C Diff Treatment – 6 facts you should know

Here is a detailed overview of c diff treatment – from the mildest case to the most severe.

Stop taking the antibiotics

If your case is mild – diarrhea 3-5 times a day you will probably find that the symptoms stop after you finish the course of antibiotics you have been taking.

Get tested to clarify what strain you have

If your symptoms continue you may need to get tested. There are many different strains of c.difficile. The NAP1 or 027 strain is often caught in hospital and is much more destructive than other strains. A test will help ensure the right antibiotic treatment for your strain.

C Diff Treatment – Flaygl

The common and least expensive drug used is Flagyl (metronidazole). This is effective against mild to moderate strains. For many people this c diff treatment works and it goes away after 7-14 days. About 20% of the patients are not cured and more powerful drugs must be used. Find out more at our detailed Flagyl page

C Diff Treatment – Vancocin

This is the oral form of the common vancomycin drug used for many other conditions. It takes the medication directly to the infected area and is effective for many patients. It is more expensive and is also usually reserved for the worst cases, so that strains vulnerable to one of the drugs of ‘last resort’ do not develop. There is a concern that it subdues c.difficile rather than killing it. Recent research is also suggesting that it is a short term cure and makes the gut more liable to more c difficile and other infections. Find out more at our Vancocin page. Some hospitals use a Flaygl/Vancocin combination to treat c.difficile.

Dificid – Fidaxomicin

This a a newer drug that targets a specific aspect of the c.difficile bacteria. It does less damage to the rest of the stomach flora and those treated with it are less likely to have further infections. It is very expensive. Find out more at our Fidaxomicin page

C Diff Treatment – Fecal transplants (FMT)

The treatment of last resort is a fecal microbiota transplant. This new 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 .


See other C Diff Treatment pages below

Recent C Diff Treatment News

53 thoughts on “C Diff Treatment – 6 facts you should know

  1. Alita MacElhiney

    Help! I have been on antibiotics for most of a year for diverticulitis. Had bowel resection surgery in August. Recovery time went well. However, have had three bouts of c diff. All with vanco 125MG and now with 250MB. One of the treatments involved pulsed administration… 10 days, 5, days, 2 days etc. The bout now is extremely painful, diarrhea constantly and extreme fatigue.

    I am afraid that the new vanco will not work. Is there any reason why the oral version would not work but the IV version would? Since the development of c diff, I have a low tolerance for oral medications. I know that vanco is not absorbed but what do I do. I am at my wits end. It is now affecting both my work and home life. I feel dirty… 🙁

    Reply
    1. Infection Watch

      Some doctors are using a Flagyl/Vanco combination and other are using Dificid which is linked to less recuurence as it actually kills C Diff rather than supressing it. You may want to discuss this with your doctor.

      Dave

      Reply
  2. Michael McCann

    Dave’s reply to Kristi is good advice. If symptoms clear permanently after Vancomycin no further treatment is needed. However if lingering symptoms persist, then a good quality probiotic can be curative. There are several good preparations on the market and those containing these three species work best; 1) L acidophilus, 2) L bulgaricus, 3) Bifofobacteria bifidum. The main problem in using probiotics either for prevention or therapy is that the doses used are much to small and not long enough. Because the C diff occupies the same niche as these three commensurates (and No 2 is a transient whereas 1 and 3 can permanently colonize and prevent living space for the C diff) then treatment should be initiated with large doses and then decreased to maintenance doses until stools test negative for C diff.

    Reply
  3. Kristi Brooks

    I was diagnosed for C diff after antibiotic use (Clindamycin) following a minor surgery. I was slowing getting sick but thought it was a stomach virus. As it got worse, I went to the hospital and was there for 3 days. I was sent home with 11 day supply of Vancomycin (on it in the hospital too) I am feeling better, not 100% but close. Wondering when am I cured from C diff? My bowels are not normal yet, but getting there. How do I know I am done??

    Reply
    1. Infection Watch

      You are best to ask an MD or those who treated you but the return of normal firm stools is probably the best measure of the end of your infection.

