Depending on the cause, effective treatments for tarry stools include stool softeners, antibiotics, immune-suppressing drugs, acid-reducing medication and surgery, according to Healthline. The goal is to treat the condition causing the tarry stools, which can range from hemorrhoids to infections, bowel problems and colon polyps.
Doctors treat hemorrhoids that cause tarry stools with stool softeners and sitz baths, notes Healthline. Acid-reducing medication is effective for bleeding ulcers that cause tarry stools. Treatments for tarry stools due to inflammatory bowel syndrome and infections include antibiotics and immune-suppressing drugs.
Surgery may be necessary to correct vein blockages and deformities and to remove colon polyps that result in tarry stools, explains Healthline. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be necessary after surgical removal of colon polyps. Patients must undergo blood transfusions in some circumstances to replace red blood cells when a large amount of blood is passed in stool.