When should medication therapy be considered in the treatment of Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection (CDI)?

Updated: Jul 25, 2019
  • Author: Faten N Aberra, MD, MSCE; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Pharmacologic therapy should be tailored according to the severity of C difficile infection (CDI). Treatment is not indicated for asymptomatic carriers. In very mild cases (ie, patients without fever, abdominal pain, or leukocytosis), in patients who do not have other comorbidities, cessation of causative antibiotics may be the only treatment necessary.

Approximately 15-25% of patients respond to conservative therapy, which allows for the reconstitution of normal colonic flora and reduces the risk of relapse. Specific therapy aimed at eradicating C difficile is indicated if symptoms are persistent or if antibiotics cannot be discontinued safely.


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