Drug-induced, factitious, & idiopathic diarrhoea

Bincy P. Abraham, Joseph H. Sellin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The aetiology of diarrhoea can often be simple to identify, but in some cases may pose a challenge. The diagnosis of drug-induced diarrhoea can easily be sorted based on timing of the symptom with onset of a new drug. Treatment can vary from simply monitoring and eventual resolution with continuation of the drug, to discontinuation of the offending agent. In cases where a drug cannot always be stopped, additional medications can help control the symptom. Factitious diarrhoea can present a diagnostic challenge if the evaluating physician does not suspect its possibility. Typically a careful history, and in some cases, stool testing can provide clues. The diagnosis of idiopathic diarrhoea is often made when exhaustive testing provides no definite aetiology and the goal of management is supportive care and symptomatic treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-648
Number of pages16
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Diarrhea
  • Drug-induced
  • Factitious
  • Idiopathic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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