Is Vancomycin a usual treatment for Crohn's?

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Bianca R
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 11/15/2007 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
I was diagnosed with Crohn's nine years ago, was prescribed Asacol at the time, but symptoms went away, I stopped taking it, and I've been mostly in remission ever since. A couple months ago i had a return of symptoms, much more severe than before, and I'm so weak and tired from blood and fluid loss I can barely work and take care of my family. The doc put me on Flagyl for 10 days which didn't help (I was also postive for C. diff) so today he has me starting Vancomycin for 10 more, which my husband, who is a pharmacist, calls the "heavy artillery," used for the most bacteria-resistant infections.

I have a colonoscopy scheduled for Dec. 3 but the doc hasn't run any blood work or any other tests or treatments, just all these antibiotics. Is this usual procedure? Thanks so much for any advice.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/15/2007 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Be sure to take probiotics two hours after every dose of antibiotic. That will help to keep your bacteria levels more balanced. Remember the antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria but also the good. Hope this med does the trick for you and you are feeling back to normal (as much as we can be) soon.

God Bless,
Gail *Nanners*
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 32 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec 60 mg, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and doing tests to see if I have Inflammatory Arthritis or AS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 11/15/2007 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
The vancomycin is not treating your crohn's per se it is treating the C. Difficile infection. That is probably the primary cause of your resurgence of symptoms. By the way, saw a disgusting, but very interesting segment on the CBC (Canada's national public broadcaster) last evening about a physician who is curing chronic C. Difficile infections with feces transplantation. Basically donors submit stool to his lab where it is liquified and introduced into the donor by way of enema. The feces from healthy intestines with the right balance of good bacteria colonizes the large bowel and crowds out the c. difficile bacteria which is sloughed off and flushed out of the system.

He has treated more than 30 extremely persistant cases of infection (lasting upwards of two years). All 30 have been cured.

Wonder if there's a role for this admittedly disgusting procedure for crohn's patients?

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 340
   Posted 11/15/2007 8:59 PM (GMT -7)   
lol. Ew. But, hey, it makes sense. Maybe us crohn's people could get full time jobs donating all of our stool! lol.

Yeah, what balleenstein said: The Vanco is treating the C.Diff, but usually they don't jump from flagyl to Vanco. Usually they try a midline antibiotic first, but it's a good antibiotic as long as you make sure to take it all! Part of creating drug resistant bacteria is caused by people not finishing their antibiotics because they feel better. You don't want VRE (Vanco-resistent-enterococci)!

Hope you feel better.

Finally Dx- April 13 2007 (age 26) ilio-crohn's-colitis. Surgeries:appendectomy, cholecystectomy, tonsillectomy, pinidal cyst removed,emergency abdominal surgery for hemorrhaging ovary from burst ovarian cyst, LEEPcervix, emergency abdominal surgery for grapefruit sized ovarian cyst removal, D and C of uterus, lumpectomy of breast.
MEDS: remicade, prednisone, Asacol TID, protonix, metformin, buspar, trazodone, multi V, B complex, flaxseed. Vegetarian, leaning towards vegan. no nuts, seeds, or wheat.
Many allergies. Polycystic ovarian syndrome, anxiety, depression, ITP 
Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right ~ Ani Difranco

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1885
   Posted 11/17/2007 12:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Agreed, the vanco is for the C Diff. But one poster on this blog mentioned it helped his Crohn's, at least it shouldn't make the Crohn's worse.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 11/17/2007 1:57 PM (GMT -7)   
It depends. My Crohn's usually responds well to antibiotics. However, there are many crohnies who do NOT do well w/antibiotics at all.
Some people are like Slinkies... Not really good for anything, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 11/17/2007 7:47 PM (GMT -7)   
They gave to me after my first resection for the lovely staff infection I acquired during the hospital stay!  It is heavy artillary!  Do the probiotics as suggested and look for a possible flare of CD symptoms up to 10 weeks after ANY course of antibiotics!  Was just tested for C-diff myself. I am negative thank goodness!  Best of luck to you!

Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

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