How long does C Diff last?

I am not a physician and you shouldn’t use this as advice.  Seek your own qualified physician’s advice for curing C Diff.

“How long does C Diff last?”

I’ve been asked this question many times and can relate.  Most colds and flu’s go away on their own in 2-3 weeks.  So, the first time you get C Diff your thought is, ok how long is this going to last?  Then, there are others who have been dealing with C Diff for months or longer…how much longer will their C Diff last?

Most People Will Have it Easy

The answer is tricky and not fun.  Typically you go on antibiotics after you are diagnosed.  The antibiotics (metronidazole, vancomycin, or whatever your physician prescribes) will last usually 10-14 days .  At this point, you’ll find that 80-85% of patients will be fine.  So, for most people it’ll appear to only last a week or two.  I say “appear” because there is an unknown number of people who will harbor C Diff in their colon or small intestine after that with NO SYMPTOMS.  So, is it over for them?   I was one of those people and a year later when I took amoxicillin for a cold (dumb idea) the symptoms of C Diff came back in full force and I tested positive again!

Some Will Take A Little Longer

So, for the 15-20% who relapse you go on antibiotics for 10-14 days again, or you may find physicians using the tapering method.  This is where your physician might ask you to go on antibiotics for a week or so, and slowly taper down the strength or amount of antibiotics over a month or so.  You may also be asked to try a pulsing method which is similar except you might take antibiotics every other day while tapering down to lower levels of antibiotics.   So, these methods will vary in time, so let’s assume it takes another 30 days.   Now we’re up to what, 45 days?

A Few Will Have a Long Battle

Well, you may stop the symptoms there, or you may be one of the 65% of patients who relapse AGAIN.  Yup, 65% of patients who relapse once are likely to relapse multiple times[1].  So, people who make it to this point just don’t know when it will be over.  I was one and it isn’t fun.  But, you cannot give up!

So, there we have it.  It’s not a very clear answer, but most people will be without symptoms in a few weeks.  At the other end of the spectrum, you may dealing with this a while.  But, you cannot give up on pursuing treatment.  C Diff is deadly serious, but the vast majority of people will find a good end to C Diff.   (check out the “what works” page)

No One Cares About Your Health More Than You Do

I believe that no one cares more about your health than you do.  YOU need to persist in finding your cure until you get it.  Keep going back to physicians and going to new ones.  Question them, and don’t give up.

I am not a physician and you shouldn’t use this as advice of any kind.  Seek your own qualified physician’s advice for curing C Diff.


27 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • Laura -

    I got diagnosed with c diff 6 weeks ago after having very bad watery stools.and Rapids weight loss 2.5 stone in 4 weeks. I had 3 weeks of antibiotics. I have been sent to have a camera but have to wait 4 weeks for an urgent appointment???? I have lost a further .5 stone. I’m struggling to look after my 9 weeks baby sooo fed up feel like they are doing nothing to help me

    • Monica Milem -

      I have fought for Five month dropping from 175lbs to 113lbs but I learned to switch my diet quickly it is hard not to cry about it but I will give advice for the pain that has worked which I am and always have been against taking the indica strain of pot in tiny doses like four drags of a joint I hate smoking but I’m not running to the restroom throwing up 65 times a day or having diarrhea barely, begging god to have mercy on my body . I can work and life is liveable I crave vinegar flavors all the time to.

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  • mary lee -

    2 times in hospital and 6 years apart. 2 cases of C-diff. Gee where did I catch it. First time I was treated with Vanco at $1900.00 co-pay……thank God for credit card. 2nd time in hospital and getting a nasty case of c-diff I was put on Rx that cost $6.00. and the drug is working. At least my knee replacement worked.

