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What are the symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea?

Leigh Vinocur, MD
Emergency Medicine
The primary symptom of “simple” traveler’s diarrhea is watery diarrhea that can be treated with fluids and other-the-counter medicines like Pepto-Bismol (bismuth) or Imodium (loperamide) that slows motility of the bowel. But beware: drugs that slow bowel motility and stop diarrhea could actually increase the length of the illness. Diarrhea is our body’s defense mechanism, ridding itself of the bacteria. Prophylaxis, or preventative antibiotics, such as doxycycline, ciprofloxin, TMP/SMX trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole can be taken on trips to avoid getting traveler’s diarrhea.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.