For most people, antibiotic-associated diarrhea causes mild signs and symptoms, such as:
- Loose stools
- More-frequent bowel movements
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea is likely to begin about a week after you start taking an antibiotic. Sometimes, however, diarrhea and other symptoms don't appear until days or even weeks after you've finished antibiotic treatment.
C. difficile infection
C. difficile is a toxin-producing bacteria that causes antibiotic-associated colitis, which can occur after the antibiotic therapy upsets the balance of good and bad bacteria in your intestinal tract.
Besides loose stools, C. difficile infection can cause:
- Lower abdominal pain and cramping
- Low-grade fever
- Loss of appetite
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor right away if you have serious signs and symptoms of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. These signs and symptoms are common to a number of conditions, so your doctor might recommend tests to determine the cause.