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Old 10-29-2007, 08:21 PM   #1
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C-Dif?

I was diagnosed with C-Dif today. I was on two strong cycles of antibiotics almost back to back for an abdominal infection that I had surgically corrected a week and a half ago. I just started Flagyl tonight and was given cholestyramine but was unable to drink it all because the texture was making me gag. I haven't slept for the past two nights and tonight isn't looking any better. The stabbing abdominal pain and frequent bathroom runs make it impossible. Anyone who has been through this, how long does it take before you start to get some relief from the antibiotic? Please tell me this will get better!

 
Old 10-31-2007, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: C-Dif?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WarGerbil View Post
I was diagnosed with C-Dif today. I was on two strong cycles of antibiotics almost back to back for an abdominal infection that I had surgically corrected a week and a half ago. I just started Flagyl tonight and was given cholestyramine but was unable to drink it all because the texture was making me gag. I haven't slept for the past two nights and tonight isn't looking any better. The stabbing abdominal pain and frequent bathroom runs make it impossible. Anyone who has been through this, how long does it take before you start to get some relief from the antibiotic? Please tell me this will get better!
I am so sorry that this had to happen to you, but yes it will get better. You should get some relief in about 1 week on the antibiotic. But you must take it exactly as prescribed. As for the texture of the cholestyramine making you gag that is unfortunate but you must take all of it. Try mixing it with orange juice. Half and Half. Also try to eat several small meals a day. This seems to help.

 
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: C-Dif?

I feel for you Ms. Gerbil, as Clostridium difficile is a bear to have and can be terrible to get rid of sometimes. Your doctor followed the accepted procedure in putting you on Flagyl and most cases respond to this regiman and clears up bad flora in the gut.

Sometimes, like my case in 2005, it doesn't respond. I have IBS and have had stomach surgery years ago, but I don't know if that contributed in my problems or not. My doctor by-passed the Flagyl and went to what they like to call "the big gun" and that is oral Vancomycin. This is a very expensive drug and you best have very good insurance to pay for it. A two week treatment of Vancomycin cost approximately $1,200 retail. I had four courses of Vancomycin (eight weeks in all) and it didn't clear up my C. diff.

My doctor went to an experimental procedure (experimental in the US, but not in Europe) called a Fecal Transfer. They take a donor's feces (in my case, my wife's) and place it in a cone type filter, made of paper. They then pour normal saline solution over it slowly catching the liquid that come out the end. This is the bacteria, both bad and good flora, and then this is used in the procedure to transfer good flora back to your bowel where it is missing, thus giving you the C. diff. You are prepared like a normal colonoscopy and the flexible tubing with a light and camera on it are inserted in you to the end of the bowel. Then they started releasing the liquid in your gut (sorry, I don't know how much is released) about every 10 cm until the end.

What this does is to reinsert the good bacteria back in your bowel and it will eventually control the bad flora and you will be rid of the C. diff. That's what they did to me and it worked. I had a real bad case, where I had at least 12 nocturnal defecations and two in public places, once at an outdoor function and the other at work. Fortunately, both were small and I was able to leave and go home without anyone knowing.

I'm not sure how many doctors in the US know about this, but it has been written up in medical journals. Just remember, if the Flagyl doesn't work, the next step would be the antibiotic Vancomycin. BTW, in case you don't know, the hospital is the place where a large percentage of cases start and the others on the outside are usually from long term use of antibiotics. I will now not take any type of antibiotic unless I absolutely have to. Also, Lomotil will help you with the diarrhea, but Clorlestyramine works better. I put it in 6-8 oz of water, stir it well, and drink it down fast. It works if you can do that.

Good luck to you, I hope the Flagyl does the trick for you. If you need any more info, please just post a note and I'll do my best to answer your questions.
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Old 11-02-2007, 02:58 PM   #4
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Re: C-Dif?

Thanks for your response. I've read about the other antibiotics and I'm hoping the flagyl will do the trick. I've been told in the past that I have IBS thought its always been more of a chronic nausea than bowel issues. I am seeing some relief from the pain. Before I started the medication I was literally writhing in pain from stomach cramps. That has ended. I am still having diarrhea though, albeit not as often as before.

