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Diverticulitis Medication

  • Author: Kamyar Shahedi, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
 
Updated: Jun 17, 2016
 

Medication Summary

Diverticulosis is treated with lifelong dietary modification. Antibiotics are used for every stage of diverticulitis. Empiric therapy requires broad-spectrum antibiotics effective against known enteric pathogens. For complicated cases of diverticulitis in hospitalized patients, carbapenems are the most effective empiric therapy because of increasing bacterial resistance to other regimens.

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Antibiotics

Class Summary

Empiric antimicrobial therapy is essential and should cover all pathogens likely to cause diverticulitis.

Metronidazole (Flagyl, Medro)

 

Active against various anaerobic bacteria. Enters cell, binds DNA, and inhibits protein synthesis, causing cell death.

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)

 

Bactericidal antibiotic that inhibits bacterial DNA synthesis. Used for infections due to E coli, K pneumoniae, E cloacae, P mirabilis, P vulgaris, P aeruginosa, H influenzae, M catarrhalis, S pneumoniae, S aureus (methicillin susceptible), S epidermidis, S pyogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella species, and Salmonella typhi.

Amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin, Amoclan)

 

Amoxicillin inhibits bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to penicillin-binding proteins. The addition of clavulanate inhibits beta-lactamase–producing bacteria.

This agent is a good alternative antibiotic for patients allergic or intolerant to the macrolide class. It is usually well tolerated and provides good coverage to most infectious agents, but it is not effective against Mycoplasma and Legionella species. The half-life of an oral dosage form is 1-1.3 h. It has good tissue penetration but does not enter the cerebrospinal fluid.

For children >3 months, base dosing protocol on amoxicillin content. Because of different amoxicillin/clavulanic acid ratios in 250-mg tab (250/125) vs 250-mg chewable tab (250/62.5), do not use 250-mg tab until child weighs >40 kg.

Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim (Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra DS)

 

Inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting synthesis of dihydrofolic acid.

Antibacterial activity of TMP-SMZ includes common urinary tract pathogens, except Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

 

Third-generation cephalosporin with broad-spectrum, gram-negative activity; lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms; higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Bactericidal activity results from inhibiting cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more penicillin binding proteins. Exerts antimicrobial effect by interfering with synthesis of peptidoglycan, a major structural component of bacterial cell wall. Bacteria eventually lyse due to the ongoing activity of cell wall autolytic enzymes while cell wall assembly is arrested.

Highly stable in the presence of beta-lactamases, both penicillinase and cephalosporinase, of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Approximately 33-67% of dose excreted unchanged in urine, and remainder secreted in bile and ultimately in feces as microbiologically inactive compounds. Reversibly binds to human plasma proteins, and binding have been reported to decrease from 95% bound at plasma concentrations < 25 mcg/mL to 85% bound at 300 mcg/mL.

Cefotaxime (Claforan)

 

Third-generation cephalosporin with broad gram-negative spectrum, lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms, and higher efficacy against resistant organisms. Arrests bacterial cell wall synthesis by binding to one or more of the penicillin-binding proteins, which, in turn, inhibits bacterial growth. Used for septicemia and treatment of gynecologic infections caused by susceptible organisms.

Third-generation cephalosporin with gram-negative spectrum. Lower efficacy against gram-positive organisms.

Ceftolozane/tazobactam (Zerbaxa)

 

A cephalosporin antibiotic plus a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Indicated for use in combination with metronidazole for complicated intra-abdominal infections caused by Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacteroides fragilis, Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus constellatus, and Streptococcus salivarius. Dose must be adjusted for reduced CrCl.

Moxifloxacin (Avelox)

 

Moxifloxacin is the only fluoroquinolone that is FDA approved as monotherapy for the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections. Moxifloxacin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, exhibits activity against Escherichia coli, Bacteroides fragilis, Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus constellatus, Enterococcus faecalis, Proteus mirabilis, Clostridium perfringens, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, or Peptostreptococcus species. Moxifloxacin is active against gram-positive organisms and anaerobes but is less active against Enterobacteriaceae and Pseudomonas species.

