, no one wants to be at work or school with diarrhea!

    Infusion Therapy Treatment For C Diff Infection

    Clostridium difficile, more commonly referred to as C. diff, is a type of bacteria that can cause serious infections and illness in the gastrointestinal system. Most frequently, the development of C. diff occurs after prolonged antibiotic treatment especially among the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. In mild cases of C. diff, patients may only experience diarrhea for a few days and some abdominal cramping. In severe cases, however, these symptoms are more intense and can also include:

    • Fever
    • Bloody stools
    • Kidney failure

    C. diff. can be a serious condition to overcome, but treatments like infusion therapy can help.

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    What Did Researchers Find About Probiotics

    The chart below lists some different types of probiotics and what researchers found about each.

    Findings About Probiotics

    What did researchers find?
    Saccharomyces boulardii Does not appear to help keep CDI from coming back when added to treatment with an antibiotic, but more research is needed to know this for sure.
    Lactobacillus Appears to help keep CDI from coming back when added to treatment with an antibiotic, but more research is needed to know this for sure.
    A combination of two or more types of probiotics Appears to help keep CDI from coming back when added to treatment with an antibiotic, but more research is needed to know this for sure.

    What Is The Outlook

    Differences between Antibiotic

    Most people with C. difficile infection recover, some even without any treatment. However, the diarrhoea can be unpleasant and, in some cases, can last for several weeks. If needed, treatment with metronidazole or vancomycin gives a good chance of clearing the infection quickly.

    Severe inflammation of the colon due to C. difficile infection occurs in some cases. This accounts for most of the serious complications such as perforation of the colon, and death. Most people who die of C. difficile infection are elderly people who are frail or ill with other things and who develop the infection during a hospital stay.

    As mentioned above, once you have had C. difficile infection, you have around a 1 in 4-5 chance of the infection returning in the future.

    Note: you should remain off work or school until you have been free from diarrhoea for 48 hours.

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    How To Stop Clostridium Difficile Spreading

    C. diff infections can be passed on very easily.

    You can reduce your risk of picking it up or spreading it by practising good hygiene, both at home and in healthcare settings.

    The following measures can help:

    • stay at home until at least 48 hours after your symptoms have cleared up
    • wash your hands regularly with soap and water, particularly after going to the toilet and before eating use liquid rather than bar soap
    • clean contaminated surfaces with a bleach-based cleaner after each use
    • do not share towels and flannels
    • wash contaminated clothes and sheets separately from other washing at the highest possible temperature
    • when visiting someone in hospital, observe any visiting guidelines, avoid taking any children under the age of 12, and wash your hands with liquid soap and water when entering and leaving ward areas do not rely on alcohol hand gels, as theyre not effective against C. diff
    • avoid visiting hospital if youre feeling unwell or have recently had diarrhoea

    Page last reviewed: 23 November 2018 Next review due: 23 November 2021

    Tip #: Analyze The Severity Of Your Illness

    Since C. diff can get out of hand and get dangerous rather rapidly, it is important that you analyze the severity of your illness right away. You may be experiencing diarrhea and not know if it is caused by C. diff. Keeping track of your symptoms and self-monitoring how your illness progresses is essential. Severe forms of a C. diff infection will need immediate medical attention.

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    Antibiotics Are The Main Cause Of C Difficile Infection

    If you take antibiotics for any infection , as well as killing the bacteria that cause the infection, the antibiotics will also kill many of the harmless bacteria that live in your gut. C. difficile bacteria are not killed by many types of antibiotic. If the other harmless bacteria are killed then this allows C. difficile to multiply to greater numbers than it would normally do. The bacteria also start to produce poisons . These toxins are what cause the symptoms .

    Therefore, if you take certain antibiotics and if you have any C. difficile bacteria in your gut, the bacteria may thrive and cause an infection. This is a problem that may occur with taking many of the commonly used antibiotics.

    Antibiotic Therapy For Clostridium Difficile

    How Antibiotics Cause Infections (C. Diff)


    Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that can live harmlessly in the colon, but when an individual takes an antibiotic for another condition, the C. difficile can grow and replace most of the normal bacterial flora that live in the colon. This overgrowth causes C. difficile-associated diarrhoea . The symptoms of CDI include diarrhoea, fever and pain. CDI may be only mild but in many cases is very serious and, if untreated, can be fatal. There are many proposed treatments for CDI, but the most common are withdrawing the antibiotic that caused the CDI and prescribing an antibiotic that kills the bacterium. Many antibiotics have been tested in clinical trials for effectiveness and this review studies the comparisons of these antibiotics. This review is an update of a previously published Cochrane review.


    We searched the medical literature up to 26 January 2017. All randomised trials that compare two different antibiotics, or variations in dosing of a single antibiotic for treatment of CDI were included. Trials comparing antibiotic to placebo or no treatment were sought but, save for one poor quality placebo-controlled trial, none were found. Trials that compared antibiotics to a non-antibiotic treatment were not included.


    Clostridium difficile is recognized as a frequent cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis. This review is an update of a previously published Cochrane review.

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    Terms Used In The Guideline

    C. difficile infection

    This is defined as diarrhoea and:

    • a positive C. difficile toxin test or

    • results of a C. difficile toxin test pending and clinical suspicion of C. difficile infection.

    Further episode of C. difficile infection

    A further episode of C. difficile infection could either be a relapse, which is more likely to be with the same C. difficile strain, or a recurrence, which is more likely to be with a different C. difficile strain. There is no agreement on the precise definition of relapse and recurrence, and it is difficult to distinguish between them in clinical practice. In this guideline, it was agreed that a relapse occurs within 12 weeks of previous symptom resolution and recurrence occurs more than 12 weeks after previous symptom resolution.

    Severity of C. difficile infection

    This is defined as:

    Mild infection: not associated with an increased white cell count . Typically associated with fewer than 3 episodes of loose stools per day.

    Moderate infection: associated with an increased WCC . Typically associated with 3 to 5 loose stools per day.

    Severe infection: associated with a WCC greater than 15 × 109 per litre, or an acutely increased serum creatinine concentration , or a temperature higher than 38.5 degrees Celsius, or evidence of severe colitis . The number of stools may be a less reliable indicator of severity.



    C Diff Treatment Fecal Transplants

    The treatment of last resort is a fecal microbiota transplant. This therapy involves placing specially treated fecal matter from a relative or carefully chosen donor inside the intestine of a sufferer is also being used. The evidence so far indicates that for many it ends their chronic C Diff infections. Find out more about fecal transplants here .

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    Risk Factors For Contracting C Difficile Infection

    People who are in hospitals or other healthcare settings are at highest risk of developing C. difficile infections. Other people are those who:

    • Have serious illnesses, particularly those that can weaken the immune system
    • Are taking or who have recently taken antibiotics
    • Are taking medications to manage stomach acid, including those known as proton pump inhibitors
    • Have had previous C. difficile infections.

    The only way to prevent developing an infection with C. difficile is by avoiding exposure to the bacteria. The most effective method to do this is by frequent and proper hand washing with soap and water by everyone, patients, visitors, and anyone who works in the healthcare facilities. Waterless hand cleaners do not adequately kill C. difficile.

    Patients who have C. difficile infection should be isolated from other patients to avoid spreading the bacteria. Healthcare workers who enter isolation rooms have to wear gloves and gowns. Reducing antibiotic overuse also reduces the risk of C. difficile infection. This means not asking for antibiotics for viral infections and not taking someone elses medications.

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