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My C. diff Infection Treatment Plan

C. diff infection occurs in your colon and is caused by Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacteria. Use this treatment plan to treat your infection at home and avoid spreading it to others. Read on to learn what to do.

Key goals of your treatment plan

  1. Learn how to keep C. diff from spreading. This includes practicing good handwashing and taking steps to prevent C. diff at home and at work.

  2. Watch for symptoms of C. diff coming back and get help if you need it.

  3. Take medicines for C. diff as your doctor tells you to.




Important information

Use this page to keep your doctor's name and phone number and other important information in one place.

  1. Fill in the information below or ask your doctor, nurse, or loved one to fill it out

  2. Post this page somewhere you can easily see it, such as on your refrigerator

Patient name:

Contact information

Primary doctor's name

Phone number




Other healthcare provider


Phone number





Hospital or clinic name


Phone number




Follow-up appointments

Test or appointment












In addition to C. diff, I also have these health problems:



How should I wash my hands so I don't spread C. diff?

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) germs can stay on your hands after you use the bathroom, then spread to any person, surface, or object you touch. Washing your hands often is one of the best ways to not spread C. diff. To wash your hands: Rinse your hands first, then scrub with soap for 30 to 40 seconds. Rinse your hands well and dry them. Below are more tips for good handwashing.

Always wash hands:

  • After using the bathroom

  • Before and after preparing food

  • Before and after eating

  • After touching any object or surface that may have C. diff germs on it


Alcohol-based cleaners don't work against C. diff germs.

How can I not spread C. diff?

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) germs can live outside your body for several months. Here's how to keep the germs from spreading at home and at work.

Get prepared

Gather your cleaning supplies:

  • Disposable (rubber) gloves

  • Paper towels

  • Soap

  • Chlorine bleach

  • Trash bags or plastic bags

Follow safe and clean habits:

  • After washing your hands, dry them with a paper towel, then throw the paper towel away

  • Each day, clean the bathroom and any other areas in the house that may have C. diff germs

Wash your hands often! Especially after using the bathroom or cleaning or handling any items that may have C. diff germs on them.

A note for caregivers

If you are caring for a patient who has C. diff, use the tips in this treatment plan to avoid spreading the infection to yourself or others.

How can I tell if my C. diff has come back?

C. diff is an infection in the colon caused by Clostridium difficile (C. diff) bacteria. Sometimes, C. diff comes back. This can happen any time within weeks to months after you finish taking your medicine. Watch for symptoms and know what to do if your infection comes back.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Watery diarrhea

  • Fever

  • Belly pain and cramping

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Loss of appetite and weight loss

In more severe cases, you may have:

  • Watery diarrhea (up to 10 to 15 times a day) with blood or pus

  • Fever of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher

  • Swollen belly

  • Severe pain in your lower belly

C. diff can come back in about 1 in 4 patients. If C. diff does come back, you are at higher risk for infection again in the future.

If I notice symptoms of C. diff, or think that my infection has come back, I will:



Your treatment plan goals

C. diff is a serious illness, but it can be treated. You can stop the spread of infection to others and lower the chances of getting the infection again.

Here are the 3 goals for treatment and specific steps you can take to reach each goal.

  1. Read these and decide which steps you are ready to take

  2. Ask your doctor or nurse to explain any steps you are unsure of

  3. Come up with a few ideas of your own

3 goals of your treatment plan

Goal 1. Learn how to keep C. diff from spreading.

Steps I can take:

  • Practice good handwashing daily

  • Each day, use chlorine-based bleach to disinfect surfaces (such as counters and light switches) and areas at home (such as the bathroom) that may have C. diff germs

  • Ask others to wear gloves and to wash their hands if helping me in the bathroom

  • Other:

  • Other:

Goal 2: Watch for symptoms of C. diff coming back and get help when I need it.

Steps I can take:

  • Know what symptoms to watch for if C. diff comes back

  • Know when and how to contact my doctor if symptoms return

  • Other:

  • Other:

Goal 3: Take medicines for C. diff exactly as my doctor tells me to.

Steps I can take:

  • Ask my doctor to explain any medicines I'm prescribed

  • Know when, how much, how many, and how often to take my medicines

  • Know what side effects to watch for when taking my medicines

  • Not stop taking my medicines unless my doctor tells me to

  • Other:

  • Other:

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