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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Diarrhea: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Digestive System


Diarrhea | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Dehydration is common in people with severe diarrhea. That is why getting plenty of fluids is very important in treating diarrhea. If diarrhea leads to dehydration, intravenous fluids may be given through a tube in a vein in the hand or arm.

People who have diarrhea should try to keep eating their normal diet. Adults and children should have regular meals three times a day. It is important that infants continue to drink formula or milk. There are oral electrolyte solutions, like Pedialyte, that replace lost minerals in infants with diarrhea.

Over-the-counter medicines, such as loperamide and bismuth subsalicylate, can help control diarrhea in adults. These medicines should not be used for children, and should not be used for more than 2 to 3 days in adults. If bacteria or certain parasites are found in the person's stool sample, antibiotics or other prescription medicines may be used.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Over-the-counter medicines for diarrhea may cause:

  • bloating
  • constipation
  • drowsiness
  • nausea
  • Antibiotics and other medicines may cause stomach upset, allergic reactions, and rash.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    Diarrhea usually ends in 2 to 3 days, if not sooner. Generally, diarrhea that lasts a few days is not a cause for concern. If the diarrhea lasts longer, it's important to contact the healthcare provider. Any new or worsening symptoms should also be reported to the provider.

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    Diarrhea: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
    Date Reviewed: 08/29/01

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