Diverticulitis - Treatment

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Medical treatment of diverticulitis and diverticulosis

Most patients with diverticulosis have minimal or no symptoms, and do not require any specific treatment. A normal fiber diet is advisable to prevent constipation and perhaps prevent the formation of more diverticula.

Patients with mild symptoms of abdominal pain due to muscular spasm in the area of the diverticula may benefit from anti-spasmodic drugs such as:

  • chlordiazepoxide (Librax),
  • dicyclomine (Bentyl),
  • atropine, scopolamine, phenobarbital (Donnatal), and
  • hyoscyamine (Levsin).

When diverticulitis occurs, antibiotics usually are needed. Oral antibiotics are sufficient when symptoms are mild. Some examples of commonly prescribed antibiotics include:

  • ciprofloxacin (Cipro),
  • metronidazole (Flagyl),
  • cephalexin (Keflex), and
  • doxycycline (Vibramycin).

Liquid or low fiber foods are advised during acute attacks of diverticulitis. This is done to reduce the amount of material that passes through the colon, which at least theoretically, may aggravate the diverticulitis. In severe diverticulitis with high fever and pain, patients are hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics. Surgery is needed for patients with persistent bowel obstruction or abscess not responding to antibiotics.

Return to Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Rigby, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 23

The best treatment for my diverticulitis has been Zithromax and Flagyl.

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Comment from: caregiver, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 21

My husband went on dialysis two years ago because of chronic kidney disease. We did not fully understand how important it was to take some of the medicines he was given. Phosphorus binders! By not taking them as he should, he developed a condition called calciphylaxis which resulted in a leg amputation. Please look this up and see what can happen if you do not take your binders. He is doing well now, but for one year he suffered.

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