Antibiotic-associated diarrhea describes frequent, watery bowel movements (diarrhea) that occur in response to medications used to treat bacterial infections (antibiotics).

Most often, antibiotic-associated diarrhea is mild and clears up shortly after you stop taking the antibiotic. But in some cases, antibiotic-associated diarrhea leads to colitis, an inflammation of your colon, or a more serious form of colitis called pseudomembranous colitis. Both can cause abdominal pain, fever and bloody diarrhea.

Mild antibiotic-associated diarrhea may not require treatment. More serious antibiotic-associated diarrhea may require stopping or switching antibiotic medications.

Jun. 11, 2013