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What Kind of Antibiotics Are Used for Diverticulosis?

author image Richard Nilsen
Richard Nilsen writes poetry, fiction, features and news stories in upstate New York. He was an emergency mental-health consultant for 20 years and directed a mentoring agency for a decade. Nilsen is a black-fly control technician in the Adirondack Park, where he enjoys hiking, biking and boating.
What Kind of Antibiotics Are Used for Diverticulosis?
The antibiotic, Cipro, is used to treat diverticulosis.

Diverticulosis is the disease process that occurs in the large intestine when a diveriticulum--a small bulging sack protruding from the large intestinal wall--becomes ruptured. You may begin to feel pain in the abdomen. You can have diverticuloisis and not realize it until the abdominal pain increases, and you may get a fever and abdominal tenderness. The problem tends to be more pronounced in people older than 60. Problems such as constipation, cramps and colonic obstruction may occur. It is treated with antibiotics.

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Ciprofloxacin (or Cipro) is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections such as diverticulitis. Ciprofloxacin stops the multiplication of bacteria by its inhibition and reproduction of the bacteria’s DNA. This antibiotic can cause such side effects as headaches, rashes, nausea and vomiting and restlessness.


Metronidazole (Flagyl) is an antibiotic that is used in the treatment of anaerobic bacteria and certain parasites. Anaerobic bacteria are single-celled organisms that can live in environments without oxygen, especially in the abdomen. This can cause bacterial peritonitis, liver abscess and pelvic problems including abscess of the ovaries and Fallopian tubes. Metronidazole stops the functions that are within the bacterial cells and kills the parasites. Common side effects include numbness or tingling, previously unexperienced pain and weakness in the extremities.


Cephalexin (Keflex) is an antibiotic designed specifically to kill bacterial cells. Cephalexin is part of the class of antibiotics called cephalosporins. Cephalosporins are similar to penicillin in action and side effects. They prevent bacteria from growing a cellular wall, and thus the cell falls apart without this protection. Side effects include diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, vaginitis and stomach pains.


Doxycycline (Vibramycin) is an antibiotic derived from tetracycline. It works against a variety of bacteria such as Hemophilus influenza, Streptococcus pheumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Chlmydia Psittaci, Chlamydia trachomatis, neisseria gonorrrhoea and others. It works by inhibiting the production of proteins by the bacteria it has targeted. Common side effects are diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain.

Intravenous Treatments

Intravenous antibiotic therapy is sometimes needed in severe cases. A low-fiber diet and liquid are recommended with acute attacks of diverticulitis. Low residue that lacks in material substance lowers the chances of increased aggravation inside the colon. In severe cases, patients may be hospitalized and given intravenous antibiotics.

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