Pharmacology Antifungal #2

Question

A patient is experiencing severe watery diarrhea from long-term antibiotic therapy. The health care provider (HCP) informs the patient the stool was positive for Clostridium difficile (C-diff). Which medication does the nurse expect the HCP to order for treatment?

Answers

  1. Nystatin
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because nystatin is an antifungal used for candidiasis fungal yeast infection. This medication is most often administered by oral swish and swallow, powder, or cream. Nystatin is not effective against C-diff bacteria.

  2. Fluconazole
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because fluconazole is an antifungal used for systemic fungal infections, such as vaginal fungal yeast infections. Fluconazole is not effective against C-diff bacteria.

  3. Metronidazole
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat C-diff bacteria. C-diff is a superinfection that occurs from long-term usage of antibiotics. This occurs due to the antibiotics which kill the normal flora bacteria and allows the overgrowth of C-diff bacteria. Symptoms of C-diff include pain in the abdomen, bloating, watery diarrhea, and sometimes blood in the stool.

  4. Ketoconazole
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because ketoconazole is an antifungal that treats skin and nail fungal infections. Ketoconazole is not effective against C-diff bacteria.

Overview

Metronidazole is an antibiotic used to treat Clostridium difficile (C-diff), an infection found in the gut that causes severe, watery diarrhea that can occur after long-term use of antibiotics.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Metronidazole is an antibiotic medication used to treat infections, such as Clostridium difficile (C-diff). (It is also used to treat bacterial vaginosis and trichomonas vaginal infections.) C-diff is a superinfection that occurs from long-term usage of antibiotics. This occurs due to the antibiotics which kill the normal flora bacteria and allows the overgrowth of C-diff bacteria. Symptoms of C-diff include pain in the abdomen, bloating, watery diarrhea, and sometimes blood in the stool.

Test Taking Tip

Sometimes suffix ending to medications can help distinguish certain medications that are in the same classification. Nevertheless, there are some sound alike and look alike medications that are very different such as nystatin fungal medications and statin cholesterol-lowering medications. Another example are medications with suffixes of “-nazol” (treats fungal infections) and “-dazole” (treats bacterial infections).

Video Rationale