Antibiotic-associated diarrhea can cause signs and symptoms that range from mild to severe.
Common signs and symptoms
For most people, antibiotic-associated diarrhea causes mild signs and symptoms, such as:
- Loose stools
- More-frequent bowel movements
Antibiotic-associated diarrhea is likely to begin about a week after you start the antibiotic therapy. Sometimes, however, diarrhea and other symptoms may not appear for days or even weeks after you've finished antibiotic treatment.
More-serious signs and symptoms
Some people experience a more serious form of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. When the overgrowth of harmful bacteria is severe, you may have signs and symptoms of colitis or pseudomembranous colitis, such as:
- Frequent, watery diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Mucus in your stool
- Bloody stools
- Loss of appetite
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor right away if you experience signs and symptoms of serious antibiotic-associated diarrhea. These signs and symptoms are common to a number of conditions, so your doctor may recommend tests to determine the cause.