Chronic Diarrhea: Diagnosis and Management

Lawrence R. Schiller; Darrell S. Pardi; Joseph H. Sellin


Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017;15(2):182-193. 

In This Article

What Medications Are Common Causes of Diarrhea?


8. Many drugs cause diarrhea. Careful review of current medications is essential. (1a)

More than 700 drugs have been implicated as causing diarrhea, accounting for approximately 7% of drug adverse effects.[37] The mechanism by which some drugs cause diarrhea is unknown.[38]

Some patients produce factitious diarrhea by taking laxatives. Osmotic agents usually produce typical changes on fecal electrolyte analysis. Laxatives producing secretory diarrhea may be detected in stool water by toxicologic tests. The key to diagnosis is keeping the possibility of factitious diarrhea in mind when the diagnosis is not forthcoming by routine testing, especially when the patient experiences a secondary gain from the illness.[38]