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  4. Michael McCann

    This is a very important question because we know that antibiotic use is a main cause of C diff overgrowth, but what we do not know is whether the probiotic used will also be killed off by the antibiotic used. In the future I hope all probiotics will be accompanied by specific antibiotic sensitivity testing on their labels. Then we can select resistant probiotics to use along with the therapeutic antibiotic. Right now it is anybody’s guess because the studies have not been done.

    Reply
  5. Kevin

    So – is it generally a good idea when anyone is on antibiotics – that taking something with pro-biotics is helpful? If an insufficient number of “good” bacteria is present, can this be improved by eating yogurt or taking additional medicine to keep the “good” count high?

    Reply
  6. Michael L McCann MD

    There is a much better way to treat C diff. I day of vanco or flagyl only then D/C and start a Probiotic (Natren’s HT or Floragen-3) 4 capsules QID until diarrhea abates then 2 BID until C diff is cleared from the stool. Never fails; much better than antibiotics. Michael L McCann MD

    Reply
  7. Michael L McCann MD

    I have developed a simple Probiotic treatment for C diff which I believe is superior to fecal transplant. Interested parties may contact me at above email gratis for regimen. MLM

    Reply
  8. Lynda

    I was diagnosed with C. diff a week ago. I was prescribed metronidazole 500 mg/day for 14 days. Turns out, I’m allergic to this antibiotic. I was experiencing pain behind my eyes and heavy dizziness. I went back to the doctor and she prescribed me vancomycin. However, it is over $2000 and my insurance does not cover it. Everything is so expensive. Does anyone have any idea how much it costs to have the feces injection of a family member? How does this process work? Or (if I have any), what are my other options?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      The cost of the fecal procedure is not a known but site users who have had it might like to comment. The usual second line treatment is vancocin tablets. Is this what they have given you?

      Dave Roberts
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  9. Reba

    Hi,

    I had C-Diff Colitis and no longer have it (Flagyl for ten days and retested), but now (one week later) I alternate between constipation and diarrhea and have nausea when laying down. I have not had a normal bowel movement since the C-Diff. Any idea what is causing this?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Our reading of the c diff literature suggests that the intestine can take some time to ‘settle’ after the trauma of a c diff infection. As can the rest of the body. If it persists you may need to seek more medical advice

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  10. PaGuz

    I did not know anthing about C-Diff before so i did my homework but I don’t know if it was a good idea because you may get crazy after reading all stories of people who have had very difficult experiences.
    As many of you, I got c-diff after taking antibiotics (amoxicilline) for a tooth infection. I had 2 episodes of diarrhea two days after the I finished the antibiotic so I went to the doctor. She did a stool test and it came back positive (C-diff toxin B detected). My symptoms at that time were: mild lower abdomen pain, gas,bloating, the sensation that my intestines were moving all the time, soft-fluffy stools (but no watery diarrhea) and some mucus. She put me on metronidazol 500mg x 10 days. My side effects during the treatment were nausea, upset stomach and acid taste in my mouth all the time, 3 days later my stools change, they were still soft and fluffy but it seemed my digestive system was to “digesting” the food (Did this ever happen to any of you?). My stools were more closer to normal before the treatment so I went to the doctor and she said it was a side effect of the medication and that my body was fighting against the bacteria so it was probably not digesting the food properly. It’s been 2 days since I finished the treatment, Dr said it may take 2 – 3 days for my stool to look more normal but it will take time for my gut to recover. I’m very anxious because I read that many of you have relapsed and I am affraid this may happen to me. I lost about 6 pouns in the process (which i did not need to loose because I was just 103 pounds), I was on a soft diet for a couple of weeks, I did not eat sugar as I read bacteria loves it and I tryied not to eat high fiver food as i am not digesting food properly. I began adding new foods this week and I will continue doing so gradually. Did you guys follow an special diet while and after the treatment?

    Is my story similar to yours? I have tried to look for similar stories on line but I have just read a couple of people who had c-diff without getting the bad watery diarrhea.

    I wish you guys the best on your recovery.

    Reply
  11. Paul

    Thanks very much for the information on the Canadian study. I will try the Bio-K+ probiotics the study mentions.

    Reply
  12. Paul

    What are the best probiotics for treating C Diff? I am currently on Flagyl and have been taking Sustenex probiotic. Also, is yogurt recommended? Thanks!

