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ask: How long should antibiotic-related intestinal side effects last once the medicine is done?

By Nancy Drew Fan
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Okay, I'll try to make this post as "non-TMI" as possible. I had my first-ever sinus infection a few weeks ago, and the PA at my doctor's office prescribed Omnicef for me for 10 days. It did a great job at knocking out the cooties and making me feel better, but it's also wreaked havoc on my intestinal system. About halfway into the 10 days I started getting diarrhea, sometimes as much as 8 times a day. Fun stuff, huh?

I figured the trots would improve when the Omnicef was done, but they kept going. About 5 days after finishing the Omnicef I asked the pharmacist how long I could expect the diarrhea side effects and she so obviously guessed when she said "oh I'm not sure, but I'd say about a week or so, I would think" Don't you love it when they make stuff up on the spot?

So now it's been 9 days since I've had my last Omnicef pill and I'm still having mild symptoms. Not "oh man, get me to the bathroom NOW" symptoms, but things just aren't 100% yet. I've bought some strong acidophilus and am taking it 3 times a day and am trying to eat more good-quality plain yogurt. TMI alert--there is just a lot of mucousy reddish brown stuff coming out and it's creeping me out. I read that Omnicef can cause reddish poos due to the way it interacts with iron in your diet, but would this still be the cause a week-plus after finishing the dose?

Does anyone know how long antibiotics essentially stay in your system, and how long I have to put up with this? It's getting better overall but it seems like this might be a medicine I want to avoid in the future. At what point do I call the doctor for a follow-up? thanks to everyone and I hope I didn't gross anyone out too badly.

Add a Comment36 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

The only thing that has really helped is ' time '..... I was the one who suggested ginger cookies, and they helped, but as time goes on it does improve but I've started eating a yogurt daily to get the probiotics (the good gut stuff that kills off the bad in your stomach ). It really helps with the odd bouts of nausea that I still feel now and then, but my stomach is just about back to normal. I used Activia yogurt , I think it works !!! You can also get probiotic tablets if you don't like yogurt, but I'm not sure they did as much good. Hope you get to feeling better. I also realized I'm under a lot of stress too, so I'm probably not helping myself to get better quickly.

July 3, 2014 - 6:45am
EmpowHER Guest

Applying castor oil on the tummy( externally) can cure you completely of this problem.

Please do note: apply externally only.
Good Luck
Sonali Patel

July 3, 2014 - 6:23am
EmpowHER Guest

Try eating ginger biscuits/cookies. Ginger is a stomach calmer/healer and was very big in England. They helped my nausea and diarreah a lot !

June 12, 2014 - 8:40am
EmpowHER Guest

i was taking cipro and flagly for ibs colitis how long does it take to get the drugs out of my system they make me feel sick and can not sleep well at all few hours a ady most

September 25, 2013 - 9:21am
EmpowHER Guest

I found this site after searching in google and this exactly matches my symptoms, I have been taking Clindamycin for a skin related infection and also doctor gave me a shot of CEFTRIAXONE the first day since he saw puzz coming out as well. From that day i have been experiencing diarrhea for 4-5 times and the doctor prescribed Doxycycline as an alternative to Clindamycin.
Now i do not have the feeling of Got to go but whenever i go i have been experiencing Loose Stools (Watery, Green to brownish) from the past 12 days.

I have stopped taking the Antibiotics for the past 5 days. But my doctor wanted to take the Stool test as well. Hopefully this goes away in 3 days.

May 6, 2013 - 4:17am
EmpowHER Guest

I don't have intestine problems before and I could eat anything without any trouble. I've also taken antibiotics before, 2-3 weeks at a time and just have mild stomach upset...nothing to complain about at all.

Then after THE surgery a month ago , and I'm sure alot of antibiotics intraveneously, and I am having (just in the mornings..about 3-4 hours) loose BM or formed BM that breaks up when flushed followed by cramps and then another movement and follow by more cramps. 80% of the time, the BM has particles...like I'm not disgesting all the food and actually see tomatoes and bell peppers (sorry!). I only have gas in the morning intially, but just the last few days, getting gas in the evening...so I'm hopeful that I'm getting back to normal ? (please!!!) . I can't confidently get out of the house until about 4 hours after I wake. Very disturbing and depressing. Is loose BM the same as diarrhea? I've got cramps like D but it's not waterly or noisy (sorry, gotta mention that).

