People with Clostridium difficile infections typically recover within two weeks of starting antibiotic treatment. However, many people become reinfected and need additional therapy. Most recurrences happen one to three weeks after stopping antibiotic therapy, although some occur as long as two or three months later.
If you experience a recurrence, NYU Langone gastroenterologists and infectious disease specialists offer additional medication to treat C. diff symptoms. Take the medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t stop using the antibiotics until you have finished the entire prescription, even if you start to feel better.
When you have diarrhea, it’s important to drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Water, diluted fruit juice, sports drinks, and broths can help replenish electrolytes—minerals essential for health—that are lost as a result of diarrhea.
Eating healthfully can help prevent nutrient loss in people with diarrhea. If you have watery diarrhea, eat starchy foods, such as potatoes, noodles, rice, and oatmeal. Crackers, bananas, bread, and boiled vegetables can also settle your stomach and help stop loose stools.
To reduce your chances of developing another C. diff infection or spreading it to others, wash your hands often—after you use the restroom, before preparing food, and before touching surfaces such as countertops, telephones, or remote controls. People who live with you or visit you should wash their hands often using soap and warm water.
Tell your doctor if diarrhea doesn’t go away by the time you’re finished with your antibiotic medication.
Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.