Causes and Symptoms of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea (AAD)
Antibiotics, like ampicillin, clindamycin, cephalosporins or any other antibiotic, may cause diarrhea in adults or children (but rarely in infants). Antibiotics destroy normal intestinal bacteria thus enabling harmful bacteria, like Clostridium difficile, to overgrow and cause:
- Watery diarrhea, appearing from 1-2 days after the start of antibiotic treatment to several weeks after stopping of treatment (1)
- Blood or mucus in the stool
- Left side abdominal pain or cramps
- Bloating and gas with barnyard smell.
Diagnosis may be suspected from the symptoms and antibiotic therapy. Diarrhea often stops on its own in 2-14 days after antibiotic withdrawal (1). Antibiotic should not be withdrawn without consultation with a doctor.