    Reply
  13. Shell

    After I was treated with Flagyl it didn’t work. Then I was treated with Vancocin for 7 days I thought I was okay. But the diarrhea came back even though I have taken Probiotics 3x daily since done w/Vancocin. I’m going to be retested. Do ppl not respond to meds.? Shelley

    Reply
  14. Amy Moon

    My remarkably healthy 99 year-old dad developed C Diff a week after outpatient surgery to have his pacemaker replaced. The next week he developed congestive heart failure which went away in a week, and at the same time also bronchitis that went into pneumonia that took a few weeks longer. About 2 months ago he went from his assisted living apt. to the hospital then to a nursing home. He was treated with flagyl and vancomycin and had 2 positive tests. As he was packing to go home the next day, the C diff symprtoms came back, so he was given flagyl for 2 more weeks. They waited 3 days, then tested his stool 3 days, and all came back positive. His doctor says it has “colonized” and that he is not contagious. We are waiting to hear from the assisted living’s corporate office since they won’t take him back unless he has 3 negative test results. Can you really have C Diff and not be contagious? Also, I became very ill a week right after my dad got it, and but when I went to be tested the diarrhea was gone and hospital lab said they could not test my stool for C Diff – test only works on diarrhea (sorry this is gross). I am worn out and feel bad I can’t kiss my dad.

    Reply
    1. Infection Watch

      People do not tend to be actively contagious unless they have diarrhea. This leads to spores and fecal dust finding it’s way onto people’s hands and then into their stomachs. It can then be there without ill effect until they have antibiotic treatment. The risk to you is low – and even lower if all family members practice good hand hygiene before and after visits.

      Hope this helps

      dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  15. Elizabeth

    I have heard of some clinical trials with transfusion of antibodies against C. diff. Have you heard of such trials? If so, where?
    Thank you

    Reply
  16. mark

    I have been around a 9 month old the last 4 days. Touching kissing etc. Today I’ve had diarrhea 7-8 times and was exposed to someone w/ C diff, but was over it. When might the baby show symptoms? I’ll find out tomorrow about the stool sample.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      She is unlikely to show any c diff infection even if she has become a carrier. Active infections are usually set off by antibiotic treatment

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  17. Zip

    Just to repeat: Not often mentioned as symptoms of c-diff by uninformed doctors: pain on outer thighs and sometimes very intense lower back pain, caused by the toxin emitted by the c-diff bacteria. dosages: initially you’ll want to take slightly more than what’s suggested by the manufacturer… make certain you take one capsule at a time. So for example, if taking four Jarrow capsules a day for the first two days, space them out one every three or four hours.
    Take these probiotics with you when you travel because c-diff returns again and again, perhaps because our bodies become permanently vulnerable to this bacterium, or it doesn’t every go away completely.

    Reply
    1. dora

      Hi, Zip
      I really appreciated your comment. i was diagnosed with c.Diff a week ago and iam on a “good” antibiotic (metronidazole). My doctor recommended lots of yogurt and probiotics. i feel better. I realize I need to learn more about “the right way to eat”. I am very scared I will not cure and will have the relapse after the anitbiotic. It started from a tooth infection and two series of the antibiotics given to me by the dentist (clyndamycin). Sauercraut? It sounds interesting. Anything else?I try to drink and eat yogurts but also thought that return to normal home cooked dinners could help to regain balance.I have constant hertburn but no more diarreha. Can you advise further?
      Thank you in advance!

      Reply
  18. Zip

    There are two fast acting over the counter treatments for c-diff:
    Saccharomyces Boulardii +Mos by Jarrow (take four to five capsules a day for a couple of days, then three a day for a week, then one a day for a month).
    Primal Defense Probiotic, not Ultra (take two a day for two days, then one a day for a week). Both of these formulas contain the three probiotics known for their anti c-diff properties. I don’t know why more study hasn’t been done on these particular probiotics but they do work. Diet? Eat at home, stay away from vinegar based foods, dairy products including yogurt until you feel better, a lot of meat and foods with sugar in them, including yes, diet drinks. Traditional brine cured sauerkraut helps. Two other over the counter products relieve pain from too much stomach acid and intestinal roiling: Prerelief and DGL. Not often mentioned as symptoms of c-diff but uninformed doctors: pain on outer thighs and sometimes very intense lower back pain caused by the toxins emitted by the c-diff bacteria.

