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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How is traveler's diarrhea treated?

Even if you don't treat traveler's diarrhea, it will usually go away in 4 to 5 days. You should drink plenty of clear liquids to replace lost fluids due to the diarrhea. Taking medicine to treat traveler's diarrhea may make you feel better more quickly. It often is treated with antibiotics (medicines that kill bacteria). To get antibiotics, you need a prescription from your doctor.

You also can take a medicine called loperamide (brand name: Imodium). However, if you have bloody diarrhea, you should not take this medicine without also taking an antibiotic.

Children, pregnant women, older adults and other people who get dehydrated easily should drink rehydration solutions. Rehydration solutions help replace the fluid you lose while you are sick. You can buy packets of rehydration salts (to be mixed with safe water) at camping/outdoor stores or drug stores.

When should I contact my doctor?

If your child has a fever higher than 102°F, is dehydrated, has blood in the stool or vomits several times, he or she should see a doctor right away.

If treating your traveler's diarrhea isn't helping you to feel better, talk to your doctor.

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