Facebook Pixel

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

By March 11, 2018 - 2:53pm
Rate This
antibiotic-related intestinal side effects

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 Comment109 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I was taking Tetracycline 500 and that gave me fever with head aches, nausea, little bit of cramps on the stomach and bitter/wierd taste in my mouth. Since it was given as a preventative drug for infection I stopped it with 6 (out of 28) were left. I did it cause i was getting fever and headaches and when i read about the side effect they fell in to the harmful category. Anyway that was Saturday night. Its Tuesday night now and i am still feeling nausea and some of the symptoms. Slightly feverish today. I am wonderring if i should call my dr or wait it out since its not yet been a week.
Please help

May 19, 2009 - 10:08pm

Doesn't sound normal to me. I've been on antibiotics for three weeks and haven't had any intestinal issues.

However, I was prescribed an anti-fungal as a preventive measure (Nystatin). I really think THAT is key and doctors sorely miss the boat there. And I've been taking probiotics and eating yogurt as well.

Antibiotics aren't the bad guys. The major problem is the doctors, who don't warn the patients about yeast overgrowth and depletion of the good intestinal bacteria. This could be a non-issue if the doctors were pro-active and informed their patients, prescribed anti-fungals, etc..

April 11, 2009 - 3:15pm
EmpowHER Guest

Sounds life C. Diff. Go to the doctor right away and get tested. Antibiotics can cause C. Diff.

March 19, 2009 - 4:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

OMG.. I just googled how long it takes to get the side effects of an antibiotic out of your system and was directed to this site.. I still have 3 days left until i finish my omnicef.. I hope I dont end up having diareahh that long afterwards, not only do I have that I also have dizziness and ended up with chills & a fever. Dr. said I could take tylenol & motrin alternately & that did get rid of the fever.. I dunno if i ended up with the flu ontop of my sinis infection or what.. I just know I will never take omnicef again! Buth thanks for the advice on what foods to eat.. will definently try those..

January 21, 2010 - 9:16am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm going thru same thing this week. Major stomach problems and diarrhea. Last time I took antibiotic was Monday morning. Don't know if I should go see a doctor or wait it out. I've tried Activa yogurt, probiotic supplements, have gone thru a small bottle of pepto, almost a small bottle of kaopetic. Can't seem to eat anything that doesn't turn to diarrhea. Just like Nancy Drew fan, it was much worse before, going at least 8 times a day, now not as much, but still loose and constant stomach pains. I just feel crummy probably because I don't think I'm keeping anything in. I'm drinking plenty of water. I just googled how long it should take to get antibiotic out of system and found this sight. I read other blogs and it seems people have varying ideas. I'm just wondering if I should go see the Dr. tomorrow before the weekend, or is it normal to feel this yucky?

March 19, 2009 - 12:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

I second Coach Virginia's advice. The more you take antibiotics, the more you can disturb intestinal flora that keep everything in check.

March 12, 2009 - 8:52am

Nancy, I think your posting is interesting and validates what I believe at a professional level, what are the potential effects of drugs including antibiotics. Although antibiotics are a necessary evil when fighting bacterial infection, they come along with a big price. It appears that your whole system has been impacted and your intestinal flora has been disturbed to an extent. I would wait another week to see if your body's natural ability to heal will kick in.

As you know, most antibiotics are given to combat the infecting bacteria, unfortunately they also destroy the "good bacteria" we have in our instestinal system. You may be taking too much of the probiotics formula. Have you tried just eating yogurt? Choose the product that contains "live organisms" and without sugar added. In other words, pick plain yogurt, if you do not like the taste, you can add a little honey or sprinkle stevia, but stay away from sugars during this time of healing because yeast and candida bacterium love sweets and your gut will continue to be off balance.

Stay away from foods that cause irritation such as hot spicy foods, alcohol, greasy foods. Be careful with fruits that cause lose stools. Bananas are great to bring balance to your gut, try eating them greener to minimize the natural sugar bananas contain.

March 11, 2009 - 10:24pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Coach Virginia)

Wait another week? Can you say C-diff? Absolutely see your doctor right away!

January 19, 2012 - 7:59pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Coach Virginia)

Wait another week? Can you say C-diff? Absolutely see your doctor right away!

January 19, 2012 - 7:59pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Sinus Infection

Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Sinus Infection Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!