Do we know which antibiotics are most likely to cause Clostridium difficile diarrhea? Also, what is the correct pronunciation of “difficile?”
—James Nahlik, MD, St. Louis

Any antibiotic can cause C. difficile-associated diarrhea, but the most common are penicillins, clindamycin, cephalosporins, and more recently quinolones.

I use the common U.S. pronunciation “dif-i-seal,” which is the French version. However, the word actually comes from the Latin, so the correct pronunciation would be “dif-ISS-il-ee.” An easy out is to just say “C. diff.” People will know what you mean.
—Christina M. Surawicz, MD (110-19)

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