Treatment of C. difficile infection can involve discontinuing the antibiotic that caused the condition, prescribing another antibiotic to keep the C. difficile from growing and surgical procedures, states Mayo Clinic. Antibiotics, fecal microbiota transplants and probiotics treat recurrent C. difficile infections.
Terminating use of the antibiotic that caused C. difficile is the first step in treating the condition, explains Mayo Clinic. Antibiotics such as metronidazole, vancomycin and fidaxomicin are then prescribed to treat complications of the condition and to stop C. difficile from growing. Side effects of metronidazole include a bitter taste in the mouth and nausea, and common side effects of vancomycin and fidaxomicin are nausea and abdominal pain. Surgery to remove the diseased part of the colon is used to treat inflammation of the abdominal wall lining, organ failure or severe pain.
Vancomycin is the typical medication given for recurrent C. difficile, and it is given once every few days, explains Mayo Clinic. Each dose is tapered, and the effectiveness of each dose declines with each recurrence. Fecal microbiota transplant is an alternative treatment that uses healthy stool from a donor to restore intestinal bacteria health. Probiotics are also used to reinstate a healthy balance to the intestinal tract. Drinking large amounts of fluids and maintaining a healthy diet help in treating the diarrhea that often occurs during C. difficile.