  • Ladd Poitra -

    I was hospitalized in February for 22 days, I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis for 15 years and it had always been manageable with meds and would go into remission for 2 or more years at a time. At the time of my release I was experiencing abdominal pain and knew something wasn’t right. I told them over and over, but went home as I was told. Within a few weeks I was back in the ER with severe pain and bloody stools. I was put on Remicade infusions for the UC. I was in and out of ER every couple weeks. After 7 months I refused to leave and finally someone tested for C Diff. I remembered they tested for it when I was admitted back in February and was negative. I didn’t know what it was so didn’t pay much attention. Now I’m completely disgusted with them for not checking during one of my 15 visits to the ER. They actually labeled me a “drug seeker” during this period. Now I can’t seem to shake the C Diff. First treatment was Flagyl and second of which I just finished was Vanco. So frustrated and have no idea where we are with the UC. Thanks for letting me vent!

  • Janice Leach -

    Hi all I was just reading the posts here and the are helpful. I was diagnosed with C-Diff 2 months ago after suffering with all the symptoms for 3 months before they figured it out. I was on Flagyl fo 10 days and the Vanco for 14. The lastest tests show that there are no signs of the C-diff However, the symptoms have slowed down somewhat but I still can not digest food properly or be very far from the bathroom. Anyone have a suggestion

    • Monica Milem -

      I have fought for Five month dropping from 175lbs to 113lbs but I learned to switch my diet quickly it is hard not to cry about it but I will give advice for the pain that has worked which I am and always have been against taking the indica strain of pot in tiny doses like four drags of a joint I hate smoking but I’m not running to the restroom throwing up 65 times a day or having diarrhea barely, begging god to have mercy on my body . I can work and life is liveable I crave vinegar flavors all the time to.

  • Judy Goodson -

    I was diagnosed with cdiff in May of this year. The first treatment was metrodiazonale for 10 days. Symptoms came back in 5 days. Second treatment was 14 days of metrdiazonale. Symptoms returned in six days. All the while I took probiotics along with the medicine. The last treatment was an 8week round of taper pulse vancomycin. It has been 3 weeks since I finished the medicine. No symptoms have recurred, so I am hoping that I am in “remission”. I am 70 years old and praying that I don’t have to be on an antibiotic ever again. Just want to encourage anyone going through this to keep up your spirits. It took 4 months for me to get back to normal. If the symptoms return anytime soon, I am prepared to have a fecal transplant–anything to fight this monster. Just know you are not alone and there is hope.

  • Rich -

    Be cafurl taking flaygel for c diff it gave me Steven Johnson syndrome and u definitely don’t want that check it out ….just be carful

  • Mary Patton -

    I have cdif. No pain. My stools have not formed I have thick ,runny, orange.movrments. Does this mean I am confined to my home? I am tired but not in any pain.

    • Jo Call -

      You must have a very mild case of it. Because I’m going on my 3rd week but only diagnosed for 4 days and I’ve experienced raging diarrhea… Swelling of the abdomen, cramps, chills, fever and over all lethargic. . Haven’t worked in 3 weeks and possibly 4.

      • Jo Call -

        I would also like to say that before I got this I WASN’T on any antibiotics! So I’m afraid it’s not only caused by that…I have a weak immune system and catch everything that goes around. I do get alot of UTI’s and wondering if possibly the bacteria from that isn’t a culprit.

  • Nins Tanti -

    Just been diagnosed with C diff after taking antibiotics following dental surgery. Don’t have that many symptoms except some nausea, lightheadedness and loose stools. I’m afraid the Flagyl will just make me sicker (has horrendous side effects). I’m taking lots of probiotics. Any chance the Cdiff will just go away on its own with probiotics, garlic, vitamin C, etc?
    Besides, it seems to come back even with the antibiotics! Thanks.

  • Elaine Robinson -

    I have cdiff . I’m very sick at this point. I’ve been
    taking Flagler since Thursday. Can’t stay from bathroom. My blook cells has dropped very low. I have been told water and gator aidea and bananas and ŕice aND Acticta yoyort. I’m very weak. Any suggestions for any food. Please. How long does it last. Need help. First time!!!

