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: Kacy, 45-54 (Patient) Published: August 29

The fatigue and chills came first in mid-June 2011. When I saw my family doctor, he pressed on my abdomen and located the area of diverticulitis. Because of that, I knew what it was when the pain hit that night. I am allergic to Flagyl, so my doctor treated it with large doses of antibiotics. It took three rounds of strong antibiotic pills, with a "booster" shot of antibiotics the second week. It took 3 weeks for me to recover and get back to work. I actually eat pretty healthy, take fiber supplements, and exercise, but that's no guarantee that I will be free of episodes. I've discovered that rich foods (e.g., like real ice cream or things that contain a lot of butter) will cause a round of painful diarrhea and nausea.

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Comment from: Joe(England), 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 08

I have for some time now been suffering from constant abdomen pains and in spite of various ultrasounds, CT scans and colonoscopies, four years down the line I have been diagnosed with diverticulitis and no treatment offered other than a visit to a dietician! Just now I feel rather unwell, low level temperature and the usual pain. What I'm looking for from other fellow sufferers is advice on food, and perhaps, anything that may alleviate the worst of the condition.

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