    Reply
  19. Brendan

    I had been prescribed an antibiotic for acne for several months. I came down with what I thought was the stomach flu and went to the ER. The ER Dr. advised me to stop taking the antibiotic which I did. I have felt perfectly normal for the last three days untill I got a call that my sample was positive for C Diff and they wanted to put me on Flagyl.

    I’m very leery of this since I have no symptoms whatsoever now and I have read so many bad experiences with that drug, any thoughts or similar experiences?

    Thanks,

    Brendan

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      We’re only medical journalists so this is a thought rather than advice. If the stomach was reacting to the drugs and has now stopped reacting why risk provoking it with another drug.

      The key is that the condition has improved

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  20. Scott

    My 4 year old contracted C Diff after getting an ear infection and perscribed Clavulin. Clavulin killed all the good flora. He was diagnosed Jan 10 with C Diff, Flagyl did nothing for him, he was perscribed Vancomycin which killed the C Diff bacteria as new results were negative. The pain he had from C Diff was so intense he was on 5ml of morphine. The main issue now is he still has severe stomach/intestinal pain. No fever, no vomiting, 1 “normal” bowel movement/day. It is bacically behind his belly button or higher on the right side (not appendix). The Dr said it could be from swollen lympnodes, but would they cause this severe pain still? Is is pretty uncomfortable from 8am-1am. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks – Scott

    Reply
  21. Leah

    I was diagnosed with C Diff 10 days ago and have been on Flagyl since then. I still have diarrhea and every now and then I am constipated. But when I do go to the bathroom I know I have hemroids but it feels like something inside is blocking and I feel like I have to push which is weird with diarrhea. What could cause that and how would I know how to find out and fix it? Help

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      You’ll need to get expert medical advice re the challenges you’re facing. We’re good on general information but we would be guessing if we commented on your situation.

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      People tend to be at their most infectious while actively ill with stomach issues. Once the diarrhea has stopped and you have thoroughly cleansed yourself you are less of a risk. The c diff spores are hard to destroy and may linger. If they are caught by healthy people via you there may be little ill effect until they have to take antibiotics for any condition they may have.

      As a rule of thumb you may want to wait until you have finished the antibiotics

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Not as afar as we are aware. The usual course of treatment is for 5-10 days depending on the medication.

      Dave
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  22. Barb

    My aunt has been dealing with this for a month or longer – she is in shock from the cost of the medication as she had to go to the Vancocin it cost $1800 plus dollars. How are people supposed to take the medication if they don’t have insurance? Now the key question is, will this finally help her?

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      Not as far as I’m aware but you would need to take proper medical advice. Something that clears up by itself is possibly another type of infection or virus

      Dave Roberts
      cdifficile.org

      Reply
  23. Dave Roberts

    I would check with a medical specialist. Probiotic yogurt is thought to help but for your own peace of mind it would be good to be clear whether the diahhrea is c diff related or not

    Dave Roberts
    cdifficile.org

    Reply
  24. DiAnne

    Is it possible that it will cure itself? Are there certain foods to help correct the problem. I just finished taking antibiotics and have had diahhrea for three days now. Not uncomfotable but concerning. extremely loose stools and black in color. Quite spastic. Stomach rumbles.

    Thank you for any advice you may offer.

    Reply
    1. admin Post author

      The bacteria are active in the intestine. A sitz bath may bring some relief to the rectum but it doesn’t get to the core of the infection.

      Dave Roberts
      C Difficile Infection

      Reply
  25. Dave Roberts

    The antibiotics are often taken for 5-7 days for the internal infection. Contagion can still result after that time of others as a result of c diff bacteria spores on your skin and in the environment. Regular hand washing by you and your close contacts and the daily cleaning of all high touch areas in your home such as doorknobs, light switches etc can reduce the risk.

    Many carry C Diff without harm until they are ill with something else. The main risk from your infection is to others with ilness that requires antibiotics.

    Dave Roberts
    Cdifficile.org

    Reply

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