I've pretty much given up on the cholesteryamine at this point. I am so nauseated to begin with and it is just making it worse. I'm very upset that I can't take it because I'm so desperate from relief, but I am having a very difficult time staying hydrated to begin with that I don't also want to start vomiting. Sweet things are appalling to me right now, which makes it even harder to drink. I'm having some continuity of care issues with this which isn't helping anything, but the PA who is most closely following my case said he'd rather not see me start vomiting because of the dehydration issues so do the best I can with the stuff. I am taking all my doses of flagyl and am taking some very strong probiotics.

As of yesterday I've lost 12 lbs. I am still having diarrhea but less frequently. I'm hoping that I'm young and healthy enough to begin with to be able to get over this without more treatment. The fact that I can't really eat or sleep is certainly not helping. Today will be my 4th full day of Flagyl. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

 
Old 11-02-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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Re: C-Dif?

It's good to hear you're on probiotics. I forgot to mention that and the fact I am still on them two years after getting my C. diff cleared up. I take the brand called Florastor, 250 mg. I take two a day. It's also good to eat a yogurt each day. Most of them have live bacteria in them. It usually says on the label.

Glad you're doing a little better. I meant to tell you earlier, I read an article a month or so ago, that said that C. diff is actually a form of Colitis. I never knew that when I was going through all pain and diarrhea you have with C.diff. My wife actually had Microscopic Colitis last year and they couldn't get it cleared up until they put her on Prednisone.
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:46 AM   #6
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Re: C-Dif?

Four days after stopping flagyl (after 7 days on, the gastro said to stop because I was having every side effect in the book) the c-diff came back. I'm down to my last two days on Vancocin (250 mg 4X/day) which has been SO MUCH better tolerated and stopped the diarrhea so much faster than the flagyl did. I'm so scared of coming off of it though. These past three weeks have been absolute hell. I'm finally able to eat again and am regaining energy and mental clarity. If it comes back off the Vancocin I don't know what I'm going to do :\ Just keep up with the probiotics and hope for the best I guess! I've been trying to eat some soy yogurts (I don't tolerate dairy well) which also have the cultures in them. I'm surprised I had never heard of c-diff before. I think people need to be more educated about it and doctors need to be so much more careful when prescribing antibiotics!

 
Old 11-20-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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Unhappy Re: C-Dif?

If it comes back after finishing the first round of Vancomycin, start it again. Like I said in my earlier post, I went through four courses of it. Please read my post and if it isn't stopped after two times on the medication ask your GI doc if he/she is familiar with the Fecal Transfer I wrote about earlier. If he isn't, ask him to do some research and find out about it. It will save you from a life of living hell, believe me.
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:11 AM   #8
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Re: C-Dif?

My husband has had C. dif several times in the last 3 years. The first time he was in hospital a couple of days post surgery. Flagyl didn't work, Vancomycin did but it took a week or 10 days (seemed like forever) to get over the diarrhea. Later bouts, he took Vanco right away, and it worked right away. We think that as long as you take the full Rx, you'll probably clear up the immediate problem. If it comes back, get a new Vanco rx.

We were told that C. dif is hard to completely cure because it forms spores that can hide in intestines and can later grow into new bacteria.

Good luck!

 
Old 11-21-2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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Re: C-Dif?

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is a form of Colitis and it is something that you will never get over completely. You will carry it and it can flare up anytime, but if you stay away from antibiotics as much as you can, you will lower your chances of a relapse.

My wife has Microscopic Colitis and I have C. diff Colitis, and we do all we can to stay clean of any antibiotics. She was recently very sick with a bad cold/flu and her GI doctor (she just happened to have an appointment) prescribed an antibiotic for her. She questioned it and what would happen with the Colitis, and he told her if you have to take an antibiotic, the Z-Pak (three day version) is the best. You take it for three days, but the medication stays in your system for 10 days.

Anyway, once you get Colitis in any form (including C.diff) you will always be a carrier. Be careful with those meds!
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