A patient is admitted to the hospital after taking penicillin antibiotics for 25 days. The nurse should assess this patient for which side effect of long-term antibiotic therapy?


• Long-term antibiotic therapy places the patient at risk for C. difficile colitis. C. difficile is an opportunistic bacteria that takes over the intestinal tract after the gut's normal flora has been destroyed by antibiotics.

• C. difficile colitis causes significant diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, and a distinctive foul stool odor. It is treated with IV metronidazole (Flagyl), oral vancomycin, or fidaxomicin (Dificid).

• Constipation and arrythmias are not symptoms of C. difficile colitis.

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