    • Kinsley Leighton -

      Ive had C Diff twice and im on my third time currently. Ive been on every antibiotic and now i need a fecal transplant or surgery to get my large intestines removed. Drink pedialite and take probiotics. Oatmeal is also very good for GI problems. It helps with healing. I cant eat anything spicy. Ive ate unseasoned fish and brown rice every time. Get Danon plain yogurt, not flavored. It have good bacteria in it. You can get some fruit to put in it because it isnt the best tasting. Hope you heal soon. Praying for you!

  • Wanda -

    I’ve endured so many bouts of c-diff but wanted to tell anyone who hasn’t heard of tried it, that Xifaxan, 2 of the 550 mg per day for 10 days brought me the first effective results with one dose. I’ve seen so many doctors and few will try hard to resolve this terrible issue.
    My druggist was the first one, 2015, to suggest Xifaxan which I requested and worked last year. I had insurance that covered the cost then but in 2016 do not have drug ins that covers (thank you so very, very much Obamacare for your destructive works).
    I have just acquired c-diff again in 2016 and am having a really difficult time. My ins only covers Microconizole but after 5 days, have yet to see results.
    It is so sad that this disease is so prevalent and so little is being done to help.
    Hope the Xifaxan helps someone who can afford or ins does cover.

  • Pingback: How long does C Diff last? | C Diff

  • Timothy Ramos -

    I suffer from cdiff and when it was first diagnosed, it was due to taking 4 types of antibiotics over a month time for an infection they found was staph resistant and needed surgery. After being on Flagiyl for a while and many probiotics it went away. Only to reappear a week or so later. They then tried Vancomycin for 10 days, and again it reappeared. They then tried Vancomycin for 14 days and continuous flaygl 4 times a day, and I thought it was over because I hadn’t had any loose stools for almost 3 weeks. Although I have been off the Vancomycin, I am still on the Flagyl. But now, the day before yesterday I started having loose stools again. Last night stomach cramping started right before the stools and today I feel as if it is back with a vengeance. I will be careful babe back in the hospital to test again, but I am pretty sure it will be careful babe positive. I think issue is that I also have Multiple Sclerosis, causing immune system to not be careful babe the greatest. I’m horrified at this point, only thinking the worst, and a future colostomy bag, due to the damage to my colon, because before my diagnosis I had this for over two months because stools although loose, are like syrup and would be careful babe refused by the lab because they didn’t completely form to the cup as the cup, as they are you on your way home now. I believe it is because I am on a high amount of narcotics due to severe pain and being in a wheelchair after Iraq. So Toxic Mega Colon is always on mind. I would urge anyone who has been on Antibiotics for a long time and those who have been in the hospital a long time and now those in daycare setting and hospital work to continually eat yogurt, probiotics and maintain great, not good, but great sanitary conditions, by washing your hands and ensuring those around you do the same. Because this horrible bacteria is kind of like a Rolly Polly in the way that whenever it senses you trying to kill it, it protects itself in a type of hard shell, and then once it senses the attack is over, it unprotects itself and begins its assault once again. I hope this helps someone understand the seriousness of this bug. For those of you out there who are Christian, I ask for your prayers. God bless. if there are any questions email is .

  • Jen -

    I am currently waiting on test results to come back to see if I have C Diff. Just by everything I have read in the past 3 days, I am scared to death and hoping that I do not have it. I have not read one single positive outcome from having C Diff. I have not read where one person took the Flagyl or Vanco and came out okay. More than 90% of what I have read on respectable sites such as Johns Hopkins, Mayo Clinic and Cleveland clinic, folks have had many recurrences of this. It kind of makes me think that it changes your whole life to where you can never go back to work, or you can never hang out with your family or your friends, you can never go out to dinner, etc. This scares the shit out of me – no pun intended. Why hasn’t the medical community taken more notice of this? Why hasn’t the medical community done more to assist with prevention and not using so much antibiotics and such? All of this crap I have been reading is ridiculous.

