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A very large number of medicines can cause diarrhea as a side effect, the following list of medicines or medicine groups can result in diarrhea:

  • antibiotics (many of them)

  • the diabetes medicine metformin (Glucophage, Glucovance)

  • laxatives

  • acid buffers (Antacids) that contain magnesium (Maalox, Mylanta, Milk of Magnesia)

  • acid blockers in the H2 blocker family such as famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet) or ranitidine (Zantac)

  • acid blockers in the proton-pump inhibitor family such as omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), esomeprazole (Nexium), pantoprazole (Protonix) or robeprazole (Aciphex)

  • antidepressants with "serotonin" activity such as paroxetine (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (celexa), or escitalopram (Lexapro)

  • heart or blood pressure medicines known as "Beta blockers" such as atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Toprol) and others, or the heart medicine quinidine (Quinidex and others)

  • gout medicine (especially colchicine)

  • the stomach medicine metoclopramide (Reglan) which is used to treat nausea or acid reflux

  • fiber supplements

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain including ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve), and many others

  • medicines for inflammatory bowel disease such as mesalamine (5-aminosalicylic acid, 5-ASA, Asacol, Pentasa, Rowasa)

  • chemotherapy (cancer medicines)

  • an ulcer prevention medicine named misoprotol (Cytotec)

  • vitamins and minerals (particularly magnesium)

  • the asthma medicine theophylline (Theodur)

  • medicines containing sorbitol or fructose (these ingredients may be added as sweeteners)

If you think that a medicine may be the cause of your diarrhea, it is worthwhile to discuss your concern with your doctor. Please do not stop taking a prescribed medicine without your doctor's advice.

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