Traveler's diarrhea may be caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses.
It may be bacterial if it occurs within 4 hours of ingesting food and it is explosive, foul smelling, and you experience abdominal cramps or fever. The recommended treatment is to take the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin : 3 tablets of 500mg each at one time or take 1 tablet of 500mg at the first onset of symptoms, 12 hours later take another tablet and 12 hours after the second dose, take a third tablet.
Ciprofloxacin is a very good antibiotic to treat respiratory infections. If you have symptoms of a severe cold such as productive cough with yellow or green sputum, symptoms of sinusitis such as nasal congestion, tenderness over sinuses area, fever, yellow or green nasal drainage, you can start to take Ciprofloxacin 500 mg twice a day for 10 days.
You should not take Ciprofloxacin if you have any allergies to this antibiotic or if you have had any adverse reaction when you have taken it before.
Viral diarrhea is usually watery, may be copious, and lasts for 2 to 3 days. The treatment of choice is an over the counter product called Imodium. Take it as directed in the package insert.
Diarrhea caused by parasites (such as Giardia) usually lingers for a long time. Stools may be watery at times and soft at times. The recommended treatment is to start Flagyl: 4 tablets taken at one time, or ½ tablet twice a day for 5 to 7 days.
It is important to avoid drinking alcohol while taking Flagyl.
While you are experiencing diarrhea, your diet should include starchy foods such as crackers, bread, rice, and bananas. Drink plenty of fluids such as Gatorade, tea, but avoid fruit juices because of the high sugar content.
Please contact our office upon returning from your travel if you are experiencing any discomfort such as abdominal complaints, fever, malaise, feeling weak or tired.