Clostridium Difficile (C. difficile, C. diff) (cont.)
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C. diff Other Therapy
Many other antibiotics have been used for the treatment of C. diff infection; however, to date only metronidazole (Flagyl) and vancomycin (Vancocin) have been approved.
Rifaximin (Xifaxan), a newer antibiotic, has shown some benefit in reducing the recurrence rate if the drug is given immediately after completion of a course of vancomycin (Vancocin).
Intracolonic vancomycin (placing the antibiotic inside the colon through the rectum) has been studied in cases of refractory C. diff infection, but data showing the benefit of this approach are limited at this time.
Probiotics (such as Lactobacillus, Streptococcus salivarius, and Saccharomyces boulardii) are micro-organisms that are derived from food products, especially dairy products, and are non-infectious. Although these compounds are harmless, they have not been shown to be beneficial either in the treatment or prevention of C. difficile colitis. These drugs are, therefore, not recommended despite their widespread use.
Finally, fecal bacteriotherapy (or fecal enema) has been examined in patients with severe and recurrent disease. This treatment entails the introduction of feces, containing the usual gut bacteria (gut flora) obtained from healthy individuals directly into the colon of the infected patient. This is believed to restore the normal gut flora in the infected person that was altered by the use of antibiotics. While this approach has shown some promise, the data are very limited, and the procedure may be difficult from a practical standpoint.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/22/2012
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