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What are the treatment options for C. difficile disease?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for C. difficile include antibiotics, fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), probiotics and surgery, according to The Mayo Clinic. The type of treatment used depends on the severity and recurrence of the infection.

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C. difficile bacteria usually affects older patients in long-term care or hospitals after having used antibiotics. It causes serious colon inflammation and diarrhea.

Ironically, antibiotics to stop the growth of C. difficile are often the first treatment option. These may include metronidazole, vancomycin and fidaxomycin.

As of 2015,fecal microbiota transplant is being tested in clinical studies. FMT restores healthy bacteria by transplanting stool from another person. It is becoming an alternative strategy, although the FDA has not yet approved it, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Probiotics like bacteria and yeast are sometimes used for a similar purpose.

In cases of extreme pain, abdominal wall inflammation or organ failure, surgery may be required to remove the affected part of the colon.

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