Levofloxacin (Levaquin)

 

For pseudomonal infections and infections due to multidrug resistant gram-negative organisms.

Ampicillin/Sulbactam (Unasyn)

 

Drug combination of beta-lactamase inhibitor with ampicillin. Interferes with bacterial cell wall synthesis during active replication, causing bactericidal activity against susceptible organisms. Alternative to amoxicillin when unable to take medication orally. Covers skin, enteric flora, and anaerobes. Not ideal for nosocomial pathogens.

Piperacillin and Tazobactam sodium (Zosyn)

 

Anti-pseudomonal penicillin plus beta-lactamase inhibitor. Inhibits biosynthesis of cell wall mucopeptide and is effective during the stage of active multiplication.

Ticarcillin and clavulanate potassium (Timentin)

 

Inhibits biosynthesis of cell wall mucopeptide and is effective during active replication.

Antipseudomonal penicillin and beta-lactamase inhibitor that provides coverage against most gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and most anaerobes.

Meropenem (Merrem)

 

Bactericidal broad-spectrum carbapenem antibiotic that inhibits cell-wall synthesis. Effective against most gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Has slightly increased activity against gram-negative organisms and slightly decreased activity against staphylococci and streptococci compared with imipenem. Drugs of this class are a good choice for empiric therapy of GI-based infections in hospitalized patients with complicated conditions.

Tigecycline (Tygacil)

 

Tetracycline type antibiotic with broad coverage, used when the patient has a severe penicillin allergy. FDA approved for complicated intra-abdominal infections.

Gentamicin

 

Aminoglycoside antibiotic used to cover gram-negative organisms.

Not the drug of choice (DOC). Consider if penicillins or other less toxic drugs are contraindicated, when clinically indicated, and in mixed infections caused by susceptible staphylococci and gram-negative organisms.

Dosing regimens are numerous; adjust dose based on CrCl and changes in volume of distribution. May be given IV/IM.

Imipenem and cilastatin (Primaxin)

 

Used for the treatment of multiple organism infections as in peritonitis when other agents are not appropriate.

Ampicillin

 

Broad-spectrum penicillin. Interferes with bacterial cell wall synthesis during active replication, causing bactericidal activity against susceptible organisms. Alternative to amoxicillin when unable to take medication orally.

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Contributor Information and Disclosures
Author

Kamyar Shahedi, MD Clinical Instructor, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Kamyar Shahedi, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, California Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Coauthor(s)

Stanley K Dea, MD Chief of Endoscopy, Acting Chief of Gastroenterology, Consulting Gastroenterologist Olive View-University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center; Director of Enteral Feeding, West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Director of Endoscopic Training, University of California at Los Angeles Affiliated Training Program in Gastroenterology

Stanley K Dea, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Southern California Society of Gastroenterology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Yuvrajsinh Narendrasinh Chudasama, MD Staff Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center; Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Yuvrajsinh Narendrasinh Chudasama, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians, American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Duminda B Suraweera, MD Resident Physician, Department of Medicine, Olive View–UCLA Medical Center

Duminda B Suraweera, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS Associate Dean for Medicine, Professor of Surgery and Basic Science, University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Marc D Basson, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Surgeons, American Gastroenterological Association, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

BS Anand, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Baylor College of Medicine

BS Anand, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Acknowledgements

BS Anand, MD Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Baylor College of Medicine

BS Anand, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

David Greenwald, MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Fellowship Program Director, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

David Greenwald, MD is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and New York Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Norvin Perez, MD Medical Director, Juneau Urgent and Family Care

Norvin Perez, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Emergency Physicians and American Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Waqar A Qureshi, MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Chief of Endoscopy, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Baylor College of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Waqar A Qureshi, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Gastroenterology, American College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Ahmed Sherif, MD Staff Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Medscape Salary Employment

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