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Augmentin And Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention

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Augmentin and Diarrhea: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention


Augmentin is a widely used antibiotic that contains a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium. While it is highly effective in treating various bacterial infections, one of the common side effects associated with its use is diarrhea. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind why Augmentin can cause diarrhea, the symptoms to watch out for, and some preventive measures to minimize this side effect.

Why Does Augmentin Cause Diarrhea?

Augmentin can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. It not only kills the harmful bacteria responsible for the infection but also affects the beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion and maintain a healthy gut. This disruption in the gut flora can lead to diarrhea as the body tries to eliminate the excess bacteria and restore the balance.

Symptoms of Augmentin-Induced Diarrhea

If you are taking Augmentin and experience any of the following symptoms, it is likely that the antibiotic is causing diarrhea:

  • Loose, watery stools
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (in severe cases)

Preventing Diarrhea While Taking Augmentin

Although diarrhea is a common side effect of Augmentin, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk and severity of this condition:

  1. Take Augmentin with food: Consuming the antibiotic with a meal or snack can help minimize its impact on the gastrointestinal tract. Food acts as a buffer and slows down the absorption of the medication, reducing the chances of diarrhea.
  2. Stay hydrated: Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, so it is important to drink plenty of fluids. Opt for water, clear broths, herbal teas, and electrolyte drinks to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes.
  3. Probiotics: Taking probiotic supplements or consuming probiotic-rich foods can help restore the balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut. This can aid in digestion and reduce the risk of diarrhea.
  4. Avoid high-fiber foods: While fiber is generally considered healthy, it can worsen diarrhea. Limit your intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes until your bowel movements return to normal.
  5. Speak to your doctor: If your diarrhea persists or becomes severe, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. They may recommend adjusting the dosage or switching to a different antibiotic.

When to Seek Medical Attention

In most cases, diarrhea caused by Augmentin resolves on its own once the medication is completed. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • High fever
  • Significant weight loss
  • Persistent vomiting


Augmentin is a powerful antibiotic that can effectively treat bacterial infections. However, it is important to be aware of the potential side effect of diarrhea. By following the preventive measures mentioned in this article, you can minimize the risk and severity of diarrhea while taking Augmentin. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or if your symptoms worsen.

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