The use of antibacterial drugs in acute diarrhoea used to be widespread, until it was realised in the last decade that they seldom helped, even when a micro organism was involved. Recently some new organisms have been recognised to cause diarrhoea which can be treated. This article considers some of the situations when an antibiotic may be useful, and advises on the choice of antibiotic, but it is often helpful to take advice from the local hospital microbiologist or infectious diseases specialist.
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