  • Danialle -

    I was diagnosed six days ago with c diff. The pain was severe and lots of blood but since I work in the Hosp I knew the symptoms and went immediately after first loose bowel. But I was still admitted since I’m preg but they started me on vanc then changed it to flagyl then back to vanc and now flagyl all in sox days I pray to god that won’t screw my recovery I just want this over I bleached every part of my house stopped the antibiotics I was on before and am super careful with handwasging I’m so scared it will hang on forever though.

  • Jenn -

    I babysit in my home. I just received a call from a mother whom told me her son was just diagnosed with C Diff. Down side..he has been in my home for the last 2 weeks with my children. I try to promote good hand washing habits but I know 5 year olds too well…I’m sure they are not good enough. My question is how long does it take to contract C Diff and what are the symptoms?

  • Brenda -

    I stopped all the symptoms of severe intestinal infection by taking high doses of Vitamin C. I have used high doses of C for numerous ailments and have learned about “bowel tolerance” doses which cure plenty: shingles for one example. My aim was to reach bowel tolerance to treat the intestinal infection. I took 10 grams (10,000 miligrams) every 15 minutes by the clock and was surprised that it didn’t even produce gas, which indicated a severe toxin which was using up very high amounts of Vit C. This was several months ago so I don’t remember how long it was before I reached bowel tolerance and started cutting back on the dose. I had not taken antibiotics but had visited someone in the hospital about 3 months prior to symptoms becoming severe. I am now more cognizant of bowel health and take probiotics and also use raw garlic frequently as it is supposed to have antibiotic actions but without side effects…well other than your breath. I mince garlic and add to soups, stews, etc. and to my amazement have acquired a taste for it and enjoy eating it as opposed to eating it as “medicine.” The intestinal malady cure has added to my belief that when nothing else works then very high doses of Vit C are the way to go. Please research for yourself. Just google: Vitamin C bowel tolerance. And while you’re searching try Vitamin D, and also Magnesium Deficiency. Here’s to getting your life back!

  • Badskippie -

    this is my very first bout of C-Diff, but as a nurse, I have taken care of many patients with this.

    my back hurts but it’s from the constant up and down and sitting on the john that has caused this. i doubt your back is any indication of continued infection.

    as for your stomach, that is more likely due to the long and varied courses of antibiotics and other pills you are taking as the C-Diff lives in your colon. (however, i must point out that your transverse and ascending colon are in front of your stomach, you may be hearing those rumbling and not your actual stomach). however, bowel sounds are good, that means things are working. again, i would not take the gurgling as any indication one way or the other of continued infection. the only true test, is a LAB test.

  • Natalie -

    My 2-yr-old was diagnosed with c-diff on April 2nd (she was sick for 2 or 3 weeks before someone tested her for that.) We started her on Flagyl but when she was done with that she still was not doing real well. Our dr. is wonderful and has been working with us on this but it is very frustrating for us because she is still having a lot of the symptoms (except fever.) Now she is getting an ear infection and we can’t give her anything for it or she’ll get very sick. Currently, she is on Zantac to stop acid production and to try to reset her system. Are there any foods that you found you should/shouldn’t avoid during the healing process? For a baby, should we expect that it will take several weeks to get her back to normal?

  • Pinkylee -

    I been having cdiff since September 2009. I have been on Flagyl the first 2 times, for 10 days both times. Then I was put on vanco for 14 days and the cdiff return. Now I am back on vanco, my doctor put me on it 125mg 4xday for 7 days, then 2xday for 7 days, then 1xday for 7 days, then every other day for 7 days, then every 3 days for 7 days. I only have one more pill to take and that is this Sunday and I will be finished. I really hope that this work. I am taking Florastor and Culturelle. For the first two weeks back on vanco I was only taking florastor 250mg twice daily but now I am taking 250mg 4xdaily and taking culturelle twice daily. I only have one more pill to take, but my stomach still gurgling sometimes and my back hurts sometimes does that means that the cdiff is still there, or it just mean that the body is trying to heal itself. Can anyone give me some suggestion about this. Thanks Pinkylee.

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