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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5429
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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Can Ceftin cause diarrhea? If so, can I take Pepto Bismol?

Customer Question

Can Ceftin cause diarrhea? If so, can I take Pepto Bismol?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Yes, ceftin belongs to a class of antibiotics known as the cephalosporins. They can cause GI upset and diarrhea. You can safely take pepto bismal or kaopectate to see if it controls the diarrhea. However, if the diarrhea is frequent (>4-5 times per day) or is bloody or prolonged, you should be evaluated by your GP or an urgent care physician.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How many times should I take Pepto-Bismol before calling my doctor?
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

The usual dosing is 524mg every 60 minutes as needed, not to exceed 8 doses per 24 hours. If you are needing it more than 4 or 5 times daily you should call your doctor for further advice.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does diarrhea mean that I am allergic?
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Why are you taking this medicaiton?

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Assuming you are not taking it for a GI infection, the diarrhea is likely an intolerance to the antibiotic. You could think of it as an internal allergy, but without other symptoms such as rash or swelling or shortness of breath, etc, we would not typically call it a true allergy. Either way, if the diarrhea persists for more than a few days or worsens in intensity, it would be wise to stop the medication and seek an alternative agent from your GP.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm taking it to treat an URI.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

I see. If your URI has improved, you might not need to take any more of the antibiotic. Call your doctor's office and see if you can safely stop the antibiotic, or if they want you to change to another one.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have minor relief.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Many URIs are viral in nature, and antibiotics don't help. If your URI symptoms are tolerable and improving already, but your diarrhea is getting worse, hold the abx for now and let your doctor's office know. Some abx can lead to serious bouts of diarrheal illness. In either case, be sure to stay well hydrated.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been sick for 10 days so that is why my doctor prescribed antibiotics.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

That's a bit long for a typical URI...but also about the time that the immune system begins to get the upper hand in many bacterial infections. If you do need to stay on an antibiotic, see if you can get it changed to another agent that you have had before without incident.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I haven't had a voice for 8 days.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Laryngitis often occurs toward the end of a URI, probably due to excessive trauma to the vocal cords from coughing or the cumulative effects of postnasal drip. Either way, this should start improving soon. Try to avoid direct or second hand smoke, and get a good cough medicine if you are still coughing. If this persists even when your other symptoms improve, see an ENT to have the VCs checked.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What cough medicine do you suggest? I have a persistent dry cough.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

Well, longterm coughing can be from allergies, GERD, even certain blood pressure medications, so you should have this worked up if present for more than a couple months. For shorter processes, the best agent is typically robitussin with codeine or tessalon perles, both of which require a prescription.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have definitely been experiencing some heartburn alongside it.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

See if you can switch abx for now...use something you have tolerated in the past. Then ask your GP to work up your cough. If it is heartburn related, you would need to go on GERD precautions and take a PPI.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What is a PPI?
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 1 year ago.

proton pump inhibitor...an acid blocker

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have two days of the antibiotic and my body seems to be tolerating it. Thanks for all of your help.