E. Coli - Treatments

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What is the treatment for E. coli 0157:H7?

Patients, especially healthy adults, often require no treatment for E. coli O157:H7 since many infections are selflimited. Moreover, for the acute diarrheal illness, antibiotics have not proven useful. In fact, some studies have shown that antibiotics may increase the chances of developing HUS (up to 17-fold). This effect is thought to occur because the antibiotic damages the bacteria, causing them to release even more toxin. Most investigators suggest antibiotic use only if a patient is septic, that is, there is evidence that the bacterium has spread to parts of the body other than the intestine. In addition, use of atropine and diphenoxylate (Lomotil), drugs that are commonly used to control diarrhea, also may increase symptoms and trigger complications.

When necessary, treatment includes the replacement of fluids and electrolytes to treat or prevent dehydration. Infection with E. coli 0157:H7 should be treated by a physician especially in children and the elderly. HUS and TTP require complex supportive care (for example, plasma exchange) in the hospital. Patients with kidney failure may need dialysis. Consultation with a critical care specialist often is recommended for the care of patients that develop HUS or TTP.

Return to E. coli (0157:H7)

See what others are saying

Comment from: monu, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 16

As we are planning for our first child, the doctor told us that I am infected with E. coli, as it was found in a semen analysis. Few antibiotics were given, and then the same test was repeated, and it is there again.

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Comment from: still battling, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 12

I have E-coli in my prostate. I have bad cramping, dehydration, can't eat, very loose stool, and fatigue. It doesn't show up in any test, had to be scoped. I got it sexually and antibiotics aren't working because we didn't know, so we were giving it back and forth, Metronidazole did work at first but now is ineffective. Going on 9 years with this, and it's hard to find help.

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