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Severe pseudomembranous colitis after lincomycin and clindamycin

, : Severe pseudomembranous colitis after lincomycin and clindamycin. British Journal of Surgery 63(1): 25-29

Four cases of severe pseudomembranous colitis following the use of lincomycin and clindamycin are described; 2 required emergency total colectomy and 2 died. Cases of such gravity after the use of these drugs have not been previously reported. On hundred and fifty-six orthopaedic cases where clindamycin and lincomycin were used postoperatively are reviewed; 34 had diarrhoea (22 per cent), and 3 of the severe cases occurred in this group. The diagnosis of pseudomembranous colitis may be difficult as the latent period from initiation of drug therapy to commencement of diarrhoea may be as much as 18 days, and that from cessation of drug therapy may be as much as 11 days. The value of early sigmoidoscopy in cases of diarrhoea of obscure aetiology is emphasized, and the characteristic sigmoidoscopic and histological appearances of pseudomembranous colitis are described. As these drugs may produce a lethal condition it is suggested that they should be used with appropriate discretion, especially in the elderly female who appears to be most at risk.


PMID: 1267870

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