I called the DR and he suggested Immodium AD. It's still the same...formed but breaks up later. I called to ask how long am I supposed to take Immodium...cuz the box says it should take care of it in 2 days...and it's been 2 days and still loose...but he didn't even have the courtesy to call back !

Tried probiotics for more than a week already. All the sites that I've visited just have complaints like mine but I have yet to read that someone actually got better. That is very hopeless because I'm thinking that this is how my life will be from this surgery forward. I'm soooooooo sad. Since the DR didn't call back, I think he's ignoring the fact that I have a very serious problem with my gut or he just knows that there's no solution. Wish they never gave me the antibiotics and just wait a few days to see if I need it. Just want to whine....

October 4, 2012 - 10:22am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Nancy,

I really understand what your going through as i am having the same problem. I actually found this thread due to searching information on this topic. I was on Trimethropine for 10 days and started diarhoea half way through the course, i thought no worries its all part of the side effects but I finished the course over 2 weeks ago and i still have chronic loose stools. My meals are literally falling through my gut !. I have had stool tests that came back negative for C-Diff. I thought i had C-Diff as i have also had bouts of passing nausea but this has since improved. My doctor sent me for blood tests today for blood counts and protein tests etc. He is not worried about colitis as i have no blood in my stools but i have chronic, explosive gas and abdo cramps. Doctor wants to talk to me again if it hasnt cleaned up in a further 2 weeks. It is clearly the antibiotics that have done this to me but i am so broken from this exhausting episode.. i hope that we both get better soon.

April 24, 2012 - 12:07pm
EmpowHER Guest

Harmless Mom advice to try:
eat a giant bowl of cooked to soft white rice. not instant. not brown. regular cooked white rice. not a skinny rice, jasmine or something. regular rice. medium grain is good. eat it with butter. butter has good, protective fat in it for your tummy. the rice grains absorb a ton of nasty out of your system. when you pass the rice, you pass a lot of the badness. if one bowl doesn't work, eat another the next day. unless you have some horrible rare rice allergy this is worth a try. can't hurt; might help. (always helps me and my kids.)

November 26, 2011 - 7:15am
EmpowHER Guest

HI, Sorry to hear of your problems. I am still doing well since my 30 day bout with intestinal problems. I have even had to take an antibiotic twice since. Not the ones that made me sick but another. I was releived to know I could get thru an antibiotic with out such physical trama. The probiotic I was taking and was told to continue for ever, which I have not just because I forget, has 10-15 different strains of good bacteria. Ultimate Flora critical Care with 50 billion active cultures worked well. This is a supplement that needs to be refridgerated. You buy it at the health food store. I beleive the refridgerated supplements are the best. They are not cheap but they work.
When I was really sick and everything made me sick to my stomach, my freind, an Irish horse trainer whom worked with his horses with natural medicines told me that when a horse was having a stomach issue and would not eat, he would put Guiness in there grain and they would eat. He said it seemed to settle there stomach. No kidding I decided what the heck. The guiness went down great and I felt like eating. It seemed to help me. Try at your own risk! Good luck, hope this turns around soon.

September 21, 2011 - 7:03am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm going through a similar thing although I'm a little more worried. I got bronchitis in mid July, my doctor prescribed Clarithromycin, the side effects include "diarrhea, nausea, extreme irritability, abdominal pain and vomiting", and I experienced all of these symptoms after 6 days of taking these antibiotics, which lead me to stop taking them. I feel like my intestines have been drastically weakened, 2 weeks later I went to a music festival, drank hard alcohol, I experienced the same thing that I got with the antibiotics. 2 weeks after that, after drinking wine at a dinner party, I experienced it again. Every time I go through it, usually the intense intestinal cramps and the nausea last about 2 days, but ever since I took the antibiotics (which has been almost 2 months now) I still feel generally unwell, apart from when I drink alcohol, it remains relatively constant.

So I stopped drinking alcohol (not that I drink that much anyway), I'm not eating any foods that could or would make me sick, started taking probiotics called 'Sandoz' about a week ago, still though, this constant feeling of being unwell remains.

If anyone could shed some light, or give me some advice, and more importantly, tell me that it's normal, it would be appreciated !
(Sorry I didn't make my own topic, I'm not really used to these forums)

- Matt
(p.s. could I at least drink beer ? I don't dare try)

September 20, 2011 - 12:31pm
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